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Injury before season starts

The Board recalls Irfan Pathan after pacer Vinay Kumar is ruled out with a hamstring injury. Khurram Habib reports. New beginning, new goals

cricket Updated: Jul 14, 2012 01:11 IST
Khurram Habib

India would want to forget their injury-plagued last season, but Vinay Kumar’s sudden breakdown doesn’t augur well as the team assembles in Chennai for the Sri Lanka series, which starts from July 21.

Irfan Pathan, whose name was missing from the initial squad for the series, was included in the 15-member squad on Friday.

For him, it has been a roller-coaster ride. At a time when it seemed he was becoming a regular in the limited-overs squad, after his recall late last year, came the latest disappointment. However, as the India team was assembling for a preparatory camp in Chennai, luck smiled on him when Vinay Kumar was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Promising pacer Varun Aaron is already out with a back problem.

Insecure?

But does being the second choice make him insecure? “Well, all I can say is that it is important for me to build on this opportunity. I want to make a mark and stay in there,” he said.

Although, he’s taken wickets (13 wickets and 100 runs in eight ODIs since December 2011), there has not been a match-winning performance to help him become a first-choice candidate.

“I am happy with what I’ve done. No doubt as a bowler, I’d want to bowl well in challenging situations, with the new ball and also in the death overs and win matches for India. But at the moment, I am looking at this as an opportunity. So I’ll have to do whatever I am assigned by my skipper.” Virender Sehwag, his skipper at the Delhi Daredevils, had assigned a different role for him — bowling in the middle overs.

“I think I have been doing that satisfactorily. During the IPL, the emphasis was on keeping the runs in check, bowl in the middle overs, and I think I did fine. Often, I batted lower down just to up the run rate. I couldn’t get many runs but the situation demanded it.”