With the likes of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron adding to India's fast bowling reserves, one-time prodigy Irfan Pathan seems passé.
But the Baroda paceman says he isn't yet finished with. Pathan, who took eight wickets against Madhya Pradesh, including a fifer in the second innings, says he's feeling “so good” after a long time.
“I bowled 28 overs in the second innings, including two of eight-nine overs. I feel good. I am able to swing the ball both ways,” Irfan told HT after Baroda wrapped up their Super League match early on Sunday to secure full points. Four of his eight wickets were caught behind while two were bowled.
His name last cropped up when Sourav Ganguly mentioned him in the commentators' box as India struggled with injuries to their pacemen during the England Tests. Since then, India have discovered the duo of Aaron and Yadav to add to the regulars like Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan.
“Competition is there. But it creates opportunities. Earlier, you had to perform for six months, and if things went well in that period, you were deemed to be in form during the time you didn't play. But now, you play throughout the year and a couple of series can set you back,” says Pathan.
At the moment, Ranji remains a priority. “I am taking it game-by-game. It is a long season,” he says. “This is the priority, no doubt, if I've to come back into national reckoning.
“I am a rhythm bowler. New Baroda coach, Sanath Kumar, and my longtime coach have helped me get it back. Honestly, it is a mental thing,” he says.
Brief scores: MP 63 and 365 lost to Baroda 375 and 54/2 by 8 wkts.