Former Indian bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan has dismissed that the then coach Greg Chappell was responsible for making him bat at number three for which the latter faced plenty of backlashes. Instead, Irfan Pathan has labelled a veteran cricketer, who gave the idea to promote him to the batting order. The left-arm seam bowler has opened up on various aspects of his career in the recent past.
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Irfan Pathan batted at number three for the first time in 2005 in Sri Lanka against Nagpur. The southpaw cracked a blazing 83 off 70 deliveries as India amassed 350-6 in their stipulated overs. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid also contributed the fifties while MS Dhoni applied the finishing touches. Eventually, the hosts won by 152 runs.
Pathan stated Sachin Tendulkar was the one and not Greg Chappell, who suggested for him to bat at number three. The Baroda cricketer disclosed that Tendulkar advised captain Dravid to ascend Pathan up the order since he could hit sixes, neutralise the new-ball advantage, and could take on the fast bowlers too. Although Greg Chappell had several controversial rows with plenty of top-notch Indian players during his tenure from 2005-2007.
“I had said this after I had announced my retirement as well. Those who talk about Greg Chappell spoiling my career, by sending me as an allrounder at No. 3 and all these things… Actually, it was Sachin paaji’s idea. He advised Rahul Dravid to send me at No. 3. He said ‘he (Irfan) has the power to hit sixes, can take on the new ball and can play the fast bowlers well too,” the southpaw stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Since he was not from India, it is easier to make him a punching: Irfan Pathan
The 35-year old revealed that the move was tried for the first time when Muttiah Muralitharan was at his peak. Dilhara Fernando brought into play the concept of the split-finger slower ball, which most batsmen were unaware of.
Hence, the general notion was if Irfan Pathan could pull it off, things would get comfortable. Irfan Pathan believes that it was much easier to make Greg Chappell the scapegoat since he was not from India.
“It was tried for the first time in the series against Sri Lanka when Muralitharan was at his peak, and the idea was to attack him as well. [Dilhara] Fernando back then had started the concept of the split-finger slower ball. Batsmen didn’t understand that too well, so the belief was if I could pull it off, it could work in our favour, especially since it was the first match of the series. It’s not true that Greg Chappell spoiled my career. Since he was not from India, it is easier to make him a punching,” Pathan added.