Cricket Tracker Exclusive: Interview with Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan talks about his comeback from injury, remodelled bowling action and playing alongside Dale Steyn

Kolkata: Jumping into the limelight like a thunder, it took Irfan Pathan just 14 balls to make an impression when he had Matthew Hayden caught behind in the historic Adelaide Test of 2003. Over the years, Irfan Pathan blossomed from a bowler who can bat to a perfect all-rounder and was tipped to be the next Kapil Dev of India. 100 Test wickets from 29 Tests @ 32.26 and 173 ODI wickets from 120 ODIs @ 29.72 (fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI wickets), Irfan has produced some of the best performances in the country that includes the only hattrick by a bowler in the very first over of a Test match, a man-of-the-match performance of 5 wickets and 74 runs in the historic Perth Test of 2008 and a fantastic match winning performance of 4-0-16-3 against Pakistan in the nerve-wrecking World T20 Final 2007.

Incase you don’t know, Irfan’s first four international wickets were Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting.

Apart from that, Irfan Pathan has amassed 1105 runs from 29 tests at an average of 31.57 with 1 hundred and 6 fifties. He scored his test century in the match that also saw Sourav Ganguly score 239 and Yuvraj Singh scoring 169 against Pakistan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. He also have impressive stats in the shorter format where he scored 1544 runs from 120 matches at an average of 23.39

11 years later, Irfan is fighting it hard to wear the national jersey again, performing well with both the bat and the ball in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2013-14.

Cricket Tracker presents you with an exclusive interview with the man himself.

Irfan Pathan pulls during his brief innings of 8

Q. How fit are you after returning from injury?

I had a good recovery at the NCA, Bangalore. I am feeling fitter and better now and will be getting better with time.

Q. How disappointing is it, not being selected in the World T20 squad?

Obviously, I was not fit. I was recovering in NCA.

Q. You are back in limelight with Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and have performed well with both bat and ball. How does it feel?

We are into the knock-outs and I am here in Kolkata to play for Baroda in the knockouts. Yes, I have played 4 matches for Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and took 7 wickets and scored a few runs (124 runs  @ 41.33 with a high score of 79). Feeling happy for the team and Inshallah, I will play more matches in domestic cricket and perform better.

Irfan Pathan reacts after dismissing Imran Nazir

Q. You have been picked up by Sun Risers Hyderabad in the IPL Auctions. How do you feel about sharing the dressing room with Dale Steyn?

It will be a great experience for me. He is a great talent and one of the best in the business, be it Test Cricket, One Dayers or Twenty20s. Looking forward to it. It will be a great learning curve for me.

Q. What is the change in your remodelled bowling action and how much are you confident of making it to the national squad ahead of World Cup 2015?

Landing and upright seam position is the change. It requires minimum effort and yields maximum results. I am looking forward to play more and more matches before the World Cup 2015.

Q. Finally any message for your fans.

Dua mey yaad rakhna. I am thankful for the great responses I get over twitter. They are really unbelievable. Thanks for all your support. Keep Supporting.

Our interviewer tells Irfan Pathan that even he is a big fan of him and Irfan jokingly replies in hindi: Haan!!! Usme tum bhi ek bade fan ho.

This interview has been taken on behalf of Cricket Tracker by Syed Sujjad over the phone and has been gramatically edited by the chief editor of the company, Sarthak Mondal. The questions were framed by Ankit Mishra.