During the mid-2000s, Irfan Pathan with the new ball turned out to be quite a phenomenon. Since making his debut against Australia in the 2003 VB Series, Pathan seldom hadn’t picked up a wicket with the new ball, troubling batsmen with his seam and swing movements.
Perhaps, his best spell in Test cricket came against Pakistan during India’s 2006 tour, where he picked up a hat-trick in the first three balls of the Karachi Test match.
The first two games of the three-match Test series ended up in a draw. India won the toss and elected to bowl first in the third Test.
Pathan’s first victim was Salman Butt, who poked at an outgoing delivery, giving a simple catch to Rahul Dravid at slips.
Then, Younis Khan was caught in front of the stumps failing to defend an incoming delivery. Pathan, on a hattrick, had Mohammad Yousuf’s wicket in sight, to create history.
During a recent interaction, Pathan opened up about the conversation Yousuf had with his father ahead of the tour. Yousuf asked Pathan’s father to pray that he doesn’t get out of Irfan’s bowling.
“Mohammad Yousuf caught up with my father before the tour. My father is daring, respectful and joyful, loves having chat with everyone. Yousuf said to my father ‘You pray that even if I get out, I don’t get dismissed by your son’,” Pathan told Sports Tak.
However, Pathan was destined to pick the wicket of Yousuf. And, that too off the very first delivery bowled at him in the match.
“And coming to Karachi Test, I was on hattrick ball and Mohamamd Yousuf was on strike. I felt that was the perfect chance to get him out. Luckily, my plan successfully worked and I got his wicket,” recalled Pathan.
Irfan represented India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is, in which he picked up 301 international wickets. He was also part of India’s triumphant 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa.
The Gujarat cricketer last represented India back in October 2012 and retired from all forms of the game earlier in January this year.