Kolkata:Despite not getting any favour from the selectors, Lakshmipathy Balaji has not lost hope and is still fighting hard to make his way back into the Indian team.
After shining for India in its historic 2003-04 tour to Pakistan, Balaji's career suffered a big setback following a fracture in 2005, ruling him out of cricket for three years.
With a never-say-die attitude, the Tamil Nadu pacer made a comeback to the competitive field in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008 that earned him a call for Sri Lanka ODI series in January 2009.
Later Balaji made a return to the New Zealand-bound Test squad, but he did not get into the playing eleven. He missed the plane to the West Indies as well but is not short of enthusiasm and hope.
"I want to come back. It is really a challenging and competitive task. I am looking forward to play for India again," Balaji, who played for Mohun Bagan in the CAB's P Sen Trophy one-day tournament, said.
"I was selected for the Sri Lanka and New Zealand series. I have it in me to go to the next level. The next couple of years will be going to matter a lot to me," he added.
The lanky pacer also said that Pakistan's triumph in the second edition of ICC World Twenty20 proved the sub-continent's dominance in the shortest format of the game.
"It's a great thing that our neighbouring country won the trophy and we should take some positive out of this. Asian countries are doing very well. It shows we cricketers from the sub-continent are doing very well. Definitely that makes a big impression," Balaji said.
"It was a team effort. They were going with a lot of issues, hit by terrorism over the last couple of months. They proved the cricket world, they could win any tournament," he added.