Recalled to the squad under fortuitous circumstances, all-rounder Irfan Pathan today vowed to utilise the opportunity to the fullest extent and also saw the Sri Lanka tour as a good preparation for the Indian cricketers ahead of the World T20.
"It's very unfortunate for Vinay Kumar. (But) I am really happy that I got a chance to play. When I came to know I was not selected (in the original squad) it was for me to plan ahead for the season. Luckily I was training, so it is not going to be difficult to get into groove," said Pathan at a promotional event for the T20 World Cup, to be held in Sri Lanka.
The hamstring injury sustained by Karnataka bowler Vinay Kumar ruled him out of this month's Lanka tour. "Playing now in Sri Lanka will be an advantage because the T20 Cup will also be played there; so we will get a chance to get used to the conditions....Any opportunity given to me will be fully utilised."
Pathan rated West Indies as strong contenders for T20 championship, to be held between September 18 and October 7. "I think West Indies will be a dangerous team and they will be strong contenders because they are the most suited for this format," he said.
Pathan, who recently saw Yuvraj Singh training at the NCA in Bangalore, is convinced that the left-handed batsman would return to top-flight cricket after undergoing chemotherapy. "I saw Yuvi training at Bangalore. He is running pretty fast. I am sure he will come back into the team at the same pace he is running.
"It felt nice to see how he fought cancer. There is a lot youngsters can learn from him, not only in India but all over the world. Only he can tell when he will be match fit."