Down But Not Out: Sidelined For 4 Weeks With A Knee Injury Irfan Looks Set To Return Stronger

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Down but not out: Sidelined for 4 weeks with a knee injury, Irfan looks set to return stronger By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Baidurjo+Bhose Baidurjo Bhose]
Published: 23:55 BST, 12 November 2012 | Updated: 23:55 BST, 12 November 2012
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Adversity has been a constant companion of Irfan Pathan. But the first thing that strikes in any interaction with the India allrounder is his will to fight hardships with a smile.

A knee injury while playing for Baroda - against Karnataka - in their opening round Ranji Trophy match might have sidelined him for four weeks, but Irfan believes that he will return stronger.

Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Irfan said that while the injury came at a wrong time, it isn't something very severe and he is already looking to be back in time for the India-England T20 matches.
Irfan Pathan feels he will be fit in time for the India- England T20 matches

"I am a little disappointed by the timing of the injury not only because it came at the start of the season, but also because I have been in good form and was looking to stake my claim in the Test side. Whether or not I would get picked in the Test squad is a different matter, but I wanted to be available for selection as making a comeback and playing Test cricket for India is my ultimate dream.

"The knee injury isn't as serious as some of the other injuries that I have faced.

I have been advised four weeks of rehabilitation and, ideally, I should be back in time for the twin T20 matches against England," he said.

He has been in splendid form ever since his return to the national fold. Irfan, who hit a century in the first innings against Karnataka and scalped two wickets, wants to be in the thick of action.

"When in form one should cash in as much as possible.

I have been feeling good with how my balling and batting has been panning out and, ideally, I would like to play as much cricket as possible, but I guess destiny had other plans. But I won't let the injury buckle me down," he said.

When quizzed if he should have skipped the opening match of the Ranji season having played constant cricket thanks to the World T20 and the CLT20 in South Africa, Irfan said: "Back just after playing in the CLT20, I could have missed the opening Ranji match against Karnataka.

But I love turning up for Baroda as much as I do for India or Delhi Daredevils."

While cricketing decisions are his own, he believes in trusting doctors when it comes to injuries.

"I was keen on playing the next round match in Delhi.
But the doctors asked me to undergo rehabilitation for four weeks and I didn't want to rush my return as injuries have an uncanny knack of relapsing," he said.

Irfan first shot into prominence on the world stage during India U-19's tour of Pakistan for an Asian youth competition where he was named player of the tournament after taking 18 wickets.

And with arch-rivals Pakistan set to tour India at the end of the year - after a long hiatus - Irfan feels cricket will be the ultimate winner.

"India-Pakistan matches have evoked emotions and raised the adrenaline rush, not only of the players, but also of the fans and I am sure the upcoming series will be no different," he said.