Former Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir first grabbed the attention of fans when he was seen in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007. It must have something extraordinary in him as he was picked as a replacement of the mighty Shoaib Akhtar. Tanvir had a successful T20 World Cup. In 6 matches, the left-armer picked six wickets and finished the tournament as the fourth-highest wicket-taker for Pakistan.
Tanvir made his ODI debut against South Africa. However, just like most of the cricketers, playing Test cricket is the ultimate achievement and Tanvir got this opportunity when he played his maiden Test against arch-rivals India in November 2007.
The Rawalpindi-born had a dream start as he got his first wicket in the form of one of the best red-ball batsmen at that time, Rahul Dravid. Recalling the golden memories, Tanvir termed Dravid’s wicket as the ‘ball of his life’.
“The way I got Dravid out, I still say it was the ball of my life. I remember Wasim bhai similarly dismissing Dravid. It was the same length and line delivery. It pitched outside leg stump and rattled the off-stump. And the same happened with my delivery. That was a dream ball for me,” said Tanvir on ‘Cric Cast’ – a show on YouTube.
After Dravid, Tanvir went on to dismiss Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh as well. He expressed that bowling against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Ganguly was an exceptional experience for him. The Hampshire cricketer opined that shattering the defence of Dravid who was called ‘The Wall’ was very challenging.
“Bowling against greats like Dravid, Sachin, Laxman and Ganguly and that too in India was special. They are people who have scored thousands of runs against the red ball; they have so many achievements. Specially if you talk about Rahul Dravid, he was called the Wall and breaching his defence was very difficult,” added Tanvir.
Despite the fascinating debut in the red-ball arena, Tanvir didn’t play Test cricket for Pakistan post the India series. He only appeared for two Tests. Recalling the event, Tanvir stated that it was unfortunate not to get any opportunity after India’s tour in the Test team for Pakistan.
“Unfortunately, my Test career ended there. That was very unfortunate. Even when I think about it today, I think I could have played a lot more Tests for Pakistan. People call me a T20 specialist and white-ball cricketer, but nobody knows about my strengths. They don’t know what I am capable of with the red-ball. If you look at my stats or ask people I have played against, you can get an idea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get many chances,” concluded Tanvir.