Home Cricket News Irfan Pathan Recalls His Historic Hat-Trick Against Pakistan In 2006

Irfan Pathan Recalls His Historic Hat-Trick Against Pakistan In 2006

Irfan Pathan in 2006 against Pakistan produced a magical spell for the ages. The left-arm pacer became just the second India to pick a hat-trick. He dismissed three quality Pakistani batsman in the very first over of the Karachi Test match. Salman Butt, Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf could do very little against the swing bowling of Pathan who put on an absolute exhibition.

The match was the decider of the series after two high scoring test matches that ended in a draw. The pitch of the third test was very different that had assistance for the fast bowlers. Pathan needed no second invitation as he rocked Pakistan after minutes into the Test matches.

Pathan recalled that hat-trick and explained all three dismissals in detail. He stated that once he saw the pitch he wanted to pick breakthroughs for his team that morning. The fast bowler talked about adjusting his line and length after dismissing Salman Butt who was a left-handed batsman. Pathan was on the money against two righties Younus and Yousuf and got both of them first ball.

Irfan recalls his magical hat-trick

“That particular morning, I remember, I wanted to swing the ball, I wanted to hit the batsmen on their pads. That’s the aim I had. I never thought that I’ll get a hat-trick in the first over, but I wanted to get early breakthroughs for my team, especially on that morning”, Pathan told Times of India.

He added, “Then I bowled the first ball, it was from the leg-stump. Salman Butt being a left-hander, I wanted to make sure that he plays the first ball, but it didn’t swing as much as I would have liked. The second ball I bowled on the off-stump, it went away. He left the ball, the third as well. The fourth ball was right on the money, the way you want as a (swing) bowler – the batsman defends the ball, it edges the bat and goes to the slip. It exactly happened the way I wanted.”

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan celebrating his hat-trick against Pakistan.

“The ball was swinging, but before Younis, it was a left-handed batsman and now right-handed. So for me to adjust the line straight away, that was the thing in my mind. But most importantly, I wanted to make sure that I bowled a length that hit him below the knee-roll”.

“As soon as the ball went from my hand, I knew it was that perfect length I wanted. When I turned around (to appeal for LBW), I knew that (umpire) Simon Taufel was going to raise his finger because the ball had hit Younis below the knee-roll, and was hitting the middle stump”, Pathan said.

Yousuf was waiting for inswing

When Mohammad Yousuf came out to bat Irfan Pathan said that he was only thinking about bowling his best delivery. Pathan knew that the batsman was expecting the inswinger but didn’t change his plan and produced an unplayable ball. He also acknowledged that the swing he got early on that morning doesn’t happen easily. The former all-rounder is extremely proud of that hat-trick and the fact that people still talk about it.

“I left everything on the Almighty and decided that I’m just going to ball my best ball. I knew that this was Mohammad Yousuf, who had gotten out to me many times and knew that he was also waiting for my in-swinger. But even if it’s a good ball, even if he was waiting for the same delivery, it will hit his pad. I wanted to do that.”

“The kind of swing I got on that ball doesn’t happen easily. People take time to do that. I delivered the ball, I wanted to hit Mohammad Yousuf’s pads and luckily the ball swung so much. Even after pitching, it had moved and it went between his bat and pad to hit the stumps. At that time obviously you don’t think about those things, but when I look back, obviously it feels really great and satisfied that people still talk about this hat-trick,” Pathan concluded.