Pathan needs to grab chances to make cut for England tour

North Sound (Antigua): With India`s young guns blazing in the Caribbeans, it has been a rather frustrating experience for dashing all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who will have to do something dramatic to escape the axe when the team for the England tour is announced.

At a time when the youngsters are showing such appetite on field, Pathan has been left to do pretty little during the last week of his stay in the Caribbean.

Batting at number seven, the swashbuckler isn`t required to flex his muscle as the young bats preceding him are leaving him with no work to do.

The Baroda cricketer didn`t even get an invitation to bat in the second game which ought to have added to his anxiety as only 82 runs have come from his last eight innings.

It was his century against South Africa in his last ODI in early January which earned him a berth in the World Cup but since then he hasn`t been in the best of forms - neither in World Cup nor in the IPL.

He had reasons to flash his blazing eyes and pump his fist after taking two crucial West Indian wickets in the second one-day match on Wednesday.

Though Pathan has been useful with ball, India look at him as an all-rounder but he hasn`t quite reaped on its investment so far.

Pathan has 778 runs from his 53 matches and even though he comes too late down the order, his average of 28.81 isn`t pleasing the purists.

He has claimed 33 wickets at 38.70 from these matches but his economy rate of 5.52 per over is anything but sensational.

Pathan`s bowling is not quite dispensable presently given the keenness of young Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina to turn their arms over.

Rohit, the other day, openly expressed his desire to send down a few overs and it must have set the alarm bells ringing for Pathan.

"I would love to bowl and am hoping captain would toss the ball up to me," Sharma had said after his heroics in first one-day match last Saturday.

Pathan needs a favourable turn of luck, a promotion up the order or a sudden batting collapse like situations which have long odds against from happening.

The wicket for the third and fourth one-day international here in Antigua is a batter`s delight and young Indian top order is licking its finger in anticipation.

If Pathan doesn`t do something to please his fans or the selectors in the remaining week of his tour, he would live with the uncertainty for a few months till it is time to announce the ODI squad for the series against England.

The options for the selectors would be brimming to the full given how young Rohit, Virat Kohli, Subramaniam Badrinath have seized their moment.

Even little-valued openers Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel have had a half century against their names.

With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh set to return, Pathan is in the danger of being elbowed out.

He knows he needs to produce runs and his famous big-hitting as the currency of his off-spin bowling presently isn`t much to give wind to his career.


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