Irfan Pathan Biography
When a 19-year-old Irfan Pathan bowled Adam Gilchrist with a beautiful in-swinging yorker during the New Year’s Test at Sydney in 2004, India seemed to have found its new fast-bowling sensation. Bowling at a medium pace, with a nice action and purchasing good movement in the air, Irfan soon became India’s spearhead from 2004 to 2006. He was a strike bowler who picked up wickets upfront and swung the ball precociously. With Zaheer Khan struggling with form and fitness, Irfan became India’s new hope.
In the Greg Chappell era, Irfan also found his footing as a batsman in international cricket when he was promoted to No 3 a few times in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Irfan did well in a few outings, and also opened the batting in a couple of Test match. His bowling was stable, and he also became the second Indian bowler to pick up a hat-trick in Test cricket when he snared the Pakistan top-order at Karachi in early 2006 (he remains the first bowler to have taken a hat-trick in the first over of a Test). However, in the middle of that year, Irfan lost form and saw him out of the side. He was then dropped after the 2007 World Cup debacle.
Irfan fought back and made a comeback during the 2007 World T20, where he was the Man of the Match in the final against Pakistan. He also smashed his first Test ton against the same opposition that year. At Perth in 2008, he was named Man of the Match during India’s memorable Test win. However, he has not been able to establish himself due to inconsistency and fitness issues though he continues to be in India’s plans.
Nishad Pai Vaidya