Mumbai:Indian spearheads Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma have raised the bar of fast bowling in the country challenging others to lift their game to that level, left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan said on Tuesday.
"Zaheer and Ishant are raising the standards pretty high and asking others to get there. At some point of time everyone will reach that level and eventually the team will be benefited," Irfan, flanked by elder brother Yusuf, told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.
Irfan, who along with Yusuf have been named in India's 15-member squad to tour Sri Lanka later this month for a five-match ODI series and a one-off Twenty20 International, said he was aiming to cement his place in the squad with the upcoming tour.
"I have played both in Dambulla and Colombo and know the conditions there pretty well. I had a good domestic season playing for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy matches and that too will help," he said.
"I will look to become a permanent fixture in the Indian squad. But practically speaking, apart from Sachin (Tendulkar) it is difficult for anyone to retain his place in the team for too long," the 24-year-old pacer, who has taken 148 wickets in 105 one-day internationals, apart from 1360 runs, said.
Asked whether the tour to New Zealand will mark a turnaround in his career given the nature of pitches over there, Irfan said, "Why wait till New Zealand? I am looking forward to the Sri Lankan tour to turn around whatever speculations are there about me."
On the way the Indian bowlers were exploiting reverse swing to their advantage, Irfan said, "Bowling coach (Venkatesh) Prasad is doing a fabulous job as is the team in maintaining the ball as the new ball does not start reverse swinging immediately."
All-rounder Yusuf said that he would continue doing the things that worked for him during the ODI series against England in November last.
"I have worked hard on my bowling in the domestic season. I hope to do a good job in restricting batsmen and picking up at least 1-2 wickets every match, the hard-hitting batsman who has scored 96 runs in 12 ODIs, alongwith six wickets, said.