Pathan~~s first love is towards the red cherry

Published: Friday, June 11, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Fresh from his superlative performance during the historic Pakistan tour which launched him to fame, speedster Irfan Pathan on Friday said his first love would be towards further improving bowling.

"The Pakistan tour has enhanced my confidence level to great heights and I am looking forward to coming Sri Lankan tour eagerly," said Pathan, who is under training in the cricket camp for pace bowlers in Bangalore.

Striking a confident note, he said the comments that he was too young and achieved success at an early age and encomiums the media heaped on him after he played a stellar role in India's historic series win against Pakistan has not gone into his mind.

Dismissing that the "windfall" to play international cricket came to him quickly, Pathan said he waited for more than one and half years after representing the country at the junior level.

"It did not come so quickly," he said.

Responding to another query on whether he had any plans to improve his batting skills, he said, "currently I am working on my bowling. I have to concentrate on bowling. Batting will automatically come".

Asked to narrate his experience on Pakistan tour that he undertook earlier to play in Under-19 side, and what difference that visit and the recent tour made, he said, "it made a lot of difference".

"Playing in international cricket is certainly a different experience. In junior cricket, you can get away with bat and ball. But in international cricket, you can't do that," he added.

Moments of nostalgia gripped Pathan when he was asked to share his experience in the series against Pakistan.

Pathan said he played well in that series and added, "I can't forget my first Test". It is a turning point in my cricket career".

Trainer Gregory Allen King has been doing a good job in shaping the fitness of players, he said.

Pathan said he was at loss of words to explain his ecstasy over being part of the team that carried the Olympic flame at New Delhi on Thursday.

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