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Balaji focussed on rhythm in New Zealand

Balaji focussed on rhythm in New Zealand

Lakshmipathy Balaji reckons it would be just a matter of finding a rhythm in New Zealand.

Chennai: Back in the Test squad after a four-year hiatus, comeback man Lakshmipathy Balaji reckons it would be just a matter of finding a rhythm in New Zealand and wickets would automatically follow.

The lanky Tamil Nadu pacer believes he has regained the lost touch and is not perturbed either by the conditions in New Zealand or the varying tracks there.

"I am not unduly worried about the condition of pitches in New Zealand. Of course it is going to be challenging, particularly because of the weather. But as an international cricketer, I am confident of adapting to the conditions.

"So long as I keep my rhythm, other things will fall in place," Balaji told PTI over phone from Visakhapatnam.

Once he is on song, Balaji said neither the nature of the track nor the atmosphere could affect his rhythm.

"The atmosphere around or the conditions of the pitch does not affect me or my rhythm. I just need to be focused to my job, the job of maintaining the line and length and take wickets", he said.

Balaji is particularly happy with the way his body has responded after returning from a stress fracture that threatened his career.
"Since recovering from stress fracture and a back surgery later, I have bowled over 400 overs in domestic cricket. I have got back to my old ways of bowling," Balaji said.

Balaji agreed most of his teammates have no prior experience of playing in New Zealand but felt the seniors would help the youngsters to overcome the problem.

"Like every cricketer, I also know that the weather conditions will be windy and harsh in New Zealand. Many players are making their first tour to New Zealand but seniors in the team who had been to New Zealand number of times -- like Sachin (Tendulkar), (Virender) Sehwag and others -- are there to guide us," he said.

Balaji said he has been bowling well since last year's Indian Premier League and he just wanted to keep doing the good job.

"Now I am hundred per cent fit and bowling well since the IPL tournament last April. I have worked harder than before during the last a year or more and have also increased the workload for optimum levels.

"Now my body has responded well to the calls and feeling pretty good. I believe in myself and I will surely give hundred per cent for good results," he said.
first published:February 17, 2009, 18:09 IST