Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday and it left many of his fans wondering ‘what could have been’ had the champion cricketer’s career panned out in the manner everyone expected to be. The all-rounder went on to play under a lot of captains. Irfan played his International match for India at the age of 28.
His last outing came in the last league-stage encounter against South Africa in the 2012 ICC T20 World Cup, following which he got injured, and that was that. Irfan was never considered for an international fixture thereafter and at the age of 28, with more than 300 International wickets at his disposal, his career was all-but-over. He made his debut under Sourav Ganguly, and then went on to play under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni
While Irfan hailed Sourav Ganguly and the style of his leadership and the manner in which he led Team India as ‘outstanding’ the all-rounder chose Rahul Dravid as the one who utilized his ability to the hilt. Under Dravid, Pathan’s batting prowess prospered and he would regularly bat at the top of the order.
Irfan Pathan picks the captain who utilized his talent to the hilt
“I have enjoyed playing under all the captains. Sourav Ganguly was outstanding, he was very special. Everyone appreciated his captaincy and no fan will disagree that he managed the team well even in the toughest of times. He gave Indian cricket a direction and now we are benefiting from that.
But I guess Rahul Dravid was the one who utilised me the best. Not only my bowling, but my batting performances also improved under him. My batting average improved immensely and my average as a No. 3 batsman was 32. After Dravid, I never got a chance to bat up the order,” said Pathan in an interview to The Hindu.
Irfan was a member of the Indian side at the time of the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal in 2008 and the all-rounder hailed the then skipper Anil Kumble for the way he handled the whole saga.
“And I must admit Anil Kumble, too, was a fantastic captain. He handled the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal in 2008 very well. I don’t think many would have been able to handle it as well. We knew that pressure was mounting, but he took everyone along and ensured that we won the Test in Perth. It’s commendable,” said Irfan.
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