Yusuf optimistic of comeback

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Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 12:08 [IST]
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Yusuf eyes comeback

Mumbai, Feb 21: India's Yusuf Pathan is optimistic of a comeback to the national side similar to his brother Irfan Pathan, who is currently playing in the tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and Australia.

"Obviously will try to play well (in the West Zone one day tournament commencing here on February 22). Irfan has come back after a long time and bowled well in last match and is doing well. When I start playing I will perform well. I have full confidence I will make a come back into the team," said Pathan, who was part of last year's victorious World Cup squad.

A powerful all-rounder, who was a part of the World Cup squad, has not played any ODI since the team's tour of West Indies in June 2011, while his last international appearance was against England in a T20 International at Kolkata in Oct 2011.

Disappointing performance against Windies at their backyard forced the selectors to drop Yusuf from the team as things worsened as he injured his knee while taking a diving catch of his brother Irfan's bowling in the Ranji trophy match against Haryana in November ensuring that he missed the rest of the tournament.

After undergoing training at National Cricket Academy, a fully fit Yusuf is brimming with confidence and urges to make a comeback to the national team soon.

"I am fully fit. I have worked hard at the NCA and the trainers have helped. Forget about the injuries. Ground pe hoon bahut hai (I am on the ground, that's enough)," he said after Baroda's practice session at the Wankhede Stadium ahead of their league match against Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare trophy on Wednesday.

Yusuf is desperately waiting for a chance to prove his worth and make a strong comeback.

"Obviously the domestic one-day cricket is always very important. I am playing in it after a long time and I am excited to play four matches," said Pathan

The all-rounder has so far appeared in 56 ODIs for the country since his debut in Dhaka against Pakistan in June 2008.

Though Pathan was unhappy about not being able to represent the nation, has said selection depends on what the team management and the selectors need, as far as the squad is concerned.

"It (selection) depends on the team's needs. The team management decides and selectors also decide on team combination. I have confidence of coming back into the team."

His aim of getting back to the national side might be on the right track as he has a lot of cricket tournaments coming up starting with the Vijay Hazare trophy. While India 'A' team is also touring, which will be followed by the T20 World Cup (in Sri Lanka), giving him ample time to make a comeback.

"It's difficult (to be out of the team). I was injured for a long time. When I had not been part of the Indian team I was able to learn a lot. In this 2-3 months, I learnt about fitness. (Baroda's) Sanath Kumar is a good coach and I have learnt from him also."

He further states that, there is no scope for improving the shots as he gets only 2-3 overs to bat, and 15-30 from those overs will definitely add to the team's score and are very important.

"I am not frustrated at all that I have only 12 balls or one over to bat and I have got out while trying to hit. These things happen. I am always positive, I always play for the team," he explained.


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