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Can't go into World Cup thinking about pressure: Pathan

Explosive all-rounder Yusuf Pathan concedes that Indian cricketers would be under immense pressure during next month's cricket World Cup in the sub-continent but they will have to avoid thinking about the expectations to come good at the event.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2011 03:37 PM IST

Explosive all-rounder Yusuf Pathan concedes that Indian cricketers would be under immense pressure during next month's cricket World Cup in the sub-continent but they will have to avoid thinking about the expectations to come good at the event.

"You don't go into a tournament thinking about the pressure involved with it. We will be playing the World Cup at home and it's natural that people will expect us do well", he said.

"We have prepared well and played some good cricket in the past few months and we are hopeful of carrying the good form in the event (starting February 19)," Pathan told PTI in an interview from Vadodara.

The 28-year-old player has been in red-hot form and has clobbered the best in the business with minimum fuss. "I am happy that I have been able to contribute to the team's cause.

I have been assigned a specific role and I try to perform that to the best of my abilities," he answered. Talk about outgoing coach Gary Kirsten and Yusuf's voice is filled with admiration for the former South African opener --- perhaps the most popular among the three foreigners (John Wright, Greg Chappell being the other two) who have coached India.

"I have been fortunate to have got guidance from someone like Kirsten. He is a coach who will always have time for having one-on-one sessions after regular training. Even after my regular net session, Kirsten would be ready to give me extra practice. "His (Kirsten) process of coaching and the manner in which he is able to iron out the flaws is amazing.

I have improved a lot as a player due to him," he said. Asked if he will miss Kirsten as he won't be coaching India after World Cup, Yusuf replied, "He is with us right now. That is important. Don't want to think about what will happen later."

He may surprise one and all with his ability to play risky shots like reverse sweeping a spinner for six but off it he wouldn't like to get into comparisons about his on-field efforts. Asked which one of his two centuries (123 not out (96 balls) against New Zealand or 105 (70 balls) against South Africa at Centurion) is a better effort according to him, Yusuf said would not pick between knocks which proved important for his team in different circumstances.

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