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Irfan Pathan hopeful of a national team comeback

Pathan is optimistic about a national team comeback as a 36-year-old Ashish Nehra got called for the upcoming T20 series in Australia.

Pathan has done everything right this domestic season as far as the shorter formats are concerned.

The inclusion of the 36-year-old Ashish Nehra in the Indian team for the upcoming Twenty20 series in Australia has been instrumental in uplifting the hopes of many other cricketers who have been out of the national team for some time now.

Nehra couldn’t make it to the Delhi team in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy owing to a bad habit. However, his entry to the national team has raised the hopes of a fellow pace bowler and former national team colleague, Irfan Pathan. The younger of the Pathan brothers, Irfan is the highest wicket-taker in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy- the domestic T20 tournament- with 16 dismissals to his name.

Pathan last donned Indian colours back in 2012 in a series against South Africa. With an economy rate of 6.85, the left arm pacer also has a strike rate of 154 with the bat. Claiming himself to be one of the available options for the national selectors in the upcoming World T20, Pathan says that he has a lot to offer to the team.

The 31-year-old, in an interview, said, “My job is to play cricket and taking wickets is what keeps me motivated. I am happy with the way I am bowling now and I have regained my confidence.

“In my last match I caught Sanju Samson in front (LBW) – this only happens if I am bowling well. I am happy that my hard work is reflecting in my performance. But I think I have still a lot to offer. If Ashish Nehra can make a comeback at the age of 36, I am only 31.”

Talking about his improved bowling, the left arm bowler said, “I have been in touch with TA Saker Sir. Bowling is not something like batting where you take a little break and come back.

“For a bowler, you need to consistently work on your rhythm. I have bowled 25 overs in an innings in most of the First Class matches this season. Normally I bowl six overs with the new ball, sometimes more. I have bowled nine or ten overs spell in the third or fourth spell too.

“What is satisfying is the fact that even if I am bowling at a later stage, I still have the rhythm and zip and that his helping me to get the wickets.”

Pathan, optimistic about the selection methods of the national team now said, “I don’t want to talk about my comeback. But it is everyone’s dream to play for the country. The good thing is the fact that senior players are being given a chance and we, as players, have to keep performing, stay fit and hope to get picked.”

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