Suresh Raina recalled how everyone in the cricketing world used to compare Irfan Pathan to yesteryear star Wasim Akram for his bowling style. However, after initially impressing with the Indian side, Pathan’s form fell down the slope, something which he ended up never recovering from.
Irfan Pathan’s Test debut came in the tough visiting country of Australia, where the left-arm seamer struggled, but he grew as a bowler with time and eventually, he hit his peak in 2006, in Karachi versus Pakistan, where he picked up a hattrick in the very first over to stun India's arch-rivals.
After that, he went on to be part of the Indian squad in the historic 2007 T20 World Cup final win against Pakistan, where he even claimed the Man of the Match award in the final. Pathan’s former teammate Suresh Raina recollected Pathan's meteoric rise in the Indian side and recalled how everyone used to compare the left-armer to Wasim Akram during his initial days.
“Everybody used to compare you (Irfan) with Wasim Akram. The long and curly hair, almost like the brand ambassador of head and shoulders. When I came into the Indian side in 2005 you were already such a big name, very famous,” said Raina, reported Hindustan Times.
In the year 2004 and 2005, Pathan’s left-arm was golden to India’s wicket-taking column, with him taking a total of 72 Test wickets during the two-year period. However, after that, his career came to a standstill in the Test format, barring the hattrick against Pakistan. His last game for the national team in the longest format came in the 2008 Test against South Africa at home.
Earlier this year, the Baroda seamer called time on his cricketing career, after spending his time as a mentor with the Jammu and Kashmir team in the Ranji trophy.
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