Positive of a come back, a glimpse at Irfan Pathan’s past and present

Positive of a come back, a glimpse at Irfan Pathan’s past and present

A bowler who is compared to someone as talanted and legendary as Wasim Akram for his swing bowling and with the best Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev, just at the start of his career and you know this guy is special. India was waiting for their man since Kapil retired hopes sparked once Irfan Pathan broke into the scene. A medium pacer who could swing it, reverse swings it, bowl yorkers, a strike bowler in short and a pinch hitter, making big blows towards the fag end of the innings. Irfan Pathan is a dream player any captain would love to have in his team.

 

Though we don’t need an occasion to remember this rare talent, today though happens to be a special one. This is a tribute to the fighter as he turns 30 today.
Irfan broke into the Indian team following a good couple of years in the Duleep Trophy, followed by a record nine wicket haul for India U-19. It was the year 2003 and what followed was a call in the team for the series in Australia.

It gave him a glorious chance, to show the world an Indian bowler at 19 could handle the pressure of International cricket and make life tough for the Australian batsmen in their own backyard. He bowled a few un-playable deliveries. The ball swung, both ways in the air, seamed off the surface and the batsmen were left wondering.

This is the USP of Pathan’s swing bowling; he could move the ball laterally when it was new and get it to reverse when the shine wore off. This made him an even leathel bowler to face. No Indian cricket fan can forget the Hat-trick he got in the Karachi test against Pakistan in 2006. Irfan produced three back to back deliveries that swung so much so that the batsmen, the top three of the Pakistan line up had no answer for. First up Salman Butt was caught in the slips by Rahul Dravid, next ball Younis Khan was trapped plump for leg before wicket and the third was the best of them all an inswinging delivery which cleaned up the more technically sound Mohammad Yusuf.
His performances in the T20 World Cup 2007 which India also ended as Champions are worth cherishing. Not only with the ball but, he has always contributed with the bat as well. Solid with his technique he can hit the meaty sixes as well as play a patient, singles and doubles dominated innings. The Baroda dasher has batted at almost all the positions in the batting line up for India. Right from opening the innings, to coming in at number three and also played the role of a pinch hitter and a finisher.

He has achieved all that without actually being a permanent member in the team. More than form injuries undid him from having a fluent stay in the Indian setup.

It has been a tough, fighting career which also started with a fight, and eventually we hope it gets a fitting later half to it which Irfan deserves more than anything. He has a great chance now, as he looks fit, both physicially and mentally, positive as always, smiling and a lot more mature.

A good Ranji season for Baroda would ensure him a call for the tour of Australia, which is looked to as the dress rehersal ahead of the world cup. Also, once he is induced back into the team, he would surely not let it slip by. Eventually he will have brighter chances of making it into the team for the World Cup 2015 as well.

Lot of hopes, list of positives, superlative performances of the past and right frame of mind in the present scenario make perfect ingirdients for a well cooked story. Things look to be in the best shape for Irfan Pathan at the moment while the uncertain future remains to be unveiled.