New Delhi, Dec 2: All-rounder Irfan Pathan claimed three five-wicket hauls in the ongoing Ranji Trophy for Baroda. Pathan said the hard work during the training sessions and match are paying off and would like to continue the good show if selected for Australia tour.
“I'm very positive and fit, both physically and mentally. Obviously bowling a lot of overs in the nets, as well as in the middle has helped me. There is nothing better than match practice, so it feels good to be doing well in the current season. Things have started well, and I have to now keep this going," Pathan told ESPNStar.
Praveen Kumar, who was injured and ruled out of the ongoing series against West Indies and the tour down under could be replaced by Irfan Pathan. The Board of Control for Cricket in India will name Praveen"s replacement on December 5.
“Whatever level of cricket a professional plays, there will be pressure. You can either face it or get bogged down by it. Even in Ranji Trophy, there is pressure to perform. I can't take my place for granted, just because I've played for India in the past."
“All I want to do is put in the performances like I have so far, on the way if the national call-up comes, I'd be delighted, else I'm just happy playing domestic cricket and doing well. I'm controlling whatever is in my hands," Pathan said.
Pathan is the leading wicket taker with 21 wickets in five innings in the Ranji Trophy with three consecutive five-wicket hauls. The left-arm pacer thanked his coached for his performance.
“I've worked a lot with TA Sekhar in Chennai, and he has been of immense help to me. I'd like to thank him as well as my Baroda coach. They've helped me fine tune my run-up and bowling. More importantly, the hard work I've put into my fitness and rehabilitation seems to be paying off now," he said.
“I didn't neglect my injury, was very positive and keen to comeback only when I am fully fit, which has helped me rediscover my form and rhythm," Pathan added.
Pathan said he is concentrating on playing for Baroda and not concerned about BCCI meeting on December 5.
"We play in domestic cricket and hope to play at the international level and that is my dream as well. Playing for India, if it happens, I will be the happiest. But I am only concentrating on playing for Baroda and not thinking of national selection," Irfan was quoted by India Today.
"I am bowling exactly the way I want. If I want to bowl a full ball, swing it, I am being able to. I am happy the way the ball is coming out of my hands," he said.