‘Will work harder for India return’
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After missing out on the Ranji Trophy games for almost two months, Yusuf Pathan returns with a big task at hand when he leads Baroda in their quarter-final game against Mumbai from Sunday. Speaking to The Sunday Express, Pathan, who was at the NCA attending a rehabilitation programme for his injured finger, admitted that he was short of match practice but was hopeful of a good showing.
For this crucial game against Mumbai, how prepared are you?
I was out of action for nearly two months after injuring my finger while trying to take a catch in the slips. I spent a tough four-week period at the NCA. However, it is heartening to note that my team has done well to reach this stage. It will be a big game for us.
Was it frustrating to sit out?
It's not easy missing out on the chances to prove your worth. The doctor had advised me to go for a surgery, but I didn't. Hence, it took me nearly two months to recover fully. My fractured finger was in plaster for more than a week. Even now I have been advised against bowling. But I am allowed to bat. They told me to take a week of rest, but how can I afford to sit when the team requires me the most?
So there will be more responsibility on you now?
That's always there, but what is important is that if we continue to play the way we did in the past few games then we have a chance. Mumbai is a strong team, and with Sachin returning to the squad, their confidence will be high. It will be a good learning experience for youngsters to see him approaching the game. I think it will be a chance for all of us to show our mettle. We just have to stick to our plans.