Interview: 'The only way I go from here is up' - Irfan Pathan

His last appearance for India was in October 2012, the team's last match of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Colombo. He didn't get to bat, and then took 1/26 in three overs as India beat South Africa by one run. His last international wicket was Jacques Kallis, in what proved his final T20I as well, who mistimed a full ball to short midwicket. That was the last time Irfan Pathan jumped in the air and pumped his fists in an India jersey, a celebration that at one point in time was almost as endearing as the scissor swing he generated as a young left-arm pace bowler. A celebration that promised to be repeated far more than it actually did at the international level.

Irfan, now 33, feels as fit as he's ever been after two successful and injury-free seasons of domestic cricket. He spoke to TOI Sports ahead of the IPL season, one in which he hopes to make a big impact.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy you were the leading wicket-taker with 17 but crucially you scored 200 runs at a strike-rate of just under 153. Have you focused on that aspect - to add more value as a power hitter?

I'm definitely very confident. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is the biggest domestic T20 tournament and to be the highest wicket-taker in it was very special, but the batting form I had was really good and that gives me added confidence. I've been working hard on that for the last two years, to be able to offer my teams more as a batsman in the lower order. Bowling has always been my forte but big hitting in terms of going out there and smacking it from the first ball, that has improved. I'm definitely looking to carry that into the IPL.

Source TOI

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