He flattered to deceive for India A with only one knock of some substance in the recently concluded limited overs series against West Indies A but Yusuf Pathan feels that he has "worked hard in the right direction" in his pursuit of regaining his place in the senior team.
Yusuf started the one day series with a belligerent 70 off 32 balls but fizzled out there after as he could manage 18 and 0 in the next two one dayers and also failed to trouble the scorers in the only Twenty20 match.
"I am out of the team for long time but I am satisfied that I have worked hard in right direction. My focus was on fitness and former India and current KKR trainer Adrian Le Roux helped me a lot in my endeavour. I have worked on smaller muscles and am feeling fitter now," hard-hitting Baroda batsman told PTI Bhasha today.
Although he failed in the subsequent matches, Pathan claimed that the 32-ball-70 in the first match boosted his confidence.
"It was the first match of the season and a knock like this was much needed. It has boosted my confidence and I am hopeful of doing well in the upcoming domestic season," Pathan said.
Pathan's knock of 70 was overshadowed by India A captain Yuvraj Singh's breathtaking century and he was all praise for the stylish Punjab left-hander.
"Yuvraj has also worked hard on his fitness and it was visible when I played alongside him during WI A series. It's a good sign for Indian cricket that there is a lot of competition for each slot. I am confident that Viru (Virender Sehwag) and Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) will perform well. Our job is to focus on our performance and good performances from other teammates should inspire us," he added.
For the time being, Pathan wants to concentrate on notching up some good scores in domestic tourneys including Challenger series where he would be leading one of the teams.
"I will be concentrating on domestic cricket rather than thinking about upcoming international series involving India. I would like to do well in Challenger Series followed by Duleep Trophy and then Ranji Trophy."