Keen to get back into the national side with consistent domestic performances, Baroda T20 skipper Irfan Pathan said he is doing all he can to keep his injury-ravaged body fit while waiting for a call-up from the selectors.
After a decent Ranji performance and good form in Vijay Hazare ODIs, Irfan continued his all-round showing in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 matches. The southpaw has managed 171 runs in eight games and bagged 15 scalps to be the leading wicket-taker in the tournament so far.
“Talking about my personal form, I thought to myself that I will not talk about my comeback and I maintained that throughout the season. Whoever plays first-class and domestic cricket, the aim is to play for India. For me, playing for the country is ultimate. I am no different and I want to do that as well, but I don’t want to talk too much about it.
“My job is to go out there and perform for whichever team I play for. Right now I am playing for Baroda. I wanted to take a five-wicket haul and I did that in my first T20 game and got a six-wicket haul in the Ranji Trophy as well. I wanted to score lots of runs and win matches. As a player I can make sure I keep performing and stay fit,” Irfan told BCCI.TV.
“Performing and learning is something that never stops.
Along the way, if that (India call-up) happens, well and good. I would be lying if I say I don’t think about it. I do think about it, but don’t want to talk much about it,” he added.
Having last played an ODI for India in August 2012, Irfan went out of favour only to struggle with form and fitness all this while. But now, the 31-year-old player is feeling confident as ever.
“I am very happy with the way I have gone about my business in all three formats of the game. There have been many positives for me. I have been taking the side till the very end with a S/R of close to 150 and then staying not-out. I have also taken wickets at crucial times.
“My fitness has been very good. When I played the Ranji Trophy this season, there were a few things happening and I don’t want to talk about it.
“But my fitness was pretty good and I was fit and available. I bowled 20-25 overs in each innings of the Ranji Trophy matches. That’s my fitness there. When you bowl 20-25 overs in an innings, you easily bowl about 40-45 overs in a match. I have been able to do that with my batting as well. I am really happy with my fitness and that has actually helped me play better cricket,” he said.