When the name “Irfan Pathan” popsup, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is the tall curly hair aggressive bowler, who took Indian cricket by storm at the age of 19 in the 2nd test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2003. Moreover this cricketer is a humble and confident human being, combined with good looks, street smart by personality, very committed towards the game of cricket and more importantly a team man who was destined to play for the country. Indeed a great bowler who converted himself into an outstanding all rounder.
He started off as a superb swing bowler who has the ability to swing the ball both ways and can also chip in as a very handy lower order batsman who is flexible in his approach. He is someone who can play any role given to him by the team he is playing for. He is an attacking player who never allows his opposition to settle down. Good line, length and bowling yorkers are his key to success. Pathan is a very smart bowler who uses a lot of variations which keeps the batsman guessing at the other end to what delivery would come next. He is someone who always gives more than his 100 percent while playing.
Irfan has represented India in 29 tests and scored 1105 runs at an average of 31.89 scoring 1 century and 9 half centuries. While bowling he has picked up 100 wickets at an average of 32.26, with his best bowling figures being 7/59. On the other hand he has played 120 ODIs scoring 1544 runs at an average of 23.39 scoring 5 half centuries. He has contributed with the ball in a brilliant fashion picking up 173 wickets at an average of 29.72, with great bowling figures of 5/27.
The current Indian team is definitely in need of a good all rounder who can bat well and bowl his full quota of overs. Though in the recent years many players have tried for this spot but none of the cricketers have been consistent enough when it comes to performing at the highest level, hence being in and out of the squad. Irfan Pathan is the person who can fill this role in the set up if given a chance.
Here are top 5 reasons why this great all rounder should be picked in the Indian Team:
1. Fast medium swing & seam bowler:
Irfan Pathan is a seam bowling all rounder who has that ability to break partnerships when needed. In the shorter formats he can do wonders with the ball just like he has done in the past. He would definitely be the added advantage, team India are looking for in their squad.
2. An experienced player over the years:
In early 2006, Pathan became the only bowler to take a Test hat- trick in the 1st over of the match Vs Pakistan. Further he also went on to win the Man of the Match award in the inaugural World T20 Championship final in 2007. This man has experience playing in some big tournaments. He was spot on with his bowling in the death overs in the T20 World Cup. He could very well produce the same magic again. Over all he has scalped 7 five wicket hauls in Test Matches and picked up 2 five wicket hauls in ODIs till date.
3. Consistent performance in domestic level matches:
Irfan continues to work very hard in the domestic arena with both bat and ball. Irfan has completed a memorable milestone of 100 first class matches. With players like Jadeja and Binny who have failed to prove their worth in recent times, this man definitely needs a go ahead!
4. A complete team man:
Irfan Pathan is a very flexible player who can play a variety of roles in the team. These are the qualities that separate him from the rest. He always thinks of his team before himself. He is definitely a captains go to bowler in any situation.Now despite being a senior player he always gets along very well with the youngsters in the side.
5. A handy batsman who adds balance and stability to the side:
Though he is considered as a lower order batsman he can very well open the innings too. He is a sweet timer of the ball, if he connects well then he can strike some big blows out of the park. He has grown over the years as a bowler and batsman.
Irfan Pathan needs a chance to prove his worth. He has been working extremely hard to find a place in the Indian team. At this point of time the selectors need to back this talented player and give him opportunities. He definitely has that ability to do well for India since he can perform strongly with bat and ball! Earlier his good performances have helped him rise to the No 2 spot in the ICC ODI rankings for all rounders and was also in the top 5 in the Test rankings. He also won the Emerging player of the year award in 2004.