India's Pathan keen
to rediscover top form
bowling prospect Irfan Pathan believes his disappointing performance on the
recent tour of West Indies was just a minor setback and he is confident of
returning to his best form soon.
Expected to spearhead
a youthful pace attack, the 21-year-old left-armer emerged as one of the few
failures in India's first series victory in the Caribbean for 35 years.
Selected for only one
of the four matches, Pathan returned modest figures of two wickets for 93 in
the drawn second test at St Lucia as his team mates went on to capture the
series by a 1-0 margin.
don't go your way," Pathan said over the phone from his hometown Baroda.
"It's not just me, I
guess it happens to every cricketer over time."
Munaf Patel and
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth shared the new ball in the final-test victory while
Pathan was relegated to the reserves due to what coach Greg Chappell said
was a drop in the bowler's confidence.
Pathan had also
struggled in the five-match one-day series that preceded the tests, taking
just six wickets in four matches while conceding 179 runs as the hosts
stormed to a 4-1 victory.
"I was trying very
hard, the wickets were on the slower side," he added, mindful of the fact
that next year's World Cup is being held in the Caribbean.
"I'm not frustrated,
I'm looking forward to the new challenges," Pathan said.
The bowler does have
plenty of opportunities to rediscover his form ahead of the World Cup as
India's busy schedule continues next month with a tri-series involving South
Africa and Sri Lanka in Colombo.
then host the Champions Trophy from October 7 to November 5 before embarking
on a tour of South Africa in mid-November for three tests and five one-day
Pathan made an
immediate impact on the international scene following his impressive test
debut as a teenager during the drawn series in Australia in 2003-04, and he
was quick to build on that initial success.
Producing sharp, late
movement to trouble the right-handers, he grabbed 12 wickets on the historic
tour of Pakistan which followed, helping India claim their maiden test
series triumph across the border.
However, a side strain
forced him out of the final two games of the 2-1 home series defeat against
Australia in late 2004 and he then opted to swap express pace for swing on
the advise of Australian bowling great Dennis Lillee.
struggled to regain his form, managing just six wickets in the drawn home
test series against Pakistan, but he emerged as the hero in India's victory
in Zimbabwe last year with a record 21-wicket haul in the two-test series.
The win was India's
first test series triumph outside the sub-continent in 19 years.
Also a batsman with
natural flair, Pathan proceeded to make an impact as an all-rounder as India
won 17 out of 22 one-dayers against Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and
England before the West Indies brought them crashing back down to earth.
However, he does not
think extra pressure as batsman is compromising his bowling.
"I'm happy to do what
the team demands, though I'm primarily a bowler," Pathan said.
"As a bowler, I know
my limitations and strengths. I'm essentially a swing bowler. Pace, for me,
depends on the rhythm I'm in. Swing's my main weapon."
Pathan has also
discussed his bowling with the West Indian great Andy Roberts.
"He advised me on my
run-up," said Pathan, who has also sought advice from former Pakistan
captain Wasim Akram.
"Everyone has a
different point of view. You take what you think is best," he added.