Five-and-a-half years after last playing for India, Abhinav Mukund is back in the national set-up after being drafted into the 16-man squad for the one-off Test match against Bangladesh.
In his time out of the Indian Test team, the left-handed opener continued to churn out runs for Tamil Nadu on a consistent basis, but wasn't able to force his way back into national reckoning. Due to a spate of injuries recently, India's ongoing home season has seen M Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir occupying the opening slots at different times. However, the failure of the latter two to make their opportunities count seems to have resulted in Abhinav getting a look-in.
The 27-year-old credited chairman of selectors MSK Prasad for taking the effort of letting him know where he stands in the scheme of things during the recently concluded Ranji season. "MSK had a conversation with me during the Ranji Trophy. He told me that I was on their radar. That is about as much as any selector will tell you. I will have to give credit to him because I don't think any national selector has spoken to me before. This selection committee has actually told me that they are keeping a close watch on my performances. I have been working hard and continuing to do the best I can," Abhinav said.
The Tamil Nadu opener can be pleased that the national selectors are not turning a blind eye towards his performances at the domestic level. Apart from scoring 849 runs this Ranji season, Abhinav also impressed when he scored 77 and 169 against the pink ball in the Duleep Trophy at the start of the season.
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