Danish Kaneria was surprised and relieved after being included in Pakistan's 15-man World Cup squad but ultimately confident that he could repay the late faith selectors have invested in him.
Kaneria, who last played an ODI for Pakistan against a major opponent in December 2005, was Pakistan's only real shock selection for the squad. "I am very relieved to be honest and very happy," he told Cricinfo. "It is everyone's dream to play the World Cup and I was desperate to be involved. I will only celebrate though if I can help bring back the trophy from the West Indies."
Kaneria's position in the ODI side has been vociferously debated in Pakistan. Ex-players such as Abdul Qadir, Imran Khan and Rashid Latif have backed his inclusion in the ODI side repeatedly. The arguments have apparently fallen on deaf ears though, as under Inzamam-ul-Haq and Bob Woolmer, Kaneria has managed only seven of his 16 ODIs and hasn't been part of ODI squads in England, the Champions Trophy and series against West Indies and now South Africa.
Inzamam only recently came round to thinking of Kaneria as an option, when during the injury-ravaged tour to South Africa, he admitted to a Pakistan TV channel, that Kaneria was in his mix now.
"I was a little surprised by it I guess," Kaneria admitted. "But I have always maintained the hope that I would be selected sooner or later. I said after coming back from South Africa that I was disappointed but was also determined to get back in the side."
Having never been a regular part of Pakistan's ODI teams, questions are likely to be asked about how well he can adjust to the demands of a format he has so little experience of. But Kaneria, naturally, remains confident.
"Tests and ODIs are a different ball game and involve different roles at various stages of the game. But I have experience of limited overs cricket with Essex and Karachi in domestic cricket. I did pretty well in the Twenty20 at home recently as well. Leggies have been successful in this format, especially for Pakistan, in the past and ultimately I will play whatever role the captain asks me to."
What has no doubt helped is the work he has put in with his batting and fielding, two skills many thought had held him back. The team management has acknowledged recently that Kaneria's fielding, though still not up to the mark, is nevertheless vastly improved.
"I have worked very hard on my fielding and batting recently but generally I have been working hard on them anyway. Now that I am in the squad, I want to continue to do that."