The Telegraph
Sunday , March 9 , 2014
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Yusuf looks to be more consistent

Munaf Patel

Calcutta: It is difficult to say whether the reversals in South Africa, New Zealand and the Asia Cup will once again raise the possibilities of Yusuf Pathan’s comeback in the Indian team. But the hard-hitting all-rounder does not want to think too much about an India recall. Instead, he wants to focus on his job at hand.

Yusuf’s consistent showing has helped Baroda sail smoothly to the Vijay Hazare Trophy pre-quarter finals. He scored 229 runs at an average of 74.33 in the zonal round of the competition, which includes a match-winning 88-ball 100 against Saurashtra.

“As of now, things seem to have gone my way. So, I’m looking to be more consistent and continue this form to ensure my team comes out on the top.

“We’ve done fairly well at the zonal round… Hope to carry on with the good job,” the Baroda captain said after Saturday’s practice session, at the Eden.

The Ambati Rayudus and Munaf Patels slogged it out during Baroda’s three-hour long training session during which Yusuf concentrated facing under-arm bowling for a good bit of time.

“I’m focusing more on my batting this time around. Whatever time I get, I try and use it for knocking,” the 31-year-old pointed out.

Baroda face Railways in Monday’s pre-quarters and Yusuf feels his knowledge of conditions at the Eden could go on to play a crucial role. “I have been playing here for the last three seasons, thanks to my stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“So, in that sense, yes, I do have some knowledge about the conditions here and can help my teammates with it. I know how the wicket normally behaves. Besides, there’s also the dew factor.”

Moving on to the IPL, Yusuf feels that being in good rhythm should maximise his prospects of being successful in the T20 meet. “I’ve played plenty of one-dayers and T20 matches this season. The rhythm so far has been good… I’m confident and hopeful of a successful IPL. I’m better prepared this time around.”