I don~~t believe in giving excuses: Pathan

Published: Friday, May 6, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Vadodara:Irfan Pathan says he is concentrating on improving his rhythm through hard work-outs ahead of the coming season after his disappointing display against Pakistan at home recently.

The Baroda left-arm pace bowler, who was last year named as the International Cricket Council's Best Young Player of the Year, saw his form plummet in the Test and One-Day series against Pakistan, but says it is only a passing phase which affects every player in his career.

"It's my bad luck that I could not perform well against Pakistan. But such bad phase comes in the life of every player. This, however, has not disappointed me and I am continuing to work hard to improve my performance," Pathan told PTI in an exclusive interview here today.

Pathan, who captured 18 wickets in three Tests against Bangladesh in December last after taking three wickets in the preceding Eden Gardens Test against South Africa and then suffered a side strain, could not recapture the same form against India's arch-rivals later.

The highly talented youngster could manage modest returns of 6 wickets in the three-Test series against Pakistan.

He also failed to take a wicket in 8.2 overs while conceding 67 runs in the only ODI out of six that he played against Pakistan at Jamshedpur's Keenan Stadium.

"No one would have raised the question about my performance had I captured more wickets," said Pathan and vowed to recapture his form before the triangular series in Sri Lanka in July-August.

"I don't believe in giving reasons (for the below par wicket haul). I don't believe in giving excuses and have started to work hard," Pathan said. "I am concentrating on hard work-outs, training, on improving my rhythm and consistently keeping up my performance.

"It's just a matter of doing the good things consistently before the matches and playing to my potential. I am working very seriously on my bowling," the youngster said at his residence in Tandalja here.

Pathan, however, denied he had returned to big time cricket before his side strain injury, which he picked up in December last on the tour to Bangladesh, had healed completely.

"I came back to the team only after I was declared fit by the Indian team's trainer, physiotherapist and the Cricket Board-appointed doctor," he said.

Asked about the absence of the ball which he used to swing into the right-handers from outside the off which was his forte prior to his injury, Pathan expressed confidence that he will recapture this art.

"I bowl at 138-140 kmph. Rhythm is my strength and I am confident that I will be able to bowl the ball that comes in to the right handers," the 21-year-old emerging star said.

Pathan, who captured the attention of the nation on his maiden tour of Australia and then played a major part in the historic 2-1 Test series win over Pakistan in Pakistan, refused to be drawn into a discussion about the need for a separate bowling coach for the Indian squad.

"I cannot speak on the subject. It's for the Board to decide. It's the supreme body and whatever decision it takes is acceptable to the players," Pathan said when it was pointed out to him about the role played by former Australian left arm pace bowler Bruce Reid when the Indian team toured Australia in 2003-04.

Asked about how he was planning to prepare for the new season, Pathan said he had not yet decided how to go about it.

"I may go to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai (where he has trained before under Aussie pace legend Dennis Lillee). I will decide on it soon," he said.

Asked about his potential to become the all rounder needed at number seven by the Indian team, Pathan said that one needed to be versatile for doing so.

"I am definitely polishing up my batting too. I feel that the batting performance is linked to your bowling performance and if you bowl well, you will also bat well," he said.

"It's my desire to emerge as an all rounder and I am trying hard to fulfill that," he added.

Pathan denied that his commercial activities like endorsing products of various companies interfered with his cricket. "It has no bearing on my performance," he said firmly.

Pathan was signing autographs to a number of school children and answering questions even as he was talking to PTI at his residence and said he was keen not to disappoint children.

"I don't want to disappoint them as they are the future," he said.

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