Irfan Pathan keen to make return to national squad count


Baroda: Irfan Pathan, making a comeback into the Indian team after two years, is eager to cash in on the opportunity given by the national selectors.

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Pathan was Monday named in the India squad for the remaining two One-Day Internationals against the West Indies on the back of having had a successful season so far in the ongoing Ranji Trophy where he is the leading wicket-taker with a tally of 21 in four matches. The Baroda all-rounder last played for India during the World Twenty20 in England in 2009.

“I am really happy to get back into the team. It is a great feeling. It has been a long wait for two years and god has fulfilled my dreams. Nothing comes better than playing for your country. If given the opportunity to play, I will try to do my best,” Pathan told reporters.

Pathan was dropped from the Indian team after his bowling form dipped. The ability to swing the ball both ways that made him a regular in the side suddenly disappeared. He had a frustrating domestic season in 2010 when he also suffered a severe back injury.

Pathan remembered the tough times in his career and said it made his return all the more worthwhile.

“It makes every second of the struggle worthwhile. You feel blessed when your hard work is rewarded.”

“The dream to play for the country has always been there. When it is fulfilled, you feel nothing gets better than this. Having all the luxuries in life – having a big car, big house – nothing comes close to this,” said Pathan. He was also in the running for Praveen Kumar’s replacement in the Test squad for Australia but lost out to Abhimanyu Mithun.

He would be looking forward to impress the selectors and get a berth in the ODI squad for the tri-nation series in Australia.

Pathan has taken 100 wickets in 29 Tests and and 152 scalps in 107 One-Day Internationals.