Ankit Rajpoot among India's net bowlers

The 24-year-old pacer from Uttar Pradesh, who also plays in the IPL, was informed about his inclusion over an e-mail on Tuesday.

"I don’t have any plan as of now, I will do what I am asked to," says Ankit Rajpoot.   -  Kommuri Srinivas

Uttar Pradesh pacer Ankit Rajpoot is the new entrant in the Indian contingent leaving for South Africa on December 28. The 24-year-old will be one of the net bowlers for the Virat Kohli-led side.

On Monday, there were reports that India is travelling with four quality net bowlers — Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini and Basil Thampi — to prepare better for the series starting on January 5.

Rajpoot is Saini’s replacement. “You heard that right, I am going to South Africa as a practice bowler. Navdeep isn’t going, so I have been taken as a replacement,” he confirmed to Sportstar.

The right-arm medium bowler had no clue about the assignment coming his way. “It was a surprise. I got to know about it last night when a mail came from the BCCI,” he added.

Not being in the main squad isn’t a concern for Rajpoot, who has earlier played against international players in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings and recently, Kolkata Knight Riders. “At least, I am getting a chance. It is a good feeling to rub shoulders with the big players in different conditions. I don’t have any plan as of now, I will do what I am asked to. I have to read the conditions and do my best,” he pointed.

Though Uttar Pradesh failed to create an impact in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, Rajpoot claimed 18 wickets in 10 innings. “My body is fit, it will further boost up before we leave for the tour,” assured Rajpoot.

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