Irfan Pathan came too close to be considered as Asia’s new Wasim Akram, but a sudden disaster to his career vanished the dreams of this bright young boy. Although he made a few come backs with a vengeance, but none of them were good enough to earn him a permanent spot. In past, many coaches have tried to craft an all-rounder from a full time bowler but most of the time that doesn’t works. Many of the analysts consider Greg Chappell as the main reason behind Irfan Pathan’s fall but injuries played a vital role too. Irfan’s performance with the ball was rapidly declined when he was given the burden to bat at number 3. Who does that in a team which never had any problems with their batting line up.
Though India is still struggling to find a permanent fast bowler like they had in 90’s when if was a pair of Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad. These days when Nehra has made his comeback, Zaheer Khan’s “come again go again” show is still running, and new fast bowlers who perform well in IPL are also making their IN and Out appearances, but Irfan was clearly ahead of them all.
With an average of 29 in 120 ODIs and 32.26 in 54 innings of Tests Pathan have many memorable performances with the ball specially the famous first over hat trick against Pakistan in Karachi when he got early wickets of Salman Butt (caught on slip), Younus Khan (LBW) and Muhammad Yousuf (Clean Bowled).
Pathan’s focus on batting is considered as the main reason for his career’s decline however he does have a decent batting average as an all-rounder. His batting average in Test was 31.89 and in ODIs he had an average of 23.39. Source: Wikipedia . Pathan is currently 32 years old and chances for his ultimate comeback are not too bright but who knows he might make a return and represent India in upcoming World Cup. Keep Hoping!