Pathan set to make comeback for Twenty20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The absence of Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar at next week's Twenty20 World Cup means that the bowling attack will be led by none other than Irfan Pathan.

Updated: September 07, 2007 14:31 IST
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Virender Sehwag is not the only Indian Cricketer on a comeback trail. The absence of Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar at next week's Twenty20 World Cup means that the bowling attack will be led by none other than Irfan Pathan.

The Baroda speedster who has been out of the team since the World Cup debacle will be hoping that his poor run of form over the last 18 months is now a thing of the past, as he looks to once again cement his place in the Indian Team.

Irfan Pathan's fall from grace has been almost pathetic, just three years ago Pathan himself was one of India's most promising strike bowlers.

But it was during the reign of Greg Chappell that India lost Pathan, his form deteriorated until finally after the World Cup Pathan was dropped from both teams.

Pathan is now tirelessly rebuilding his career and hopeful of cementing his place on the Indian side. MRF Pace academy coach TS Sekhar believes if it wasn't for Chappell, Pathan might still have been on top.

Bad phase

Pathan has been putting himself through the paces at MRF's pace academy in Chennai under the watchful eyes of Dennis Lillee and T S Sekhar.

The 22 year will make a comeback next week for India at the Twenty20 World Cup a turning point one could say, in his short four year career that has seen as many high points as low ones.

"You get to know your real character from here. How strong you are mentally. It's very easy for people to talk and say they are strong or that they are weak," said Irfan Pathan, 25 Tests and 73 ODIs for India.

"But it's when you go through a bad phase like this, then one's true character comes out in the open. How quick or how much better can you make a comeback is what matters," Pathan added.

This was definitely one of the lowest being sent back from the tour of South Africa late last year after his performances failed to set India's African Safari alight.

Cloud of controversy

However it is believed that Pathan who went to the World Cup under a cloud of controversy and was then dropped could have avoided that fate had certain pleas not fallen on deaf ears.

"We knew for the last one and a half years where he was going wrong. In fact we had spoken a couple of times to Greg Chappell but he did not bother to do anything," said T S Sekhar, Coach, MRF Pace Academy.

In Chappell's defence, though one has to say that he tried his best along with Dravid, taking him to the likes of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and even Wasim Akram to sort his problems out. But some believe in the old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth.

"I don't think all these things worked for him. But after coming here we worked on his technical side which we are sure of what we are doing and that is what has worked for him," T S Sekhar added.

Pathan's importance to the Indian Team has probably increased ten fold given how the team is missing an all rounder in England right now.

The Baroda pacer though will have to first prove that he back at his best at the Twenty20 World Cup, it might not be the perfect format for a bowler but the Baroda pacer knows that this chance of proving himself is better than having none.

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