If there was ever a typical example of an unrealised talent in the Indian cricket ranks, it has to be Irfan Pathan. The left-arm bowling all-rounder was one of the most deadly ones in his initial days, bamboozling batsmen with his devious in-swingers. Due to his unceremonious exit from the Indian team, Irfan Pathan has rued the lack of chances given to him.
Irfan Pathan brought an end to his nine-year international career in January this year. The last game he played in the national colours was back in the 2012 ICC World T20 against South Africa. Pathan’s career achievements include that of playing a crucial hand in India’s T20 World Cup victory in 2007 and taking a Test hat-trick against Pakistan in 2006 on their backyard.
Speaking to Sports Tak, the Baroda-born all-rounder lamented the role change as a massive factor in him being out of the team. Pathan reminded that he received the man of the match award in his final ODI and T20Is and opined that shifting him to first change bowling contributed to his lack of swing.
Hence, due to the role change, Pathan required the captain’s backing despite his short-comings. He also presented the instance of Wriddhiman Saha getting a recall ahead of Rishabh Pant even as the latter scored a double-century. According to the 35-year old, he belonged to the handful of unfortunate ones, who wasn’t given enough preference.
“I feel like if an opener is asked to bat at No. 7 then there will be a difference in his number. Just take an example of Chris Gayle. He if bats at No. 7 then he will not get to bat in 3-4 matches, he will get out early on in some matches and in others, he will get a chance to bat only for 5-6 overs,” Irfan Pathan said as quoted by India Today.
“So now it is the captain’s role to back him because you had only changed his role. So I think, I did not get the backing there. I had Man-of-the-Match in my last ODI, last T20I. People who say, I wasn’t getting the swing need to know that I was bowling first change. So the role was changed,” Pathan stated.
“I remember, Wriddhiman Saha made it to the Indian team without playing cricket for a year. Rishabh Pant had hit a 200 in Saha’s absence, but still, Saha was recalled. So, some players are backed, some are not, some are fortunate and I was among the unfortunate ones,” Pathan maintained.
Who gets dropped after winning the game for the country: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan continued by recalling speaking to MS Dhoni, who reportedly told him that he wasn’t bowling well during the 2008 Australia series. The former left-arm seamer lashed out by saying he faced an axe even after being a match-winner against Sri Lanka in 2008.
“I had talked to Mahi about it. I also talked to him about the statement he made about me during the 2008 Australia series that Irfan wasn’t bowling well. So I asked him that I was bowling well in the whole series, so I asked him for clarification and what could I do to get better,” he added.
“I remember getting dropped after winning the game in Sri Lanka in 2008, who gets dropped after winning the game for the country. Which match-winner is made to sit outside, but I did.” Pathan said, who featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is.