Irfan Pathan : It is great to see players being backed

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Irfan Pathan : It is great to see players being backed

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SportsCafe Desk

09/29/2017

Irfan Pathan has commended Virat Kohli for backing not just Hardik Pandya but all the youngsters in the team and helping them gain experience early in their careers. Pathan also sounded optimistic about the 2018 Ranji Trophy adding that he hopes to do everything he can for his team

Irfan Pathan is delighted to see that Kohli is helping the young players realize their potential and is backing them in all when they want to experiment. Especially, Hardik Pandya, who started playing for India just last year, has been doing wonders for the team and has been receiving full support from Kohli and the team management. 

"It is great to see players being backed. Sometimes, you always wonder, players, who were not backed enough and could have otherwise had a longer career," 32-year-old Pathan told PTI during an interaction.

"For any player's rise, not just Hardik's, the backing of captain plays a huge role. Kedar (Jadhav) for example was doing fantastically well in domestic cricket for so many years but he got the backing only under Virat.

"Virat is backing all the youngsters, not only one or two. If you have the backing of captain and team management, the player will perform eventually. Rohit (Sharma) got the backing of Mahi bhai (Dhoni) consistently and now look at him, he is now one of the best batsmen in the world."

Pandya has been under the spotlight of the field as well with some experts, along with the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, stating that Pandya could be the "next Kapil Dev". Pathan, who has seen Pandya since his initial days, said that it is not right to compare to Kapil and pile on the pressure on the youngster. 

"I think he will be the first Hardik Pandya! Let's not compare him with anyone. Let's give him some time. Let's not push too much pressure on him. Let him play freely because that way growth is bound to happen," said Pathan.

Pathan, who has been a part of the Baroda team since 2000, stated that he was excited about the new Ranji Trophy season that is scheduled to begin next week.

"This is a very important season for me. I want to give my all. At the same time, the focus is on doing well for Baroda and take the team forward. That's my aim," he said.

In the last Ranji season, Pathan captained Baroda but could only manage to win two out of eight games. Even his own performances weren't great as he averaged just 22.44 with the bat and picked 11 wickets in six games at an unimpressive average of 41.54. However, Pathan said that he was confident in the team and his own abilities and was a much better frame of mind this year.

"I am in a much better space than last year. The pre- season training has been satisfying and I don't remember the last time I felt fitter. Baroda trainer took my YoYo test recently and I scored 16, which is pretty satisfying," Pathan explained.

Baroda haven't qualified for the Ranji knock-outs since 2012-13 so when the southpaw was asked if he could make a comeback to the national team, he replied, "Because everytime you think too far ahead (of playing for India again), that is where the problem lies. If you stay in the present, other things take care of themselves. Your own expectations sometimes put you down. If something is going to happen in the future, it will happen no matter what.

"I am really happy with the way things are going, fitness wise as well as bowling and batting wise. I have also put a lot of effort on my fielding while preparing for the coming season. Most importantly, my mindset is very very clear. I want to do well for Baroda and other things will follow."

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