Regular readers know I have long nursed an unhealthy cricket crush on Irfan Pathan, once India’s answer to Kapil Dev’s retirement and now a national tragedy that barely gets a look-in for the national T20 side. Gary Kirsten underlined the length of Pathan’s downfall recently when he said:
“If he is going to be a batting allrounder, he has to be able to make a contribution with the ball. We can’t have a guy bowling at 115 kmph, holding up one end and getting one wicket every five Test matches. He has got to be able to make a proper contribution with the ball. Irfan [Pathan] was certainly one of the individuals that we earmarked, but he is probably a little bit light on his bowling side.”
Imagine — this was the guy who reduced Pakistan to 0/3 in the Karachi Test not too long ago (and that was a Pakistan that had Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, not the no-name youngsters in their place now). To call Pathan light on the bowling side may not be inaccurate, but it’s just so unbelievably depressing. What exactly did Ganguly and Greg Chappell do this guy? Why did he drop pace from high-130s to mid-120s? And why has the same thing happened to Munaf Patel, L. Balaji and S. Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma?
For those interested in reliving the glory days, enjoy: