Performance sole yardstick: Pathan

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Bhopal, Mar 20 (UNI) Amid another debate over senior players' berths in Team India, all-rounder Irfan Pathan today said that performance should be the sole yardstick for being in the team.

''Skipper M S Dhoni has no equal when it comes to understanding players and boosting morale. During the tri-series Down Under, I was handed the ball in the final over of a key match against the kangaroos. He was an excellent captain the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup earlier,'' he said. Pathan was here for a Tata Indicom prize-distribution programme.

When pointed out that his batting and bowling had not been upto the mark for a period, Pathan said that all players encounter lean patches.

''Bowling is my first love and I thank God that I am back in form. Regarding sledging, however much tongues lash it is performance that ultimately matters,'' he added.

Refusing to comment on pacer Sreesanth's remark that cricketers were not after Bollywood actresses but things were the other way round, Pathan quipped that no actress was behind him but added that Juhi Chawla was his favourite.

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