Irfan Pathan looks for ‘comeback’ into Indian team

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Irfan Pathan looks for ‘comeback’ into Indian team

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SportsCafe Desk

11/07/2016

Irfan Pathan has revealed that he is still optimistic of a return to the Indian national team and believed that he should not be written off after a few injuries. Not ruling out his India comeback chances, the former India speedster said that age is just a number for him.

In the early 2000s, when India was striving for a proper pace-bowling all-rounder to fill the bill, prodigious teenager Irfan Pathan had burst onto the scene and mesmerised the Indian fans though his accurate swing. He doubled up as a more than capable batsman to steer the team from bad positions to safety, more often than not. However, it was the injury concerns that proved detrimental to his career forcing him to spend more time in the rehab process than at the nets.

Despite all that, Irfan is still content with life. In an exclusive chat with The Hindu, he said, “I am at that stage of my journey when I want to enjoy my cricket. I want to give more to the game, pass on my knowledge to the younger bunch. I want to play with the sort of freedom that only comes when you don’t put pressure on yourself.”

Suffering from a bout of viral fever, Irfan had to miss the Baroda’s Ranji Trophy encounter against Tamil Nadu.  But, he said that he is doing more training than before to keep himself fit. 

“Previously I used to do weights. Now I am into hard running. I run two km at a stretch and time those runs. I feel much lighter, and I feel good about myself,” said the former India all-rounder.

He added, “I am in regular touch with Sekar sir. We have been working on loading up the ball close to the body. This way I will be able to swing the ball more from a smoother release.” 

Citing the examples of Australian pace bowlers, Irfan said that no pacer should be written off after some injuries.

“Injuries happen, particularly when you are a paceman. But you need to be looked after well and with sensitiveness. You should not be written off. Look at Australia. Their pacemen keep getting injured but they keep coming back.”

Speaking about his comeback chances to the Indian team, Irfan said that he hasn’t given up on his dream. “Age is only a number”.

Speaking about the learning that he has from the game, the 31-year Baroda all-rounder said, “Cricket has taught me so many things. I travelled around the world, saw different cultures and learnt to speak English which enabled me to communicate better. Above all, the game taught me to take different emotions in my stride. One has to stay grounded.”

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