New Delhi : Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan , who was called into the Gujarat Lions squad as a replacement for injured Dwayne Bravo for the remainder of the ongoing Indian Premier League season, has insisted that with four games remaining, his IPL team still hold an ‘outside chance’ to come closer to the title.
The Gujarat Lions are currently languishing down to the seventh spot, having clinched just three wins from 10 games they have played so far.
However, Pathan still remains hopeful that his team can come close to the IPL title by gaining maximum points from the remaining matches.
“We are still left with four matches. We have an ‘outside chance’ to come close to the title, if we win all the remaining matches and maintain a good run rate. We are completely focussing on our remaining matches,” Pathan said, in an exclusive conversation with ANI.
After spending almost three weeks watching IPL 10 at home, Pathan was thrown into the deep end straight away when he was asked to bowl in the final over by skipper Suresh Raina during the tied match against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
Pathan, however, showed his class and proved why he was once India’s premier all-rounder as not only did he defend 11 runs of the final six balls, but also managed to tie the game and take it to a Super Over.
Irfan admitted that although he was not doing much of bowling after going unsold during the IPL auction, he came out with a pretty good performance in his first game.
“My ball was getting a continuous swing in all matches I played before this season. And because of the swing, I was also getting good number of wickets. When I was ignored in the IPL auction, I got a small break from cricket. Although I was training, my bowling was less.
It obviously takes time to retain the rhythm when a bowler is not engaging in bowling as much as he should. The good thing is that I was ready for the challenge in the IPL match in Rajkot, despite not playing much of cricket before that. Had we won that match then the situation would have been entirely different,” Pathan said.
Irfan, however, was dropped for the side’s last IPL clash against the Rising Pune Supergiants at the expense of Pradeep Sangwan.
The Indian all-rounder said that he would try to work on his game and look to put his best foot forward in the remaining matches.
“Hopefully, I will try to improve on my game in upcoming four matches. I have worked a lot on my fitness…I think if you want to take wickets, then the bowling should be attacking. The mindset of a bowler should always be attacking. I think this is the best way to work,” he said.
Pathan also expressed his views on the upcoming Champions Trophy, beginning June 1 at England and Wales.
The 32-year-old expressed hope that defending champions India would repeat the kind of performance they displayed in the previous edition.
“I wish the Indian team for a good performance in the Champions Trophy. I hope whoever gets selected for the tournament performs well. It is good that the players are heading into the Champions Trophy after the IPL. I am sure they will be benefitted from this and would perform in the same way they did in the last edition,” Pathan concluded.