His selection for the England Test series has given Pankaj Singh a new lease of life. The lanky Rajasthan seamer, who has been one of the most consistent performers on the domestic circuit for some years now, was in the 18-member squad selected for the five Test matches.

Pankaj Singh
Pankaj Singh 

Pankaj had told mid-day during the last Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that he was contemplating on taking a call on his future if he did not get a call-up for the England tour. Pankaj was also hurt as no IPL teams bid for him.

"This selection has come just at the right time. It was the tonic which I needed to extend my playing career. I was really desperate to get back into the Indian team. I practically did everything to earn a call-up over the years, but every time I would miss it.

I am delighted today to get a chance again to represent my country. I will do everything to prove myself and justify my selection," an elated Pankaj told mid-day.

Difficult to believe
It was difficult for Pankaj to believe that he was selected. "I was at a function in Amethi. I had to pinch myself when one of my friends told me I was selected. I am the happiest person in the world today," he said.

Apart from his 39 wickets at 22.46 in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season, Pankaj hit headlines when he reportedly went to approach a selector after a domestic game to seek a reason why he was being ignored. However, the selector had already left the ground.

Pankaj has been knocking on the Indian team's doors for many years. He finally got a chance to showcase his skills in 2010 against Sri Lanka at Harare. Unfortunately, that was his only chance. "I won't let this opportunity slip away," Pankaj concluded.