Munaf keen to make a comeback for England ODIs

Published: Friday, July 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:India sppedster Munaf Patel exuded confidence that he would be fit enough in time for the selection of the squad for the ODI series against England.

Munaf, who along with left arm pace bowler Irfan Pathan, is getting back into shape at his alma mater MRF Pace Foundation shared his thoughts with newspersons today

''I am confident that I will get fit first,'' he said adding the consultant coach Dennis Lillee, chief coach T A Sekhar and former India pacer and consultant coach at the Pace Foundation Javagal Srinath were putting him through his paces again.

Talking about injuries and fitness, Munaf said while these are common for any pace bowler, he has been following the regimen given to him by team physio John Gloster.

Munaf, who is determined to regain his form for England one-dayers said that he was progressing gradually to regain his rhythm and fitness and was close to bowling with his usual venom.

"Currently I am using 85 per cent of my run-up. Hopefully I will be able to use my full run-up soon," he said.

Patel, who has taken 26 wickets from 22 ODIs, was not unduly perturbed about the new pacers competing for berths in the national team. "The competition is always there. There will be pressure also. Whoever performs well under tough conditions will surely get picked to play for India.

''I don't want to look back,'' he said when asked about Gloster's observation that he was not fit. ''Gloster may feel bad even if I speak only the truth,'' he added.

Munaf said he had never been down with any serious injury. Even in Bangladesh he had suffered only muscle spasms.

Asked about the maximum speed at which he had bowled in a match, so far in his career, Munaf said ''I have never conciously checked how fast I bowl - 120 or 150 kph. I don't look at the speed gun. I don't ask anybody. Only the media makes a hue and cry about it,'' he said sarcastically. Sheer speed is not good fast bowling. I am now learning to bowl the right line and length with speed, he pointed out.

Munaf denied that he had given any interview to an English daily here in which he had contended that the BCCI had dropped him for the Ireland and England tours eventhough he was fit.

''I have not spoken to anybody like this,'' he said emphatically.

Asked about his well appreciated performance on the tour of West Indies prior to the World Cup, Munaf said the series win on that tour was an example of good team work. Not only the bowlers even the batsmen were outstanding. ''The performance level of the team was going up every match,'' he observed.

However, Munaf said he would not like to comment on the World Cup debacle but agreed that the team had the capability to win the Cup in future. ''But let's not think about the next World Cup. It's far away. There are many other big engagements before that. Let's concentrate on them,'' the Mumbai speedster said.


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