Sandeep Warrier's dream spell continues

Sandeep Warrier has been added to the India A team for the tour of the West Indies – as a replacement for Navdeep Saini, who was picked in the senior squad.

Sandeep Warrier has hardly been able to relax in this past year. But he is not complaining. He has never minded the workload as Kerala's strike bowler for the last several seasons, though he rarely got the recognition for that. Last season changed all that.

First he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders, when two of the IPL side's seamers were injured. Just when it seemed he would be destined to spend an entire season on the bench – like he did at Royal Challengers Bangalore for three years – he was finally given an opportunity at the fag end of the last IPL.

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And he showed what he was capable of. In only his second match, against Kings XI Punjab, he took the wickets of Chris Gayle and K.L. Rahul.

The 28-year-old swing bowler may have got only three games, but that was enough to make people – including national selectors – sit up and take notice. He was included in the India A team against the touring Sri Lanka A side.

He did well in those matches, especially in the two unofficial Tests. Now he has been added to the India A team for the tour of the West Indies – as a replacement for Navdeep Saini, who was picked in the senior squad, which is also touring the Caribbean islands.

“I had hopes about making the team for the West Indies after my good show in the Lankan series, but had given up all hopes when I was woken up in the night by a call from chief selector M.S.K. Prasad,” Warrier told Sportstar over phone from Mumbai, en route to Port of Spain, where the second and third Unofficial Tests will be played.

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“Earlier this year, I had enjoyed watching England's Test series in the West Indies, but I could not have imagined that I would get an opportunity to tour those places as part of an Indian team,” he said.

“I am of course delighted that my hard work has been finally recognised. But I am more relieved rather, for there were times when I had even contemplated quitting the game,” he added.