New Delhi: Kings Punjab XI opener Mandeep Singh, who has impressed one and all with his good batting in the ongoing IPL 5, is disappointed at not having made it to the India A team for the West Indies tour. "I'm disappointed but you can hardly do anything about it. I was hopeful of getting a call-up for the West Indies tour but it happened otherwise. But my job will be to keep up the good work in this IPL and hopefully I will make it to the A team when the next tour is announced," Mandeep told PTI.
Mandeep has been a prolific scorer for Punjab having garnered 458 runs in the last Ranji season with an average of 76 plus apart from 359 runs in 12 IPL games in this edition. "I was performing well for the last two years in the domestic circuit and was hopeful of selection but it's not in my hands. I am not reading too much into it and just concentrating on performing well in the ongoing edition," he said.
Talking about their away game against table-toppers Delhi Daredevils on May 15 at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here, Mandeep conceded that it's a tough match for them given Delhi's formidable line-up. "It's a kind of tough match for us. They are playing really well and are leading the points table but we are also equally in good touch. If you play to your potential, you can beat the favourites on any given day. We just need to continue with the winning momentum," he said.
Spelling out his team's strategy, the Punjab batsman said they need to contain the South African pacer Morne Morkel to brighten their chances of upstaging the hosts. "The strategy would be to prevent Morkel from building pressure during initial stages. We need to play him well. Not to give him much of a chance of taking wickets. It would be good for us if we play him well right from the start and put pressure on him," he said.
During his knock of 75 against Deccan, Mandeep was seen playing a lot of pull-shots and the opener admitted that he has purposely prepared himself for the short-pitched deliveries. "Before coming into this tournament, I was aware of the fact that I would be facing a lot of short balls. I have to be good against the short balls. Since international bowlers feel that batsmen from this part of the world are susceptible to short-pitched stuff, I had purposefully worked hard on perfecting the horizontal bat shots." On chances of making the play-offs, he replied, "We must win three of our remaining four matches. We are confident of making the play-off race."