Irfan Pathan feels India can repeat their title winning heroics of 2007 once again © AFP
Apr 4, 2014
Can history repeat itself? That is what Irfan Pathan may be wondering as India gear up to face South Africa in what may be an intriguing semi-final of the ICC World T20 at Dhaka on Friday.
It was exactly seven years ago when India had defeated Pakistan in that nail-biting clash of the 2007 T20 final at Johannesburg and Pathan was part of the side that had received a rousing welcome back home after the triumph, reports IndiaToday.
Since then Pathan has had a chequered career with his appearances and performances for the national team seeing a steady decline and the pacer may have hit a roadblock after that sensational win.
But putting his career woes aside Pathan is confident of skipper MS Dhoni replicating his 2007 heroics once again as he believes the team can brush aside South Africa and make an appearance in the final of ICC World T20 2014.
When queried about India and Dhoni’s chances against South Africa, Pathan replied: “He would be telling the team to take it as two more normal games.”
Though Dhoni has led the side brilliantly during the course of the ongoing tournament, still he has enough to think about thanks to the off-field controversies which have been plaguing him since the onset of the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing saga.
The recent good run of Dhoni’s side is a far cry from way back in 2007 when they were forget favourites not even considered as one of the contenders to win the inaugural tournament.
But that was then and now since the advent of that triumph, Dhoni and his band of men have turned into national icons and the expectations following each tournament have multiplied many-fold.
“This team is capable of handling pressure. If we had pace needed to win it in 2007 we now have spin to win it in Bangladesh,” says Pathan.
When queried about India’s successful use of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra, Pathan replied: “Mishra’s been impressive. He’s been able to get his leggies to spin a lot quicker now. That’s been the difference.”
Also Pathan made light work of Shane Warne’s recent visit to the South African team nets by saying, “I don’t know what difference Shane Warne can make in a day. Anyway the way Indian team’s going I don’t think any help will be enough.”
“Let’s hope when the team comes back they will be champions and there will be big celebrations,” added Pathan who also hopes for huge celebrations provided India win the tournament.
Certainly sweet words coming from someone who was at a time considered as India’s premier pace-bowler and they may definitely act as inspiration for this current Indian side looking to repeat their 2007 heroics.
ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details