Irfan Pathan is a talented Indian cricketer and a significant member of the Indian national cricket team since 2003. Irfan Pathan is an all rounder and has been compared to the likes of cricketing great, Kapil Dev. His original name is Irfan Khan, and he was born on October 27, 1984 in Baroda, Gujarat, India. Pathan was born into a devout Islamic family who wished him to be an Islamic scholar, however he and his brother, Yusuf had interest in the sport of cricket. Over the years, his family's sincere support and Pathan's sheer hard work, with grueling practice sessions, soon saw a new cricketing talent emerge.
Irfan Pathan is a left-arm fast-medium swing and seam bowler and an efficient batsman as well. Guided by the former Indian captain Datta Gaekwad, Irfan Pathan began his career playing in junior level tournaments like Under-15. Honing his bowling at the MRF Pace Foundation, Pathan moved on to play stunning first-class cricket in the Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy, Under-19 World Cup Tournament, Challenger Series, with exceptional performance in the U-19 Asian ODI like his spectacular 9/16 against Bangladesh, which resulted in him being selected in the Indian national squad.
Pathan made his Test debut against Australia at Adelaide in 2003/04 picking up crucial wickets of Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting in the series. Later on, he was influential in the 2004 Test tour to Pakistan, with superb wickets takes and brilliant batting, leading to India's first series victory over Pakistan in two decades, and the 2004 ICC Emerging Player of the Year award for him. Overall, he has played in 25 Tests, scoring 835 runs and taking 91 wickets, his best being 7/59. Pathan's ODI debut came against Australia at Melbourne in January 2004, and since then he has played in 73 ODI's, scoring 1006 runs and taking 115 wickets, his career best being 5/27 against Zimbabwe in Harare (2005).
Although playing fabulous Test and ODI innings, while concentrating on his batting, Pathan's bowling form slumped and he had many a bad seasons in 2005. However, his career improved further when Greg Chappell became coach and stressed on his all-rounder potential, even making him opening batsman. The result clearly showed in many tournaments including the 2005 Indian Oil Cup in Sri Lanka, the Videocon Triangular Series in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Test Series, and 2006 Test tour to Pakistan where he scored 90 in a double century partnership with MS Dhoni in Faisalabad and became the first person to claim a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match taking wickets of Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf.
A continuous bad phase then occurred in Pathan's career during the tour of West Indies in May 2006, where his dismal performance saw him demoted or even out of the team. Since then, his international cricket career is on tenterhooks with his performances being minutely watched by the selectors, thus denying him an opportunity to regain his form. Yet, his potential is greatly backed by stalwarts of the game and his innumerable 'Man of the Match Awards' remains a testimony to the tremendous capability that Pathan holds.
|Munaf Patel||Irfan Pathan||Sachin Tendulkar|
|Yuvraj Singh||Dinesh Kartik||Sourav Ganguly|
|Zaheer Khan||Ajit Agarkar||Shikhar Dhawan|
|Virender Sehwag||Anil Kumble||Virat Kohli|
|S. Srisanth||Harbhajan Singh||Ravindra Jadeja|
|Mahender Singh Dhoni||Rahul Dravid||Gautam Gambhir|
|Murali Kartik||RP Singh|