Irfan Pathan believes that it is easier to make Greg Chappell ‘a punching bag’ due to his controversial reign as the India head coach from 2005 to 2007.
Irfan Pathan has debunked the theory that former India head coach Greg Chappell had promoted him to play higher up the order, and instead revealed that Sachin Tendulkar had a role to play in it.
The former India pacer batted at No.3 for the first time against Sri Lanka in a 2005 ODI match at Nagpur. The left-hander scored a blazing 83 off 70 balls and helped India amass 350/6 in their stipulated overs. Eventually, India won the match by 152 runs.
Although the move has been alleged to take Pathan’s focus off bowling, he does not blame Chappell for his career going south. According to Pathan it is easier to make the Australian a punching bag due to his controversial reign as the head coach from 2005 to 2007.
“I had said this after I had announced my retirement as well. Those who talk about Greg Chappell spoiling my career, by sending me as an allrounder at No.3 and all these things… actually, it was Sachin paaji’s idea,” Pathan told Raunak Kapoor on his channel Beyond The Field.
“He advised Rahul Dravid to send me at No.3. He said ‘he (Irfan) has the power to hit sixes, can take on the new ball and can play the fast bowlers well too.”
“It was tried for the first time in the series against Sri Lanka when Muralitharan was at his peak, and the idea was to attack him as well. [Dilhara] Fernando back then had started the concept of the split-finger slower ball. Batsmen didn’t understand that too well, so the belief was if I could pull it off, it could work in our favour, especially since it was the first match of the series,” he added.
Irfan pathan “It’s not true that Greg Chappell spoiled my career. Since he was not from India, it is easier to make him a punching bag.”
Irfan Pathan had been the fastest to 100 wickets in ODIs in 59 matches. But after that when he became started coming up the order, he managed just 73 wickets in the next 61 matches, playing his last match for India at the age of 27.
“If you see the first 59 ODI matches that I played, I got to bowl with the new ball. But when you are bowling first change, your role changes as well, your role becomes defensive. If your role becomes different, then your numbers become different as well. I actually feel that people from the team should have spoken about it,” said Pathan.
“The people who have really harmed me, about that I’d just say that they didn’t support me the way they should have. I agree that I got injured, but a roadmap that should be given to a bowler to make a return from it, wasn’t offered to me.”
Irfan Pathan has played for India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIS, and 24 T20Is, claiming 100 wickets, 173 wickets, and 28 wickets respectively. With the bat, the all-rounder scored 2,821 runs across the three formats.