Champions Trophy 2013 May 5, 2013

'Want to be India's go-to bowler' - Irfan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Allrounder Irfan Pathan, who was picked in India's squad on Saturday for the Champions Trophy, has said he is keen on taking on more "responsibility" in the team. Irfan last played for India at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, before picking up a hamstring injury in the Ranji Trophy that kept him out of the home season. Irfan pointed out that he was in good touch in the last ODI series he played before the injury break, and so was confident of being named in the squad.

"A lot of people were talking about my 'comeback', but most people forget that my last ODI before I left due to an injury was a Man-of-the-Match performance. I had taken a five-for in India's victory against Sri Lanka in 2012," Irfan told the IPL site. "People have a very short memory about performances, but I was always confident that I would get into the ODI squad for India.

"Now I want to take up more and more responsibility. I want to bowl in a lot of tough situations and I want to make sure that I am the go-to bowler for the captain."

India had won that one-day series in Sri Lanka in July-August 4-1, and Irfan had by far the best record among the bowlers, with eight wickets at 26.37. Apart from part-timer Manoj Tiwary, none of the other India bowler managed an average below 39.

While he is looking forward to the helpful conditions in England, Irfan said he will not get carried away but focus on accuracy. "Any bowler would love to go and bowl in England were the wickets are friendly for the fast bowlers. But it is easier said than done. One has to make sure you 'bowl', rather than just releasing the ball from your hand.

"Bowling in the right areas is very important. If you bowl consistently in the right areas, more often than not wickets will come your way. No matter how good the bowler is, how quick the bowler is or how lethal he is with swing, bowling in the right areas is of prime concern. That will be my focus in the games to come."

Irfan is one of five pace bowlers in the squad, alongside Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vinay Kumar. That would mean a lot of competition among the seamers to make the XI, but he is not concerned about that at the moment Irfan said: "Frankly, I am not worried about it. I know it will depend on the team combinations at the end of the day. My mission is to do well in the tournament. I will start working towards it from the moment we land there in England. I want to make the most of whatever preparations we get there and be completely ready before ball one.

"I have worked really hard on my fitness and my game. I have tremendous self-belief that I am only going to get better from here. I feel the next few years are going to be my years in cricket."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    irfan pathan is one of the best all rounders in indian team, thats for sure, he is a must in the eleven. India best balance would be 1.dhwan2. kartik 3.kohli4.rohit sharma5.raina6.dhoni7.pathan8ashwin9.bhuvi10.ishant11.yadav

  • vinayak on May 11, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    I do think irfan would perform well in english conditions.Playing xi i would hope to see in the first match will be: 1.Murali Vijay 2.Shikhar Dhawan 3.Virat Kohli 4.Suresh Raina 5.M.S.Dhoni 6.Ravindra Jadeja 7.Irfan Pathan 8.Ravichandran Ashwin 9.Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 10.Umesh Yadav 11.Ishant Sharma

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    irfan is all rounders means if not bat then bowl and if not bowl then bat...i m looking forward his performance in champions trophy 2013

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I still remember that ball with which Irfan clean bowled Adam Gilchrist in Australia. Or that memorable first over against Pakistan when he took 3 wickets. The batting partnership with brother Yusuf, when in an unlikely situation, both of them together got India to victory against Sri Lanka. Hope Irfan finds his original touch back both with bat and ball.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Good to see u man..!! he is a player with confidence and can perform his best if not distrubed to concentrate on his bat..!! he can do both.. a fair decision by BCCI..

  • Rahul on May 7, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Irfan's selection is OK. Lack of options. But India need to think about the selection again. In bowling dept. not a single bowler can contain runs. Shami Ahmed was a good bet. He bowled good line and length consistently. All the others WILL prove expensive in the last 15 overs. Batting dept. Continued exclusion of Pujara from ODI squads is baffling. They should atleast try him. He's got good technique. He's not a boom boom player but I am sure can manage a healthy strike rate. His domestic record is better than the record of a few others.

  • Nirjhar on May 6, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    India's go to bowler in Champions trophy should be Amit Mishra.

    Yes, you heard me right. He is the only one who can get some middle order wickets after 1-2 by Bhuvnesh and maybe someone else....Once the ball is 20 overs old, Indian bowlers will get creamed in England as they all bowl length, are medium pace and have few variations.

    Mishra get them out!!!

    Good to hear passion from Irfan but will prefer if he reproduces his past bowling skill once again. Speed and swing have both reduced. His death bowling leaves a lot to be desired and he is short of wickets in the first spell as well atleast in this Pepsi IPL. Despite bowling a few maidens in IPL he leaks enough runs in other spells.

    I have not seen Irfan win a match with his bat since he won a T20 match in partnership with Yusuf a few years ago.

    Clearly a spent force. Will be glad to be proven wrong though!

  • Krishna on May 6, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    The only advantage Irfan has got over every other pacer is experience.In the absence of Zaheer,Irfan has to bowl a better line and length,even though he lacks pace he should be able to swing the ball both ways.His batting and fielding(especially outfield)abilities give him an edge over everyone else.Hope he capitalizes this oppertunity and lives up to the expectations of his fans.Good Luck Irfan we all want to see you rock.

  • Munafs on May 6, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    I think India will open with Irfan pathan and Bhuvi. In English overcast conditions if both manage to swing the ball with proper line and length....they can bother most teams . I Think in all probability Yadav /Ishant will bowl first change. India is likely to have two al rounder in Pathan and Jadeja in the team.

  • Anand on May 6, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Have seen such promises and hopes from Irfan plenty of times before, until he breaks down in a pressure situation.