If runs and wickets at the domestic level are the criteria for national selection, Abhishek Nayar should have played a lot more than just three One-Day Internationals. The 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season has seen him score seven fifties and three hundreds so far for Mumbai, a significant contribution in Mumbai’s march to the semifinals. With India scheduled to play four more Tests at home against Australia in February-March, Nayar's incredible run of scores and wickets ought to come up for discussion. In this chat with Wisden India, Nayar spoke about his routine, his mindset and what brings out the best in him, among other things. Excerpts:
Nine seasons of first-class cricket for Mumbai. How has your role within the team changed over the years?
When I started off in 2005, there were a lot of senior players like Nilesh Kulkarni, Amol Muzumdar and Paras Mhambrey, so for youngsters like me, firstly it was about making a place for ourselves in the team. I was dropped after just three games. I had to force my way back into the team next season, but since then, it has been good journey. When I returned to the Mumbai dressing room, I was determined not to go out of it anytime soon. That was my first goal. From there things just kept getting better. We went on to win the title that season (2006-07) and there has been no looking back.