Irfan Pathan eyes national comeback before Australian tour

Irfan Pathan has been out of international scene for more than two years following a spate of injuries and bad form Getty Images

Mumbai: Oct 29, 2011

Team India discard Irfan Pathan on Saturday said he is hopeful of a comeback in the national team before the tour of Australia later this year.

“I am hopeful of playing for the country, wherever it be.

If that happens in Australia, well and good. If the selectors give me opportunity there (Australia) or before, I will be on top of the world …. That is the dream that I am chasing now,” Pathan told PTI here at a promotional event.

The left-arm seamer has been out of international scene for more than two years following a spate of injuries and bad form. He last represented the country in an International T20 match against West Indies at Lord’s in June 2009.

“I am working hard to play for the country. Hopefully, before the T20 World Cup, or the Australian tour or before that (I should be back). It depends on the selectors. If my performance remains, then I should be back,” he said.

The seamer from Baroda is eager to prove his form before the selectors pick the team for the series in Australia.

“I am playing cricket now…I am very happy with my fitness. I am looking forward to play the Ranji trophy four- day matches. In the four-day match, your bowling improves as you get longer spells. I am just concentrating on playing for Baroda right now,” he said.

Asked about his all-rounder brother Yusuf Pathan, he said, “Nobody should lose hope, especially a talented player like Yusuf. He is capable of playing big innings and if there are one or two more innings like that, then he can make a comeback. I just pray that at least one of us makes a comeback in the Indian team.”

Pathan believes that chasing 350-plus scores will become common in the near future with the implementation of new ICC rules.

“(With) The new rules, especially two new balls in the game, I think in near future chasing 350 runs will be a common phenomenon. The ball will remain hard for a long time and when the ball remains hard for a long time it travels the distance.

In T20, teams chase 200 runs because the ball remains hard. So chasing 350 runs will be achievable. It is good for the game and good for the crowd.”

The new rule, in force since October 1, provides for use of two new balls from either end, replacing the mandatory ball change after 34 overs.

On the selectors’ tendency to include more pacers, Pathan said, “I cannot comment on that, but I can say being a good bowler is what matters and not the pace. There are few fast bowlers in the world who go for quite a few runs as well. You need to have some sort of talent to swing the ball, which is important.” (PTI)