Champions Trophy 2013 May 5, 2013

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

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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

  • Nampally on May 5, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Irfan Pathan, every Indian Cricket Fan wants to see the same Irfan when he first played for the Indian Test Team. That Irfan was a wicket taker & an excellent batsman with superb showing. The same Irfan was touted to be the "Next Kapil Dev" of India. Where is that guy gone? Bring back that passion, skill & intensity into the Indian team. India badly needs that Irfan!

  • Neeta on May 5, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Irfan should be there in the team as a bowling allrounder with Jadeja as a batting allrounder. Both of these guys can bat and bowl well. Jadeja performed well in the ODI's he played during the 2011 England tour. So my team will consist of 5 batsmen , 1 Wicketkeeper, 2 allrounders who can bat and bowl equally well along with 3 bowlers. Also we will come to know about the opening combination in the two warm up matches India will play against SL and Aus. But my first XI will based on present form will be: Dhawan, Karthick, Kohli, Rohit, Raina, MSD, Jadeja, I.Pathan, Ashwin, B.Kumar, U.Yadav/Ishant(whoever performs well in the warm-ups). Also if Vijay performs well he can get a look-in in place of Karthick. Pathan is a must because he gives you a allrounder who can hit the ball in the end and he will be a left arm bowler to give that variation. Ideally, I would have wanted Gambhir in place of Vijay and Yuvraj in place of Mishra and Praveen Kumar in place of Vinay Kumar. But Best of Luck!!!

  • 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

  • Vinnni 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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..

  • The_impartialobserver 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.

  • Fan1969 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!

  • kc69 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.

  • Nampally on May 5, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Irfan Pathan, every Indian Cricket Fan wants to see the same Irfan when he first played for the Indian Test Team. That Irfan was a wicket taker & an excellent batsman with superb showing. The same Irfan was touted to be the "Next Kapil Dev" of India. Where is that guy gone? Bring back that passion, skill & intensity into the Indian team. India badly needs that Irfan!

  • Neeta on May 5, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Irfan should be there in the team as a bowling allrounder with Jadeja as a batting allrounder. Both of these guys can bat and bowl well. Jadeja performed well in the ODI's he played during the 2011 England tour. So my team will consist of 5 batsmen , 1 Wicketkeeper, 2 allrounders who can bat and bowl equally well along with 3 bowlers. Also we will come to know about the opening combination in the two warm up matches India will play against SL and Aus. But my first XI will based on present form will be: Dhawan, Karthick, Kohli, Rohit, Raina, MSD, Jadeja, I.Pathan, Ashwin, B.Kumar, U.Yadav/Ishant(whoever performs well in the warm-ups). Also if Vijay performs well he can get a look-in in place of Karthick. Pathan is a must because he gives you a allrounder who can hit the ball in the end and he will be a left arm bowler to give that variation. Ideally, I would have wanted Gambhir in place of Vijay and Yuvraj in place of Mishra and Praveen Kumar in place of Vinay Kumar. But Best of Luck!!!

  • 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

  • Vinnni 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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..

  • The_impartialobserver 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.

  • Fan1969 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!

  • kc69 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.

  • Munafis810 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.

  • ThyrSaadam 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.

  • TrueFactors on May 6, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Irfan regularly bowls between 127-137km. Bhuvi has a same range. PK bowls slower than both of these swing bowlers. Ideally good swing bowlers are not super fast. They are more accurate and they surprise batsmen with pace. So, Irfan is not really slow, but he need to regain his techniques on how to shock batsmen and create doubts with his pace and swing to make himself unplayable. He is a great left-hand option. India has only two super-fast bowlers. Umesh and Ishant, who breaks 145km at will, but they lack a line-length and variation to win batsman's mind. Regarding Gauti and sehwag - Sehwag are completely out of hand-eye coordination. He was great, but this is an issue. Gauti still has same dab flaws that has been exploited by bowlers . He has to control his shots, aggression and make best out of his limits. Yuvi exclusion and Rohit inclusion is a huge loss and that is based on IPL. Yuvi has been a back of middle order bat and middle-over bowling and he will be missed dearly.

  • THEBOSS on May 6, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    I am not sure whether Irfan will get a nod in the playing XI. Going by the recent form Bhuvi,Umesh and Ishant will be a automatic choice in the playing XI. He cant be slotted in as allrounder as well as SIR has occupied that position and also bhuvi is not mug with a bat.

    My Playing XI for champions trophy will be : Dhawan,Karthick,Kohli,Rohit,Raina,Dhoni,Jadeja,Ashwin,Bhuvi,Umesh and Ishant..

    All the very best Team India ...

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Although Irfan has lost that "banana" swing he used to have, his attitude stands out. Lets see what he can do in bowler friendly environment. Maybe he might produce something extra-ordinary. Most of all we want the old Irfan back (remember when him and Balaji operated together vs Pakistan)

  • hotcric01 on May 6, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Irfan is a good selection.But India have lost their explosive,watchful openers Shewag and Gautam this time that is a big disadvantage.That leaves india with two inexperienced openers(two of dhawan,vijay,karthik).Although Karthik is experienced,he hasn't played an ODI for a long time.Vijay is the weakest link in the squad,who is a flat track bully,an inconsistent batsman and a pathetic fielder.I think SA and WI have a good chance to make it to the semis.

  • Publickakaptan on May 6, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Only four player have survived from World Cup Team of 2011 to play Champions Trophy.Dhoni,Raina,Kohli and Ashwin are surviving members.

  • on May 6, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    The best in the selection of the Indian is that of Irfan Pathan.all along he had been a good performer .he is not only a good fast bowler but a good batsman as well. He could hit 4s& 6s at his will choosing the ball.After keeping himself away from ODI due to injury for some time he was not considered even after getting himself fit.

    His brother Yusuf also is a good batsman in terms of hitting Sixes.but not as much consistent as Irfan. Irfan Pathan is likely to be a sure performer in England to help Dhoni& Co to come out in flying colors in this Champion Trophy .

    Of course Dhoni& Raina would look after the batting task in the absence of Yuvaraj Singh MSN

  • crkt4evr on May 6, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    with u r pace i hope india wont plunge to that level

  • on May 6, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    The Indian Team selection is fair .But not perfect.First of all,although I am not fully aware of the criterion adopted ,selecting a National Team based on IPL performance is certainly incorrect. The reasons for this are as under. 1)IPL is a highly limited over game.11 players get just 20 overs to play.Boilers get just 4 overs maximum to bowl. 2) Champions Trophy, though a short version tournament,it has one & a half times more overs to play 3)a bowler can get maximum 10 overs to bowl. 4)IPL does not get time for a batsman or bowler to plan well how to perform. 5) it is a matter of life & Death.

    In a game of above nature ,the overall capability based on performance for a considerable time & the technique a batsman or bowler adopts should be the criterion to select

    This being so non- inclusion of YUVRAJ SINGH,GAUTAM GAMBHIR,CHETESWAR POOJARA& VEERENDER SEHWAG does not seems to be justified.

    They should have been included .They have calibre in them for yet another 3 years MSN

  • on May 6, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    he wants to be india's go to bowler? Really?...even some spinners bowl faster than him...it's truly amazing that with such less-than-military-medium bowling speed he's back in the indian team

  • on May 6, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Instead of making these statement, he should let his performance speak. He made his debut some 10 years back with lots of promise and was deemed an allrounder prospect after Kapil. Ten years down the line, we all know where he stands, constantly marred by injuries, poor form, change of action, losing his pace, and now he is 28, and he is not going to grow any younger. I wonder whether he will be in the playing XI at all. Still people like him because he is pleasing and conducts himself well.

  • pulkit10 on May 6, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Still not convinced. He can tout his match winning contributions against Sri Lanka all he wants but the fact is that he is just an average medium pacer - something that's some sort of a norm in India. He doesn't have the pace and that kills the swing he generates because batsmen have ample time to adjust to it. Furthermore, he actually isn't all that accurate either. Too often, he bowls erratically during the death overs and gets hammered. I'd call him accurate if he could consistently put the ball either right outside of the off stump or bowl yorkers. He has trouble with both and hence, I'm not convinced about his selection.

    I wish him the best though but he definitely needs to step the pace up. And that's not an unrealistic expectation from a still young all-rounder.

  • Narbavi on May 6, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    @Alexk400: Ya that's why he is the first and the only guy to pick a hattrick of the first 3 balls of a test match, be jealous, at the end of the day nobody cares!!

  • on May 5, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    One of the best swing bowlers india has ever produced..irfan pathan..I wish he comes back to indian team strongly and he became leading bowler of india.

  • timohyj on May 5, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Irfan swings the new ball well, but the ball comes so slowly that the batsman usually has plenty of time to adjust. His balls just seem to float to the batsmen. And once the shine wears off he is a completely innocuos bowler. Praveen kumar or Shami Ahmed would have been a much better choice.

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 5, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    @xylo: Watch what you say hotshot, Irfan doesn't need reckless pace. He swings it beautifully and that's exactly what is required in English conditions. I am sure he will have a wonderful Champions Trophy. Good luck Irfan and make INDIA proud !!

  • Teetotalers on May 5, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Thinking of it, Irfan is a good selection. With the next world cup down under, India can play only one spinner in most of the games. It is good to have Irfan in the team as the bowling all-rounder (instead of Jadeja). Till India finds a seamer who can bat decently, Irfan has to be the first choice.

  • Alexk400 on May 5, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    This guy is worst bowler and he brings shame to ALL Rounders ever existed. :)

  • anshumankha on May 5, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    we dont have a short memory buddy but we are also eagerly waiting for your return after injury.. the only wicket taking bowler who can bang SIXES also..

  • xylo on May 5, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    At his pace, he might become the next Anil Kumble, India's go-to bowler for a long time!

  • VickGower on May 5, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    How delusional. Dude, bowling in the 120s as you do, your success is utterly hostage to the first few minutes of a match. You will be found out just as soon as you depart from a format in which batsmen are suicidal. Even in this format you represent the second worst team. You did nothing with bat, and were passable with the ball. How you wasted all your talent. If we are to be honest Praveen Kumar should have been picked instead of you.

  • on May 5, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    my team will be Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, , Ravindra Jadeja,MS Dhoni , R Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma

  • on May 5, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    does this guy even qualifies as a decent bowler

  • on May 5, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    The positive attitude of taking more responsibility will augur well for him. I am sure this will do good for India. Besides if he graduates to be the main frontline bowler and with some improvement in his batting, India will have a major force in the cricket world. Cheers and good luck

  • dirick on May 5, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    He made such statements like I wanna be the go to bowler for the last 7 years. He seems to be living rejoicing his past when he says, I was the man of the match. This guy is just an average player no matter who says what ! One might say Chappel was responsible for his diminishing bowling form etc etc but comeon, digest the fact that he is an average player, thats about it. Good luck to him in Champions trophy and hope he comes good for India this time. @Irfan: Stop living in the past and make the ball talk.

  • on May 5, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    you did good job in IPL....hopefully you will do same in champion trophy. all the best Irfan,

  • nagc on May 5, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Talking time is over Irfan, now go & perform and make your fans and believer proud who kept there trust in you till now................

  • RajeshNaik on May 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    A pro Irfan article? Hmm...

  • on May 5, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    If India has to win the champions trophy and further tournaments , this is the trio pace swing attack that will lead them to sucess.... 1)Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 2)Irfan Pathan 3)Praveen Kumar... And these three can even bat well......

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on May 5, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Am sure he will make it to the playing XI, as he is the only Left Hand Bowler. With Bhuvi swinging from one side, it would be great to see Irfan swinging exactly the opp.side...the other options are Yadav, Sharma

  • on May 5, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I just love to see Irfan getting to field and make some handful Contribution to Team India. I just love the way handles the situation....

  • NANO154 on May 5, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Gr8, Best Pick(Irfan) by BCCI. He looks good in IPL.

  • pavankumark on May 5, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    All the very Best Irfan. I always know if you are at your best then no body can stop You. Keep producing your big in-swingers/out-swingers and rule the world !

  • on May 5, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Good to see you back in the team.. You are still one of the best swing bowlers and all rounders in the country.. If your pace could increase by abt 5kmh, you will be very lethal.. Good luck.. :)

  • indianpunter on May 5, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The talk is done, now walk the talk, mate. Good luck!

  • indianpunter on May 5, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The talk is done, now walk the talk, mate. Good luck!

  • on May 5, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Good to see you back in the team.. You are still one of the best swing bowlers and all rounders in the country.. If your pace could increase by abt 5kmh, you will be very lethal.. Good luck.. :)

  • pavankumark on May 5, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    All the very Best Irfan. I always know if you are at your best then no body can stop You. Keep producing your big in-swingers/out-swingers and rule the world !

  • NANO154 on May 5, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Gr8, Best Pick(Irfan) by BCCI. He looks good in IPL.

  • on May 5, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I just love to see Irfan getting to field and make some handful Contribution to Team India. I just love the way handles the situation....

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on May 5, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Am sure he will make it to the playing XI, as he is the only Left Hand Bowler. With Bhuvi swinging from one side, it would be great to see Irfan swinging exactly the opp.side...the other options are Yadav, Sharma

  • on May 5, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    If India has to win the champions trophy and further tournaments , this is the trio pace swing attack that will lead them to sucess.... 1)Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 2)Irfan Pathan 3)Praveen Kumar... And these three can even bat well......

  • RajeshNaik on May 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    A pro Irfan article? Hmm...

  • nagc on May 5, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Talking time is over Irfan, now go & perform and make your fans and believer proud who kept there trust in you till now................

  • on May 5, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    you did good job in IPL....hopefully you will do same in champion trophy. all the best Irfan,