Mumbai: With India making it to the final of Champions Trophy, hard-hitting batsman Yusuf Pathan Sunday said he was pleased with the way the team has performed as a unit in England.
"The team is performing well and individually also the boys have done well. I feel proud that the team is doing well especially, as it is not two three players who are doing well, they are performing as a unit. I hope it continues the same way," Pathan told reporters here at the gaming centre 'Smaaash'.
The Baroda player also praised Shikhar Dhawan, who has amassed 332 runs so far, for his performance in the tournament. "Shikhar Dhawan has been impressive, he is batting really well," he said.
On the opening partnership of Rohit Sharma and Dhawan, he said, "They are playing really well. The way Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag or Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir shared a good opening partnership, the same way. I hope they too play well and play for a long time."
Asked about the team's fielding in the Champions Trophy, Pathan said, "We are playing a lot of cricket. In IPL, you have coaches coming from different countries, so obviously we have learnt a lot from them. Cricket has benefited from these things." The 30-year old said sharing the dressing room with senior India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was an achievement.
"Obviously the presence of someone like Sachin Tendulkar, as a player and a person, is nice in the dressing room. We youngsters learn a lot from him. He is our idol. Sharing the dressing room with him was an achievement for us," he said. The all-rounder added that the title 'Master Blaster' cannot be bestowed on anyone else except Tendulkar as it is hard to replicate his feats.
"After him no blaster can be born. What he has done for cricket I don't think anyone else can do it. You can't call anyone else a blaster. The dedication he has given to cricket, nobody else can show it," Pathan said adding that both he and his brother Irfan Pathan wanted to play like Tendulkar. The out-of-favour Indian player, who had a decent performance in the recently-concluded IPL, said he is training hard for making a comeback.
"The team is playing right now but I use to the time to work on my cricket. For me the IPL was very satisfying. Okay, we (Kolkata Knight Riders) didn't qualify, but for me it was quite satisfying. My job is to play good cricket. Wherever I play cricket, I try to focus on my performance and my game. If I think about other things, I won't be able to play cricket.
Every cricketer has ups and downs," he said. Pathan had garnered 332 runs from 16 matches at an average of 30.18 in this year's IPL. Known for his prowess to hit the big shots, Pathan admitted he gets nervous while playing the games and relaxes only after facing the first ball.
"I have been playing for many years. I have been playing Ranji Trophy for 12 years now. I made my International debut in 2007 but even today when I play a match, I am nervous. I am nervous till I enter the stadium. When I go onto bat, I settle down after the first ball. But this nervousness is important for your career," he said.