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Pathan has to put on weight: coach

Harish Kotian in Mumbai | November 08, 2003 22:57 IST

Baroda coach Vikram Hazare is delighted with the match-winning performances put in by his left-arm pace bowler Irfan Pathan, Jr, in the under-19 tournament that ended in Pakistan last week.

Pathan emerged as the most successful bowler in the tournament, picking up 18 wickets in four matches at an unbelievable average of 7.38, with a best of 9 for 16 against Bangladesh. He conceded just 133 runs in the 37.3 overs that he bowled, and his strike rate was a superb 12.5.

Hazare said the secret of Pathan's success this season lies in the hard work that he has put in. "Previously, he just used to take the ball away from the righthand batsman," he said. "But this season he has started swinging it both ways and that has made him a real dangerous bowler."

Asked if there is any particular area in which Pathan needs to work further to boost his career prospects, he said, "He has to put on weight, anywhere between three and five kilos. That will help him increase his pace and be more effective."

Hazare believes that Pathan has a bright international future. "He just has to maintain physical fitness and his consistency and he will be very successful."

Hazare thinks Pathan should be selected for the tour of Australia. He is confident that Pathan will be very successful on Aussie pitches.

The coach also discussed the problem that his other left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan is facing in his matches against the Australians. In the final of the 2003 World Cup as well as in the current TVS Cup tri-series, Khan has struggled with his control in his first few overs, conceding runs by the dozen and costing his side the match.

"Zaheer is trying to bowl with more pace in the initial overs," said Hazare, "hence he is losing control over his line and length. What he needs to do is just reduce his pace and concentrate on bowling a perfect line and length and he will be a very difficult bowler to get away."

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