It is never easy for a cricketer to sit out, when his team needs him the most. And perhaps, it becomes more difficult to miss the action, when the side seems to be back on track. It was natural that emotions would run high for Irfan Pathan on Sunday morning as he watched M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara decimate the Aussie attack.
Pathan had injured his knee last year and missed out on playing most of the Ranji matches as well as the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-dayers. But he says he's now fit and raring to go. He has spent some time at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) which, he believes, has speeded up the recovery process.
It was an unfortunate injury, as it happened when everything was going fine. I was trying to make a comeback in Tests, but injured my knee. Such things are beyond your control, but now I am fit and feeling very good,” said Pathan, who was in the city to launch Sunandan Lele's book on Indo-Pak cricket: Samajh-Gairsamajh.
“After a week, I will be going back to Bangalore, and this time I won't come back without the fitness certificate. So, a few more days and then I will be available to play for Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy T20.”
Does he see himself have a change of role in the Indian team?
“I want to play wherever my team requires me to — in terms of bowling in all the powerplays, bowling at the death, wherever. I want to be a responsible bowler. I've started working on that already. I started with a short run-up, but now I am bowling with my full run-up,” he said.
MS Dhoni has said that he wants Irfan to be among the 2015 World Cup probables. “Something like this from a captain always gives you confidence. At the same time, it doesn't mean you need to relax and not work on it,” he said.
Asked about India's chances against Australia in the on-going Tests, Pathan said, “India are a far better team than Australia. I am pretty sure that it would be a 3-0 or 4-0 for us,” he concluded.