New Delhi: Irfan Pathan hates the idea of being another run-of-the-mill cricketer who is just happy about plying his trade day in and day out without making a mark.
"I look at my career as someone who should be able to make a mark while representing the country rather than being a cricketer who just comes, plays and goes back home. I want to use each and every opportunity that I get to win matches rather than just be another cricketer," said Irfan, who has been named as a replacement for R Vinay Kumar.
His performance during Asia Cup in Bangladesh came in for criticism but the talented left-arm pacer is not worried.
"There is no point in getting angry with critics. There is more satisfaction if I can produce some good performances which will make them eat their own words. That`s the way to do it. There has been times that my fitness issues have been criticised and I haven`t complained. I tried to sort it out and come back stronger," he replied.
Asked about his own assessment, he answered, "I played 8 ODIs after my comeback and have got 13 wickets. I have scored around 100 runs in the five innings that I have batted. For someone like me, the more I play international matches, the better I will get."
Irfan termed his selection as "pleasant surprise" but didn`t forget to mention that he was working hard at the National Cricket Academy during the past few weeks.
"Obviously, when I was overlooked initially, I was thinking about what are the areas I needed to work upon and was focussing on my training at the National Cricket Academy. I am pretty satisfied with the hours that I have put in at the nets and in the indoor sessions there. After this call-up, the focus will shift to the Lankan series."
In this comeback phase, Irfan has always credited noted pace bowling coach T A Sekar for his contribution.
"It`s always a delight to talk about various aspects of bowling with Sekar sir. Since I was at the NCA, I didn`t get much time to interact with him. Once I am back from the tour of Sri Lanka, I would certainly, again like to have a couple of sessions with him."
Many of his teammates were off to Europe and the US spending their holidays but the 27-year-old decided to stay back at home and enjoy the time with his folks.
"I had 20-day break which rejuvenated me. I went to Gir forest and it was a lovely experience. I have joined `Save The Tiger` campaign. So it was a nice little break before I got back to training."