Hyderabad: India media pacer Irfan Pathan has set his sights on the ICC Champions Trophy starting next month in England. Irfan, who was recalled to the 15-member Indian team on Saturday, said he wants to make the most of the opportunity that has come his way.
"When I got to know that I was selected in the fifteen, I was happy from within and excited to be a part of the ODI colors. Every time I wear that color on my chest, I have a sense of pride in me that I am playing for the country. I am really looking forward to playing in the Champions Trophy. At the moment I would love to finish the IPL on a high as well."
Irfan, whose last ODI for India came in August last year in Sri Lanka, also thinks that the bowler-friendly conditions in England will stand him in good stead. "Any bowler would love to go and bowl in England were the wickets are friendly for the fast bowlers. But it is easier said than done.
"One has to make sure that you bowl in the right areas, make sure you 'bowl' well rather than just releasing the ball from your hand. The conditions are better than what we play here in India and I am looking forward to bowling there. I hope for success not only for myself but for the team as well. "
The 29-year-old bowling allrounder is not bothered about how he is going to the break into the eleven with Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma also vying for a place. "Frankly, I am not worried about it. I know it will depend on the team combinations at the end of the day. My job is to go out there and make sure that I enjoy my bowling. My mission is to do well in the tournament.
"I will start working towards it from the moment we land there in England. I want to make the most of whatever preparations we get there and be completely ready before ball one of the match. "
Irfan plays for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL who saw their eighth defeat on Saturday against Sunrisers Hyderabad to go out of the play-offs reckoning. Ifran reasons as to what led to Delhi's poor outing this time around. "Losing is not a feel good factor. We have not been playing well and it is disappointing to lose games after having such a good squad. We have the batsmen and have a great bowling attack, but things have just not gone our way.
" We have been failing consistently, and it hurts after such losses. There have been times when our batting has failed to put up good scores on the board and there have been times when the bowling has faltered. We have failed as a unit, but we want to end this season putting up good performances in the remaining games."