Mohammad Irfan has been impressive for Pakistan but has still not reached his best  © AFP
Mohammad Irfan has been impressive for Pakistan but has still not reached his best © AFP

The world looks up to him — (quite literally) when he takes on the field in green for his national side. After Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were suspended for 5-years due to spot fixing fiasco, Pakistan cricket team got the services of a 7-feet-11-inch, Mohammad Irfan, who is indeed the tallest bowler to play international cricket, at present. He has done reasonably well for his nation in these years while representing his side. His strength has of course been his height with which he gets an awkward bounce to dismantle the stumps of batsmen. On his birthday, we look at some of the splendid spells bowled by the Pakistani pacer: Mohammad Yousuf: Not received any offer for Afghanistan head coach role

Irfan’s 34.3-5-102-3 against South Africa in Abu Dhabi: The tall lad caused problems to the Proteas batting line-up with his pace and bounce which kept the visitors bewildered. He kept on firing for his side as he took wickets of AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and nightwatchman, Dale Steyn. Sadly his team conceded a big lead to the Proteas who went onto win the match by an innings and 92 runs but Irfan’s performance was noticed by one and all.

Irfan’s 4-0-18-2 against Sri Lanka in Dhaka: In Asia Cup 2016, Pakistan had a terrible outing as they were eliminated from the tournament with one group stage match remaining to be played against Sri Lanka. With both teams being eliminated from the Asia Cup, that was played in the 20-over format for the first time, it was a dead rubber for both sides but had pride at stake. Irfan contributed in the win as he restricted the Sri Lankans for a moderate score of 150 at the end of 20 overs with an economical bowling performance of 4-0-18-2. His two wickets were of C Kapugedera and MD Shanaka. As a result, Pakistan won the match with the bat by 6 wickets and ended their forgettable campaign on a high.

Irfan’s 7-0-28-2 against India in New Delhi: In Pakistan’s successful tour of India in the beginning of 2013, Irfan generated enough doubts in the minds of Team India’s batsmen and was among the wicket-takers from his side. In the last match of the three-match ODI series, having already won the series and leading 2-0, Pakistan bowled out India for 167 with Irfan starting the downfall for the hosts by taking the wickets of openers, Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane. Eventually, Pakistan lost the match by 5 runs but won the series by a 2-1 deficit.

4-0-30-1 against Bangladesh in ICC World T20 2016 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata: Pakistan had a terrible World t20 which was held in India for the first time since its inception. Former champions started their campaign with an impressive victory over Bangladesh and looked like a force to reckon but sadly boomed after their opener. In the match against Bangladesh, Irfan played a small part in their victory with an economical spell and took the wicket of Mohammad Mithun in the death overs to seal the game for his side.

4-0-25-1 against India at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru: In Pakistan’s tour of India in 2013, Mohammad Irfan bowled against India for the first time. He was economical in the entire tour and managed to trouble the Indian batsmen with his pace and bounce. He was problematic for left-handers, especially Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir. In the first T20, he did manage to pick up crucial wicket of Team India’s mainstay, Virat Kohli, and kept things under control with his unpredictable bounce and pace.

Mohammad Irfan has been in the news ever since his arrival in the international front because of his height and economical bowling form time to time in the shortest format of the game. He has been decent with his current performances but has still not produced any exceptional spell for his side on a regular basis. He has been excluded from Pakistan’s tour of England, starting this July because of his under-achievements playing for his nation. Irfan will look to spend some time off the game and start afresh to play for his nation again. We wish him all the best for his future endeavors.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)