Even after two years,Kolkata fans are struggling to come to terms with the fact that Sourav Ganguly is no longer a part of the local team. But Irfan Pathan believes even without the former India captain,Kolkata Knight Riders are a very strong outfit.
The Delhi Daredevils all-rounder is also of the opinion that their rivals for the opening match have the better balance now with a lot of match winners in their ranks.
Even without Ganguly,Knight Riders are a very good team. With the likes of (Jacques) Kallis,(Brendon) McCullum and (Gautam)Gambhir in their side,they are a very strong outfit. And above all Yusuf Pathan is there,who in my opinion is the biggest match winner in this format, said Irfan,two days ahead of his teams first match in IPL-5 at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
The younger of the Pathan siblings hates the rivalry with his elder brother,but as a professional,he cant run away from the challenge.
Yusuf is a big influence in my life. When I was out of the Indian team,he was a constant source of motivation. He taught me to think positive. No,I dont enjoy playing against him. But as a professional I have to do it. I just hope a situation doesnt arise that I am bowling the final over and Yusuf is batting at the other end with 10 runs to get for victory.
Irfan started his international career with a bang but then faded away. He made his comeback in the home ODI series against the West Indies last year and has performed decently since. A lot of players couldnt come back after career-threatening injuries. I am lucky that way. This is my second innings and I have changed my bowling action. The (bowling) arm is now coming down a lot straighter. It is helping me maintain the right seam position and I am also moving the ball well, Irfan explained.