I want to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ‘go-to bowler’ throughout the Champions Trophy, says Irfan Pathan

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Pathan is unconcerned about the increase in competition amongst the pace bowlers

India pace bowler Irfan Pathan has announced his intentions to become captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s “go-to bowler” throughout the Champions Trophy in England next month.

Pathan, who last represented India during the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last September, is keen on taking on more “responsibility” and was in good form before sustaining a hamstring injury in the Ranji Trophy.

However, due to his excellent form prior to his injury, Pathan was confident about being included in India’s Champions Trophy 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,” Pathan said. “I had taken a five-for in India’s victory against Sri Lanka in 2012.

“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.”

While Pathan is looking forward to the help he will get from the England conditions, he vowed not to get carried away and focus on his accuracy in preparation for the tournament.

“Any bowler would love to go and bowl in England were the wickets are friendly for the fast bowlers,” he said. “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.”

However, Pathan is one of five pace bowlers in the Indian side, along with Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vinay Kumar, which means that there is a huge increase in competition, but, Pathan stated that he was not concerned about the other fast bowlers and remains confident that Dhoni will pick the best “team combinations at the end of the day”.

“Frankly, I am not worried about it,” Pathan said. “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.”

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