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By Kushan Sarkar
New Delhi: Apr 9, 2014
It will be a tall order to claw his way back into the Indian side in limited-overs cricket but Irfan Pathan will be aiming to make full use of the chances he will get while representing Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In his bit to get back that elusive seamer all-rounder’s slot, Irfan is expecting that Sunrisers’ think-tank will make him bat up the order.
“Obviously, the aim is to play the 2015 World Cup. But there will be lot of matches before that and it is the ultimate goal to win my place in national side back. I hope with VVS Laxman‘s guidance, it will be a good journey for Sunrisers Hyderabad. One of my expectation is to get a chance to bat higher up the order,” Irfan said.
The 29-year-old swing bowler has played 29 Tests, 120 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 24 T20 Internationals (T20Is) for India in the last 10 years in which he has had his fair share of injuries.
“There was a point of time when I did not listen to rigours and demands of my body. I would want to train hard and do everything at one go. I paid the price for that. After so many injury setbacks, I have started to value my recover sessions even more,” Irfan, who has had decent returns from five List A and four domestic T20 matches, said.
“Courtesy NCA physio Ashish Kaushik, I have learnt to seggregate my training sessions. If I am feeling tired after a bowling session, Ashish would tell me not to worry and return for a batting session the next day. Earlier, I would be doing something or the other at the training not anymore though,” the talented all-rounder said.
Irfan made it clear that hitting the straps with the right kind of rhythm will be his priority rather trying to attain express pace.
“In my bid to attain a 145 plus speed, I can’t afford to lose my ability to swing the ball. I believe that I was gifted with the ability to swing the ball and that will always remain my priority. The rhythm comes with playing more matches,” he said.
“If one looks at my career graph, whenever I have had a few matches under my belt, I have got that swing going in my favour along with decent pace. If one only strives for pace, you might end up losing the natural swing.
“I have observed that very few people can swing the ball at 145 kmph. At the international level, only Brett Lee has done that while some of the others have got a bit of reverse swing going their way.”
Irfan also has not gone back to any coach as he has not changed anything technically in his delivery stride, action or follow through.
“I speak a lot to my brother (Yusuf Pathan) and some of my cricketer friends. These are people whose observation I trust. I believe too much of coaching at times can also lead to a lot of confusion which is not at all necessary at this level,” the seasoned pro stated.
Irfan would ideally like to translate his decent showing in the domestic circuit into good performances at the IPL which does grab a lot of eyeballs.
“My form in Vijay Hazare Trophy and the zonal matches of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has been quite good. But IPL is a very big event of international standard. It is an ideal platform to stage a comeback. A good performance against the top players in world cricket would certainly act as a confidence booster,” Irfan concluded.
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