Kolkata: The upcoming Indian Premier League is not only about entertainment but it also carries a bundle of hopes for out-of-favour all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who is eying a comeback into the national team through the T20 event.
The 34-year-old Pathan has been out of the Indian team for more than five years now.
"The brand of cricket I've played so far, my only aim has always been to play for India again. IPL is one such platform where I can prove myself again," the three-time IPL winning all-rounder Pathan said at the launch of KKR Gallery at the Fanattic Sports Museum at Ecospace in New Town on Monday.
"To make a comeback for the country is the ultimate aim. It's about making full use of the opportunity I get here."
Recalling his India ODI debut, Pathan said the title winning effort for Rajasthan Royals in 2007 IPL was instrumental in impressing the national selectors.
"In fact, I started my career through IPL first season. Of course it's about performing here and making a comeback," said Pathan, who as part of India's 2011 World Cup-winning squad.
"I'm sure something new is in store for all of us. Full of entertainment for the team. Some exciting new players have come on board," said the big-hitting batsman, who last played for India in March 2012. Just like Pathan, Manish Panday is another cricketer who is looking to cement his place in the national team.
Echoing his senior partner's view, Pandey, who last played for India in an ODI in October last year, said: "IPL is a good platform. If you do well, you're noticed by everyone here.
"It will be important for me to perform well again in the IPL and look forward to the Champions Trophy."
With no Andre Russell in the line-up with the West Indian serving a one-year ban for doping violation, Pandey said he would have to shoulder more responsibility in batting at number three position.
"Definitely it will add to my responsibility. But I would still look at the same away like last year. I would love to perform in every game I play. As a middle order batsman, batting at number three I would like to continue with the good form and take the team forward," he said.
Asked about Russell's absence Pandey said: "Still we look a balanced side. We are missing Russell but we have a number of good all-rounders coming in. We have a lot of youngsters and experienced players."...