Indian Board President's XI v England, Vadodara, 3rd day February 25, 2006

'My job is to bowl, that's it' - Munaf



Munaf Patel attributes his success to his stint at the MRF Pace Foundation © AFP

Munaf Patel, star of the Indian Board President's XI eight-wicket win over England today, says that he wants to keep his role simple.

"My job is to bowl, that's it," he told reporters here. "Wickets will come, but I have to remain disciplined in whatever I do. It's nice to have done well here, yes, but I have to look ahead. Simple as that."

Munaf's spell of 5 for 32 was responsible for England's final-day capitulation. His match figures of 10 for 91, including a hostile 5 for 59 on the first day, sent a fine reminder to the Indian selectors. "It's the first time I've gotten ten wickets, which is a very good feeling," he said. "The most satisfying was (Andrew) Flintoff's wicket. It gave me great satisfaction."

Munaf was also keen to cite the guiding hand of Dennis Lillee, his coach at the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai. "Dennis Lillee has always told me to maintain a good line and length, and that's what I tried to do today," he said. "He also told me to work on my fitness, so that's what I've done as well. It's that which got me good wickets here. I value his advice a lot."

Questioned as to how significant his move from the Bombay team to Maharashtra has been, Munaf said his role remained the same, no matter where his loyalties lie. "The team still remains a team," he pointed out. "And the Ranji Trophy still remains the same competition. My role is to bowl. Yes, I have a good coach in Chandrakant Pandit and Darren Holder, but my role as a bowler is simply to take wickets."

Munaf, with 34 wickets this Ranji season, was overlooked for India's 15-man squad for the first Test against England, but vowed that we would continue to "work hard" and see where his efforts take him.

Jamie Alter is editorial assistant of Cricinfo