7 C
New York
Sunday, April 21, 2024

'The speedometer doesn't bother me'

NAGPUR: Irfan Pathan knows what it takes to be successful at the international level. He knows the importance of making opportunities count. The Sri Lankan tour was an opportunity for him to re-establish himself in the Indian one-day side.Once an integral part of the Indian Test and one-day set up, Irfan had lost his trademark swing and also his place. The swing is back now, and so is this all-rounder.He is surely making his presence felt. The Baroda all-rounder went as a replacement for the injured R Vinay Kumar and topped the wicket-takers’ list.He also played a couple of useful knocks. But he is hungry for more. “By God’s grace, it was a good series for me. The conditions were good for swing bowling. I needed to pitch the ball in the right areas. Thankfully, I did that more often than not. The team management, coach and captain supported me a lot; gave me confidence and I am happy to have delivered. It was a great team show; batsmen put runs on the board and the bowlers picked up wickets when the team needed them. Overall, it was a good start to the season. This victory will give us the confidence for the long season ahead,” Pathan told TOI on Wednesday.It’s not easy to be an all-rounder, especially in India, where people expect you to do the magic every time, but Irfan is unfazed. “Certainly, it’s not easy. You need to work harder at practice. You need to concentrate on both batting and bowling. Having said that, it gives you the opportunity to contribute to the team. I knew I could contribute with the bat, but it was important for me to deliver with the ball. The margin of error is always very little at the international level, so I just wanted to keep it simple,” said the 27-year-old.After a long lay-off, Irfan made a comeback in the national side during the one-day series against West Indies, but couldn’t hold on to his place. He hasn’t been given a long run. It was only against Sri Lanka that he played all five matches.”After making a comeback, I am not thinking too much. I am basically focusing on the present. There’s no point thinking too much about the future, it puts you under extra pressure. International cricket is not easy; your skills are tested in every match and if you take pressure that won’t help. After playing international cricket for nine years, I am now better prepared to deal with the pressure situation. If your process and preparations are right, you don’t have to worry about anything. However, it’s good that people have started expecting good things from me,” he said.Irfan said playing domestic cricket helped him get to get his rhythm back and has made him a different bowler. “I needed to be fit because I struggled due to lack of fitness. Once I achieved full fitness, I knew I could be as effective as anyone. Playing domestic cricket last season helped me in getting my rhythm back. The longer format allowed me to rectify the mistakes I was making. It was important for me to get my basics right and bowl longer spells in Ranji Trophy,” the left-armer said.Critics have pointed out at the drop in his pace, but Irfan is not too bothered about the numbers on the speedometer. “I feel the ball is coming out nicely out of my hand for the last 12 months or so. My strength has always been swing. I generally don’t look too much at the speedometer. I don’t want to single out anyone, but there are pacers who didn’t have tear away pace, yet they ended up picking more than 400 Test wickets. There were spinners who didn’t turn the ball too much, still they were successful. Everyone is unique in himself. I have taken close to 290 international wickets. If I try to do something which is not my strength, I may mess things up,” he said.Much like any other Indian cricketer, Irfan too wants to be a part of the Indian Test set up, but he is not thinking too much about it at the moment. “I don’t want to comment on selection issues. Yes, I want to play Test cricket and if I keep performing, it will happen again.”I have been lucky to have got so much support. The BCCI, support staff at NCA and Eric Simmons have been a great help.”However, TA Sekar has always been there for me. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and it wouldn’t have been possible without him,” he signed off.

Related Articles

Latest Articles