India cricket coach Gary Kirsten on Sunday said the team wanted Irfan Pathan to play as an all-rounder in the 2011 ODI World Cup but had to drop the plan because of his inability to take wickets consistently.
Pathan has been out of the team for more than a year now. He played his last ODI in February 2009 and it is more than two years since he figured in a Test match.
Kirsten said since Pathan could not perform up to expectation, the number six spot in the ODI side was still up for grabs.
"We are looking for an all-rounder for the World Cup. We were looking at Irfan Pathan to fill that role. Probably he lacked a bit. We are looking for an all-rounder who can come in the top six of the batting order during the World Cup.
"We can't have a guy who is bowling 115 kms and holding up an end and getting one wicket every five matches. He should be able to make a positive contribution. Irfan was the person whom we had earmarked but probably he lacked on the bowling side," Kirsten said after first day's play of the first Test against Sri Lanka.
In 107 ODIs Pathan took 157 wickets and claimed 100 wickets in 29 Tests.
He played for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.