Irfan Pathan, former Indian all-rounder, was a folk hero, an enigma, who slayed hearts for fun during his international career.
Having made his debut back in 2003, Irfan Pathan quickly impinged himself as the next big thing in world cricket courtesy his ability to make the ball talk during the tours of Australia and Pakistan.
The left-handed pacer was India’s bowling spearhead between 2004-06 before a loss in form and lack of clarity around his role as an all-rounder coupled by injuries meant Irfan found himself out of the team post the 2007 World Cup debacle.
Irfan reinvented himself as a dependable seam-bowling all-rounder, playing crucial in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and Perth Test win in 2008.
However, the Baroda all-rounder was soon dropped after the Sri Lankan tour in 2008 and it was not until 2012 when he found himself back into the reckoning, only to find himself out forever, a few months later.
Irfan was dropped despite being ‘Player of the Match’ in his final ODI and T20I and the southpaw recently opened up about it during a recent chat with Sports Tak.
“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. 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 told Sports Tak.
‘Who gets dropped after winning the game for the country’- Irfan Pathan
Pathan also went on to reveal how he confronted MS Dhoni after the latter had said in the media during the tour of Australia that the all-rounder wasn’t bowling well.
“I had talked to Mahi (MS Dhoni) 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,” Pathan revealed.
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,”
Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from international cricket after having claimed 300+ wickets across formats in January 2020.