Sri Lanka v India, only T20, Pallekele

All-round Irfan grabs his chances

Irfan Pathan has made the most of his latest comeback - now the challenge is to display the same kind of form in Indian conditions

Abhishek Purohit in Pallekele

August 7, 2012

Comments: 101 | Text size: A | A

Irfan Pathan picked up three wickets, Sri Lanka v India, Only T20I, Pallekele, August 7, 2012
India have been savouring Irfan Pathan's form on this trip © AFP
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Players/Officials: Irfan Pathan
Series/Tournaments: India tour of Sri Lanka
Teams: India

Irfan Pathan is back. Again. With consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards. With a role in four of the five Indian wins on this tour. His previous comeback arrived after nearly three years, and lasted eight ODIs and one Twenty20 international before he was left out of the squad for this trip, despite very reasonable figures. Irfan was looking for a county deal; then Vinay Kumar got injured, and Irfan got a lifeline. And boy, he has grabbed it.

The highest wicket-taker in the ODI series. The most economical Indian fast bowler in the ODI series, ahead of even Zaheer Khan. Plus, two calm and decisive knocks with the bat when the team was in trouble. And a whole-hearted effort in the field. Twist the package any way you want, you will struggle to call it anything but all-round.

Before the series started, people were wondering how many games Irfan would get. The precedent was the way he had been treated in the ODI tri-series in Australia. He played half the number of games Ravindra Jadeja did and took twice as many wickets, and made almost as many runs. Irfan batted at No.9, Jadeja at No.7.

Fortunately for Irfan, Jadeja did not make this trip. But Irfan had to earn the team management's confidence, especially after MS Dhoni spoke about Jadeja's importance as a bowler before the first match. A first spell of 6-1-20-1 with the new ball in Hambantota set the tone for the series.

Irfan swung the ball regularly into the right-handers. His pace was steady, in the mid-to-late 120s, but he got the ball to bounce and zip off the pitch, which he has said creates opportunities for him. Importantly, he did not fall apart at the death. He was involved in two match-winning partnerships with Suresh Raina and Dhoni, sensibly rotating the strike during both stands.

Three games, he played as the allrounder, batting at No.7 with four specialist bowlers to follow. In the next three games, the team management developed enough confidence in Irfan's bowling to play an extra batsman in Manoj Tiwary.

Irfan was delighted to be back, and desperate to perform. He had gone through a phase where his back had troubled him so much that he had started to worry more about his body than his career. His action had been through so many ups and downs he had no clue where the Irfan of 2003-04 had disappeared.

He had bowled for hours in the nets and local games in his hometown Vadodara to try to get some of the shape back. People didn't believe him when he said he was prepared for a comeback. He returned to the side, did not get many opportunities, and was dropped again, but destiny probably owed him another chance.

Irfan wasn't going to let it go through want of preparation. Almost every game, he would walk to the side pitches before the start and bowl and bowl. He worked on his delivery stride and on his use of the crease. He did not face the best bowling in the nets as most of the India bowlers would be done by the time his turn came to bat, but he practiced his strokes against what was on offer. He stayed back on occasions after the rest had left to bat against throwdowns.

Despite his showing, he is still on trial, in a way. Duncan Fletcher, the India coach, said after the ODI series that Irfan had done a good job "at the moment". "I think he has got the potential," Fletcher had said. "We just have got to see him progress from here and see how he bowls in India and bats in India."

He will surely be tested in Indian conditions, and Jadeja could return into the equation as well. But for the moment, India can savour the return of someone who is the closest they have currently to a fast-bowling allrounder.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (August 10, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

I admit Pathan played well but definitely not talented because he hasn't done too many special things just another average older player in all forms :)

Posted by RajeshNaik on (August 10, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Irfan contributed well with bat. But India would like to see more of him as a bowler. His bowling was just average apart from the early swing. Half of his wickets were from bad balls which the batsmen could not put away. To his credit even Irfan acknowledged this point. After having put in a dismal show in asia cup, he deserved not to be picked up. But luck was on his side and he used his chances. Let us see how long this comeback lasts.

Posted by SoverBerry2 on (August 10, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Last time Irfan got a wicket by the yorker (Like that of T. Dilshan in last series) was when was 20 years old! He has improved...He should be in Test team!

See some stats of I. Pathan! In 2012 (after return) Matches: 12, Ave: 34.40, SR: 101.17 Matches: 12, wickets: 19 (best 5/61), Ave:29.15

Posted by SoverBerry2 on (August 10, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

Why Pathan is changing his action in very series!

Posted by cricindian123 on (August 9, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

It is great coincidence that Vinay kumar got injured and Irfan got a replacemnt position n the team..actully seeing his last performances in the last matches and IPL, he is the player to be selected ahead of Vinaykumar...he shown his talent in the series and if he is not there result might not be 4-1...selectors and dhoni should faith on him and his confidence level to be raised...he is the best all rounder at present india having and ability to change the game.It is meaning less to compare him with Jadeja..Congrats Irfan and wish you good luck....

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

some of the comments are really surprising to read, he is a batting all rounder really??How many indian bolwers have taken 5 wiket hauls in the lst few years? The way he removed the top3 in the t20, he captured Dilshan so frequently in the series and remember dilshan has been real key man for Sl against Ind in last 3 years. And Speed alone is of no use, Dinda and Yadav despite their speeds got hammered anyway, I dont say Pathan is a great bowler but with the kind of resources available he certainly should make it to the playing 11.Don't why people are so obsessed with having talent rather then people performing, he may not look sharp but his performance deserves a place for him.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (August 9, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

Irfan Pathan was such a celebrated all rounder, that people started comparing him with Kapil Dev. I think this comparison puts a lot of pressure on him. But the thing is that he lost his SWING somewhere, may be because he tried to bowl faster. For pace he lost his main weapon,the art of SWING. Anyway he brought back his swing now. He may be bowling at mid or late 120's ,but he is keeping tight line and length. He should be included in the Test squad vs New Zealand, also in the T20 World cup squad.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Several critics are commenting on Irfan's pace. What do they mean by pace? Is it running fast and throwing the ball at a speed of 140 KM or more, without bothering on line and length or accuracy or right placess?

Irfan is a genuine fighter and committed team player. He might have bad games but bis commitment can not be questioned. He is definitely better than Umesh, Dinda or any other player on any given day.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (August 9, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

all said and done,mid 120's is not going to threaten the batters.Conditions not helping swing bowling, boy you are a goner. Develop some muscles, bowl fast..you should at least be around the high 130's (138 - 139 thereabouts).We are on the lookout for a bowling allrounder not a batting allrounder.

Posted by 777aditya on (August 9, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

Irfan Pathan and Manoj Tiwary came up trumps in this series. Likewise, if we show more persistence with the likes of Rahane, Dinda, Yadav, and Rahul Sharma, similar results shall follow. Kohli, Dhoni, and Raina yet again treated SL like a depleted domestic side in Ranjis (with utter and complete disdain)! pooROHIT beSHARMA ?! well, with his current form (or the loss of it), he would not even make it in the Afghanistan team (who are really good by the way), but I am sure the Indian cricketing pundits think otherwise!!

Posted by Masud_BITK on (August 9, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

Actually Irfan has made a big difference in Indian lower order batting line up. Even he fails on bowling, I see no one else as good as Irfan on Number 7. He can stick on wicket as well as can hard hit. So, he is the perfect man. Unless someone else is getting special favor of MS Sound like Rohit and Jadeja.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

irfan hard work paid off but wer missng bhajjii he has dnee well..in england and we should remembr munaf patel who was unsung hero of 2011 world cup ..its will be gr8 2 see him back coz he was the best death bowler for ms dhoni..

Posted by Pandyan on (August 9, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Very delighted to see Irfan performing and making quiet all those who told he is not good to be in the Indian team, and still if people think he is not the best candidate to be an all-rounder in the Indian team, then certainly there is no one else in Indian Cricket who is better all-rounder then him. Ravindra Jadeja is not even half good a player as Irfan is has he won any matches for India. If still that Jadeja makes in to the Indian team then its totally biased against Irfan and we can see the favorness for Jadeja like Rohit Sharma in the team.

Posted by manisacumen on (August 9, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

In the euphoria of IrFAN's 2nd rising, people are forgetting to give thanks and credit to Vinay Kumar for breaking down at the last minute. Irfan as somebody has rightly pointed out here is to be treated as a batting allrounder and not a bowling allrounder. If this clarity is obtained, it will be good for all - Irfan, BCCI, selectors and us fans. When this is also made clear to him that we see him as a batting allrounder, he will not be under any pressure and his performance - with both bat and ball - will only improve. All the best irfan. Yusuf will do well if only we knew how to use him. We can try him at the top without bothering about the result. When we can tolerate Rohit for 5 consec failures, why not Yusuf. at least once in 3 times, he will come good. Yusuf should be used as a trump card - without bothering how many times it delivers. We wasted agarkar because we didn't use him properly. He was a good bat up the order, but he was waste down.

Posted by love_4_the_game on (August 9, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

nice to see irfan back in the side and picking wickets. but the still the main factor is the pace of his. Mid 120's is really not going to last him very long in the team. he needs to take on confidence from this series and try to increase the speed by atleast10kph. the swing he produced was grt and the same swing with speed of mid 130's really help him and also team india in a long way and also he'll be back as our premier weapon.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

he has got his swing back!!!! give him a green top in test match

Posted by renukumar on (August 9, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Good to see Irfan Back...I really loved to see the old irfan back. I feels like India won the gold. Hope he continues to be in the same form and do the best he can do to the Indian team. All the Best Irfan.

Posted by Crazy4cricket40 on (August 9, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

I don't understand why people comparing him with Jadeja. Irfan is a seamer who can also bat and make some runs. Now its vinay kumar, yadav, dinda and praveen kumar needs perfom well to compete with irfan. Jadeja should be compared with Ashwin or ojha. If someone here thinking that jadeja is a batsmen then he needs to be compared with rohit sharma or tiwary not irfan. If mgmt, dhoni or anybody here wants jadeja in the team then yadav or dinda needs to be dropped not IRFAN. To me Yadav is useless anyway. he is also a worst fielder. He droped a lollypop catch at long on otherwise irfan would have 4 wickets in this t20. Happy with Irfan's performance. He will be danger in world t20 in srilanka with ball if ball really swung for him.

Posted by krik8crazy on (August 9, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

I have always said that Irfan merits a place in the squad if not in the team. He is a handy player to have and if a batsman gets injured he can fill in the role of a #3 and also bowl a few overs. The selectors have focused only on the negative aspect of his ability - that he cant bowl 10 full overs economically and continued to keep him out of the team. I am glad they gave him a long run this time and so happy to see him do well.

Posted by pulkit10 on (August 9, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Don't even mention Jadeja. He's been a terrible deal for India as apart from the last series against England, he hasn't done anything of real importance. Sure, a good fielder but that's not why he is in the team. His batting is reckless and less than ideal and his bowling is hardly special (Raina, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Tiwary all offer part time spin too, making his case even harder to swallow). It's just that Dhoni is too afraid to experiment due to the pressure on him.

Irfan has been great in this previous series and I wish him luck but he isn't the answer to India's problems. He could compete against Praveen and Vinay Kumar as the third seamer but India still lacks a competent and young pace attack (Umesh is too wayward, Zaheer is not young, Aaron can't keep himself fit and Dinda is very average). But I would like to see what he does overseas before putting him down. Good job Irfan, hearty congratulations to you.

Posted by Nerk on (August 9, 2012, 2:11 GMT)

Hopefully Irfan can keep it up. He is a great bowler at ODI, and has the ability to be a solid bowler at test level too. His batting is not so bad either. Good luck Irfan and keep going on the comeback trail!

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

irfan has once again proved his worth.its up to team management and dhoni to preserve him atleast up to 2015 world cup i n australia where he is going to be the key as yuvi did it in 2011 world cup.they should not allow irfan to play test match as irfan is a gifted one day player.......i bet ravindra jadeja is no where near irfan.....a fast bowling allrounder is always a great one to have in a side.....irfan may not be seems to be tim bresnan or andre russel...but his class belongs to paul collingwood,ian harvey,angelo mathews,thisaara perera(all high impact players on their teams performance).....ravindra jadeja's place in playing eleven should compete with R ashwin,rohit sharma,yusuf pathan.......but not with india's one and onely fast bowling allrounder at the moment

Posted by jango_moh on (August 9, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

@VickGower.... it cant be both rite... irfan will either do bad bcos of his low pace on subcontinent pitches, or on fast/seam tracks... imo he will do great outside india since there are many players like pollock, vaas, and many eng bowlers who did pretty well with less pace but swing/seam....

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (August 9, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

irfan is there in the team because of his bowling.even in post match dhoni said he was playing with 7-batsmen and 4 bowlers,so team management wants irfan to shine more with his bowling.i will prefer jadeja over irfan in india but jadeja is not a good striker like irfan.irfan needs to improve his bowling,in india he is not going to get any swing and with his pace batsmen will hammer him.i wud prefer jadeja ovr irfan anyday in sub-continent.

Posted by rsurya on (August 9, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

India will definitely go for Jadeja and become no 8 in ODIs.

Posted by vrn59 on (August 8, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

India T20 XI: Gambhir, Sehwag, Kohli, Tiwary, Raina, Dhoni (C&wk), I Pathan, Ashwin, Zaheer, Yadav, P Ojha. L Balaji should also be looked at.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

What does it matter what Irfans pace is ,the fact that hes accurate and can swing the ball makes him a more succesful ODI bowler than say Umesh Yadav ,Sreesanth or Ishant Sharma who are all fast but give tons of runs away .time for not only the regionally biased myopic selectors and even fans to realise that Irfan brings a lot to the team and should be a regular in the ODI and T20 playing eleven .

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 22:58 GMT)

Irfan is a great performer, i am so happy he performed well, and hopefully he gets to keep side in team. this U19 wc like naresh28 mentioned will be very good for indian cricket, since the young talents will get to play on austrillian pitches, we will be able to see who can perform well on austrilla pitches, any performer who does well in u19 wc, should get the Kohli treatment and given chance to play in Indian team, and given plenty of chances.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

Happy to see Irfan back with two MoM performances.Irfan is dangerous when ball swings he should bowl in the death overs with more relaxed wrist position that will give hime more speed and bounce

Posted by VickGower on (August 8, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

This is the sort of euphoria we were cautioned against when things were falling apart in Australia. That India would return home, play a few games, and people will forget the reality. Alas that is happening once again. Here is the notable line from this article that people ought to pay attention to: "His [Irfan] pace was steady, in the mid-to-late 120s." That is just a shave over spin bowling, except, at a comfortable pace. Nowadays we have pace bowlers swinging at 140 kmph plus. There is NO way Irfan is going ANYWHERE at this pace. Rajat Bhatia, I think it was, who effectively, said, I have played Irfan, and he will be found out overseas at the pace he is bowling. Irfan should be congratulated for his performance - okay to do so. But every mention of his performance should come with this caveat: Let's see what he does overseas.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 8, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

INDIA are better odi team cause of the fact that in tests they do not feel that taking 20 wickets is possible. Once Kumble left they lost that intensiity. Thus it became obvious that their strength is in ODI ONLY. UNTIL THEY UNEARTH A PACE BOWLER and TWO GOOD SPINNERS they will never climb back to NO1 in tests.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

Against New Zealand, India needs to give like these players more chance Irfan, Bhuvaneswar Kumar, Shami Ahamed, Jalaj Saxena. These players can bowl and also bat well. New Zealand not that much good team now, so indian senior players need to take rest. Under- 19 players like U Chand and Baba Aprajith also very promising players. If they will get at least half chance what Rohit Sharma got; sure they will success. Bhuvaneswar Kumar bowled well in IPL and also against West Indies- A team and he scored so many runs in Renji matches. Give like these players more chance; at that time we will get one Mathews or Jacques Kallis or Watson.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 8, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Irfan is a genuine ALL ROUNDER that Indian have. I am tired of seeing these spinning all rounders India keep cropping up. It's time we had a pace bowling all rounder. Irfan also brings a capable batsman in him to the team. He's is a hard hitter and a sincere worker at his game. I am sure this confidence will do him a world of good. Who knows, perhaps one day he could get back into that Indian test team as well. Rohit Sharma should be dropped in immediate effect. Enough is enough. The man is low on confidence and it's time he played some domestic cricket to get some form back. Ajinkya Rahane should be given more opportunities along with Tiwary.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

Sehwag gambhir kohli dhoni raina rohit yusuf irfan ashwin yadav dinda.... ye team best hay .. :)

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Future of Indian Team lies in youngster and not veterans . If India want to perform well at WC 2015 and on they need to give as much experience as they can to the youngsters. I mean Sachin , Sehwag, Harbhajan,Gambhir and Zaheer and even Dhoni are all good players and they played their part in India's success till now but its time for them to step down and give youngster as many chance as they could . Players like Rahane, Kohli, Tiwary, Raina,Badrinath etc are future of Indian Batting and Umesh, Aaron, Ashwin, Rahul are future of Indian bowling with Irfan leading the attack. People who say Irfan is not a test material don't realize that they are talking about a guy who had 100 wickets to his name in 29 matches and i think only Zaheer khan has more test wickets than Irfan among the bowlers on current squad . If praveen kumar who bowls in 120's can play test why can't Irfan. Also we need to find a good wicket keeper batsmen to replace Dhoni in future .

Posted by r1m2 on (August 8, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

I think Jadeja is probably a better fielder than Irfan. Irfan is a good swing bowler with the new ball and a better bat than Yousuf and/or Jadeja. I think in terms of combined batting, bowling and fielding abilities Irfan should be the top of the list of these 3.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (August 8, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Team for T20 Worldcup

Sehwag (Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min) Gambhir (Accumulator who can accelerate) Kohli (Awesome Accumulator who can accelerate/ Bowl 2 overs) Tiwary(Accumulator who can accelerate/ Bowl 2 overs) Raina(Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min) Dhoni I Pathan (Bowl 3-4 overs depnding on form of day/ Reliable bat) Y Pathan(Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min) Bhajji (Bowl 3-4 overs depnding on form of day/ hitter) Yadav (Bowl 3 overs at max speed he can bowl) Dinda ( Variations 3-4 over bowler)

Enough partimers and surprise factors as to who will bowl when and enough bowling to cover up another bowler having bad day.Will confuse opposition.Awesome batting power upto Bhajii. With this batting 200+ scores possible and batting is our strength. Batting linup can un nerve best of bowling attacks.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 8, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

I am an ardent Indian team fan. I follow most of the games and right now I like what I see of the U19 team in Oz. Some of these guys will play for INDIA one day. Just like Kohli and Irfan Pathan are doing now. If they win in Oz it will at least put us fans at ease that even our juniors can do well in overseas conditions. It will be something that we can throw back at our stirrers like Randyoz etc.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (August 8, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Sehwag Gambhir Kohli Tiwary Raina Dhoni I Pathan Y Pathan Bhajji Yadav Dinda

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 8, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

If India is to have realistic chance the T20 Worldcup should be like this 1) Gambhir ( run a ball accumulator with task of batting atleast 10 overs) 2) Yusuf Pathan ( role = go for bowling from start). If yusuf fails get sehwag for this role /Can bowl 2 0vers atleas) 3) Kohli ( He knows his role -Can bowl 2 0vers atleast) 4) Tiwary ( Hitter/Accumulator as situation demands/ Can bowl 2 0vers atleast) 5) Raina ( Finisher - Can bowl 2 0vers atleast) 6) Dhoni (Finisher) 7) Irfan (Finisher- Can bowl 3-4 overs) 8) Jadeja ( Can hit and can bowl 2-4 overs) 9) Yadav 10) PK 11) God knows. This way we have backup partime bowlers. One of them will have good day while other may have bad day but we still make up. Leaving out Ashwin becos he is good but his fielding/ batting is liability and in T20 Jadeja can perform almost same . If bowlers 8-9 10 put in even 10 overs together rest 100 is partimers and opposition will hard time making strategy since we ourselves dont know who

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Irphan pathan should be there in a team , India in australia and india in england were disaster series for india earlir but if we keep irphan pathan in a team than we can have 5 bowlers in a team with irphan pathan contributing in bowling as well. India major problem has been taking 20 wickets oversees in a test match. India need 5 special bowler in a test match so that they can come close to winning match. Now india have great batsman and have found good alrounder in a form of Irphan pathan, this is the time to take 5 bowler. We have to be careful while choosing a bowler. we must chose a bowler who can bat a bit. so call harbhajan sing back in a team . Irphan pathan, Harbhajan singh, Ravi chandran ashwin, Ishant sharma, Umesh yadav. we can play with 6 batsman because Irphan , ashwin and harbhajan can bat well lower down the order.

Posted by Raki99 on (August 8, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

I had Never had doubt in Irfan's abilities saw him play in baroda. Played a game against Him, The guy has in him he just needs the support from captian and coach. He is not a test match material but can play in other formats fo the game.

Posted by Vilander on (August 8, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Irfan was operating between 128 to 135ks. Dont say mid to late 120's.

Posted by desiboy454 on (August 8, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

CONT: I am pretty sure SRT/ VIRU wont play in AUS and if VIRU does we will lose the WC2015 because he cant play in those conditions. So I honestly feel that players that wont be around in 2015 should retire from the ODIs soon just so our younger players get a chance. I love SRT/ ZAK/ VIRU they were pillars in making our test team and winning WC11 but now its the future. Also SRT to focus on tests and helping players like Kohli/Rahane/Pujara groom to build a strong line up again. Test team for NZ: Gautam, Viru/Rahane, Kohli, SRT, Pujara, VVS, Dhoni, Ashwin, Umesh, ZAK, Ishant/Ohja.

Posted by desiboy454 on (August 8, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

I love seeing IRFAN, ever since 2003 when he made his debut I have loved seeing him bowl bat. Like Sanjay Manjrekar says Irfan is an honest trier for India. I must say he has a long way to go because in india, I know indian team will prefer jadeja at 7 for his spin, but honestly for 2015 world cup in AUS, Irfan has to be at 7 so we can play 3 genuine fast bowlers, 1 spinner and irfan at 7. We cant have Kohli/ Raina/ Rohit and them bowling 10 overs. So Indian team should look at 2015 before anythign else. Also dont bring Irfan into tests, have him go to australia/ sa/ eng for A tours so his bowling/ swing gets even better. But we have a bigger problem.. Does ZAK need to play odis/ t20s, shouldnt we have him play only tests so that Umesh/Ishant and others can learn from him in tests and so that our limited overs bowlers who will play in 2015 get enough games to test themselves. I am saying the same for VIRU n SRT.. will they be around 2015? have Rahane and other play 70 80 matches before

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

yes!! rohit and jadeja have been given more chances than they deserve... HOW MUCH MORE!!...?? Irfan has alwyz showed he is a more better TEAM MAN than jadeja.. his performances speak... not only is he performing, but he is doing so WHEN THE TEAM NEEDS HIM.. and manoj tiwary has grabbed his chances in the 2 opportunities he has been given... compared to ROHIT'S 20 OPPORTUNITIES...

MS DHONI IS A BIASED SKIPPER... VIRAT KOHLI WOULD BE A BETTER ONE!!

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

Its difficult to compare Irfan and Jadeja. Team management must keep in mind the next World Cup when they are trying to evaluate players for the 1 or 2 All rounders' spot in this team. Irfan by far is a better bowler than Jadeja. Also his services are of more importance in the next World Cup than that of Jadeja. While Jadeja is a better batsman than him, but considering that he will mostly bat at No.7 position, what is required is a batsman who can hit the ball cleanly and has the temperment to see the Team through. In this regard I will rate Irfan higher than Jadeja. Now that Irfan has performed, he only needs to feel that he is part of the core team. This will really boost his confidence. And his past performance shows that he is a superb bowler when he runs in to bowl with that confidence.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (August 8, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

About Rohit Sharma: He needs REST. And I hope, somehow Yusuf Pathan (who was in poor, poorer, poorest form in IPL) gets back in Indian team at least for T-20 WC. If Y Pathan is in touch he will win you the match single-handedly in sub-continent. Hoping for The BEST. Would be awesome to see both brothers playing India.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (August 8, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Liza Khan: Agreed about ordinary Jadeja and pathetic Vinay Kumar. But Ashwin ? You don't know his importance. If you talk about ODIs and T-20s, he is way better than Bhajji. Bhajji has variations ? Bhajji has wicket-taking ability ? Nowadays our Bhajji doesn't even turn ball the other way (i.e. Dusra) and you might not know but when he was dropped, he played in Ranji matches and even there he failed to pick wickets. Ashwin is such a dependable bowler. He bowls in power-plays, He bowls in death-overs, He stops batsmen from scoring runs, He picks wickets ! But I must admit, Ashwin is not getting as much wickets as he was when he replaced Bhajji. But still Aswin will pe picket ahead of Bhajji any day. Dhoni does favor some players. TRUE but in Ashwin's case is, It's justified. And if not Ashwin, not Bhajji ? then who ? Don't tell me Iqbal Abdulla or Piyush Chawla !!

Posted by Gotiji on (August 8, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

I find 'bias' a big chink in Dhoni's armour. An otherwise admirable leader, he has shown his bias towards or against certain players a bit too often. It may be hard to overlook personal differences at time but let us not forget it is cricket that brings you together. What if Manoj Tiwari failed after warming the bench right through Aus tour? Irfan's success is much deserved and let us see if Dhoni's policy of giving 'enough chances' comes to play in his case as well. And when will Yusuf Pathan get his chance? If they don't play him in T20 and ODI's what are they saving him for? Opening in Tests?

Posted by RajitD on (August 8, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Irfan is the best allrounder we had since Kapil, and by far the best on the horizon. The biggest disservice is to treat him as a bowling allrounder. His strength is his batting, and he has to be seen as a 4th bowler. An amazing batsman who can also bowl. He will never be a spearhead, but that does not undermine his utility one bit. He provides real balance to team India.

Posted by neerajprasher on (August 8, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Now the time for Test match.Hope BCCI will pick good players.i like it Kapil dev said couple of days before how zaheer khan pick for all format.when he cant bowl 10 overs how he is gonna bowl in test matches.most of the time he is injured.he should retire now.my team would be aginst NZ test matches--Gambhir,sehwag,kohli,tendulkar,pujara,laxman,dhoni,irfan,ashwin,vinay,aaron .

Posted by somi006 on (August 8, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

pathan is back and this time he is back with a BANG with two consecutive MOM in his kitty. who said he will never be the same bowler again. he certainly deserves a permanent place in the ODI Squad and should also be looked as a good prospect for Test's as well.

Posted by JBKSHAH on (August 8, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

AT ONE STAGE IRFAN WAS BEING COMPARED TO LEGENDARY KAPIL DEV, UNDOUBTEDLY THE GREATEST INDIAN ALLROUNDER. IN FACT HIS PERFORMANCE FIGURES WERE BETTER AT ONE STAGE! i AM V HAPPY TO SEE HIM BACK. HE IS FAR BETTER THAN HIS BROTHER YUSUF & JADEJA. BUT IF SOMEHOW U R NOT IN GOOD BOOKS OF MSD IT MAY BECOME DIFFICULT TO GET A CHANCE. ROHIT WILL KEEP ON GETTING CHANCES EVEN IF HE IS IN MISERABLE FORM AT THE COST OF MANOJ TIWARI! HOPE & PRAY IRFAN WILL BE THERE NOW AS LONG AS HE PERFORMS WHICH I M SURE HE WILL.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 8, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

We now have a good 7. Irfan was thrown the ball to open the bowling and he quietened his critics. We need YUVI as the second allrounder. INDIA need to give SACHIN and LAXMAN a farewell game in INDIA. We have youngsters ready to take over. My only concern is the lack of PACE from our pace bowlers. Although these aged players are good batsman they become a liability on the field and together with bowling - this is where we lose games in a team sport.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 8, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

When YUVI comes back, we will two allrounders in the limited overs games. Could be a real boost for INDIA.

Posted by bluebillion on (August 8, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Slightly off-topic but how is it possible that Irfan got MoM and Kohli MoS for a one match T20 series?

Posted by gruntledemployer on (August 8, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

It is unfortunate that Irrfan's success must be contrasted with Jadeja's supposed shortcomings. Jadeja is one for the future; don't be surprised if he becomes captain after the next World Cup. His talent knows no bounds, and it is no coincidence that the most successful IPL side paid record amounts for his services.

Posted by monisammy on (August 8, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

WITH IRFAN BACK IN THE SIDE INDIA HAS ALMOST FOUND ITS BEST 11. JUST FEW CHANGES.. YUVRAJ IN FOR ROHIT, VARUN AARON IN FOR DINDA... MY BEST 11- SEHWAG/RAHANE,SACHIN,TIWARI/GAMBHIR, VIRAT, RAINA, YUVRAJ,DHONI, IRFAN, ASHWIN, ZAHEER/VARUN AARON/UMESH YADAV(ANY 2)... GOOD LUXK INDIA..

Posted by monisammy on (August 8, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

I REALLY WONDER WHAT MORE PATHAN HAS TO DO TO BE A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THIS INDIAN TEAM???.. PRAYING & HOPING THAT " USELESS CRICKETER " VINAY KUMAR NEVER COMES BACK TO THE SIDE. HE JUST DOES NOT DESERVE A PLACE IN THE NATIONAL ARENA.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

Irfan and manoj shud b in the team in place of Jadeja and Rohit.

Posted by ImpartialObserver on (August 8, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

I have always been a fan of Irfan. He has excellent attitude and gives of his best for the team. In fact I had been annoyed with Irfan that he was not able to cement his place in the side. He is miles and miles ahead of Yousuf Pathan and Jadeja in temperment and talent. I just hope he now cements his place in the side. This would be great for him and more so for India!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 8, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

IRFAN SUCCEDED IN SL BECAUSE THERE WAS SOMETHING IN SL PITCHES FOR THE SEAM BOWLERS ALSO WHICH COMMENTATORS MANJREKAR & ARNOLD WERE ALSO DISCUSSING DURING COMMENTATORY . I M QUITE SURE IF OUR INDIAN CURATORS WILL ALSO PRODUCE SAME PITCHES WHICH WILL HELP SEAM BOWLERS THEN HE WILL ALSO SUCCED IN INDIA & OUR YOUNGSTERS SHOULD ALSO GET A OPPURTUNITY TO PLAY ON SEAMING BALLS BECAUSE THE NEXT WC WILL BE IN AUS . HOWEVER IF THE PITCHES REMAINS SAME FLAT TRACKS THEN IRFAN WILL HARDLY SUCCED IN INDIA . HIS 125 KPHS SPEED IS VERY PREDICTABLE .

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 8, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

LOLZ . HOW CAN DHONI & FLETCHER STILL BACK JADEJA ? IRFAN WAS MAN OF THE MATCH IN 2 MATCHES . HE WAS THE HIGHEST WKT TAKER IN ODIS . EVEN IN CB SERIES HE WAS QUITE GOOD ( AT LEAST BETTER THAN JADEJA , REMEMBER THE MATCH AGAINST SL WHICH WE LOST HE MADE 47 RUNS WHEN SEHWAG PROMOTED HIM TO NO. 7 , REMEMBER HIM PULLING BRETT LEE FOR A BACK TO BACK SIXES IN SYDENY WHICH JADEJA CAN ONLY DREAMED OF ) , THE REASON OF IRFAN 'S FAILURE IN ASIA CUP WAS BECAUSE ASIA CUP PITCHES WERE QUITE FLAT . EVEN 300 WERE NOT A SAFE SCORE ( AS WE CHASED 330 EASILY AGAINST QULAITY PAK ATTACK ) . CONTINUED.....

Posted by vinodzz on (August 8, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

Yusuf pathan shud replace Rohit Sharma in de nxt series.... what a performance he gave against de best South Africa in SA................

Posted by Haleos on (August 8, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

@ Munafbhai - And he is a great fielder.

Posted by Haleos on (August 8, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

He would bat much better in India. But then he may not have to. He is 10 times better than Jadeja and 100 times better than Ashwin(some people call him allrounder) who is a big big liability in the field, can hold his bat a bit and is an okiesh bowler. If he was not CSK, I doubt he would have got so many chances. Great job Shrikanth. What does poor murali kartik need to do to get back? Ojha has not been given enough chances either.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

@Liza Khan absolutely true to the word. "MS Dhoni spoke about Jadeja's importance as a bowler before the first match" because Dhoni & Jadeja happen to be the bestest of friends. This partial enmity for the pathan brothers has to stop. Dhoni can't seem to openly appreciate the talent Irfan Pathan is. Jadeja is hardly a contention. I. Pathan actually used to be on the A-list payroll of Indian cricketers. A light that Jadeja may never even see.

Posted by junaid_id on (August 8, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

A couple of years back I was putting together future Indian Team - and I had Irfan as my number 7 in all formats - especially tests. The problem is we treat him as a strike bowler. The solution is to treat him as your 5th bowler (even if he opens the bowling for you), the expectation should be that he will do a 5th bowlers job. I think he is more than capable number 7, and allows MSD to go go up to No. 6 and better utilize his batting as well. All in all - Irfan as your 5th bowler and your 7th bat gives you a much better balance. You can play with 2 seamers and 2 spinners in Sub continent or go with 3 - 1 overseas. I'd stick with Irfan in Tests for a whiile - India haven't had much success with the number 6 they have tried for long and Dhoni has never fully been utilized as a proper bat in Tests - not regularly anyway.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

MSD still supporting useless Jadeja he never performed in a couple of matches together lot of failures and some glimpse of success here and there. Irfan is a good potential all rounder in over seas conditions. He would have been played more in Australia and I am sure more Jadeja. Jadeja is pits and pieces type of cricketer and he won't be international material. If MSD again drag him back in to the team means it will be a very big mistake. Irfan can be used better in Indian conditions as well and he needs to open the bowling and bat at no 7 and I am sure he will contribute for more wins. In Indian conditions all our fast bowlers will go for runs and off color some times. We don't need to be panic and the bowlers will struggle for the high scoring matches.

Posted by rooting_4_india on (August 8, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Its good to see Irfan back in his elements. I have often been puzzled by the selection of Ravindra Jadeja and not Irfan as an allrounder. He can carry the new ball and can be he third bowler as well. His batting is also much aggressive than Jadeja. But Indian selectors have mysterious choices. I just wish Irfan kkeps his current form and gets back to The Indian Side.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Both Irfan Pathan and Manoj Tiwary have really demonstrated exactly why they deserve more chances in the playing XI this series. They have shown what they're capable of as all-rounders, and that's a huge bonus to this Indian line-up.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

all the best irfan, we love u. ur a not a wasim akram, but jadeja isnt a shane warne either. work hard like u have so far, and make all of us proud.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

Jadeja an all-rounder? Excuse me, but Jadeja is not even fit to be the 12th man of a Ranji side. He is mediocre at his best and is too arrogant for his own good.. He thinks India cant do without him which is nothing but a big joke. Someone needs to give him a reality check..

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

I think..For the next series against Newzealand, team management shld bring Jadeja instead of Ojha..and play both irfan & jadeja..it will be a long batting lineup as well as 5 bowlers..

Posted by mycricket2007 on (August 8, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

This is perfect answer given to Sidharth Monga - Who is Irfan Pathan http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-india-2012/content/story/572331.html

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

I can't compare Irfan pathan to Jadeja , Irfan is better player than jadeja in his bowling and bat and his successive in past and recent

Posted by sk12 on (August 8, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

A small correction - I think it shld be "mid-to-high 120s" instead of "mid-to-late 120s" when you were talking about Irfan's pace.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

harbhajan is getting barely any wickets at county he needs to become an attacking bowler a wicket taking bowler rather than just stopping the flow of runs. Until then other people need to get chances. He needs practice at different areas rather than crappy indian wickets

Posted by Lords on (August 8, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

What an Irony!! Under performing or I would say the worst coach Team India have had for last 15 years, says that "Irfan is doing good at the moment and we will see how he does in India". Duncan has faltered in English and Australian conditions. Failed to provide direction to clueless young blood in these tough conditions and yet he talks about Performers like he himself has done wonderful and is in position to judge others. I wonder what happened to review of England and Aus tours. BCCI is simply not willing to improve standard of cricket or the way cricket is administrated in the country.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (August 8, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

If the same level of confidence is extented to Irfan, I am sure that he will get back his pace as well. If he gets to around 132-135 kmph on a consistent basis Irfan could be lethal with the variations he has. George Lohmann,Sid Barnes, and Alec Bedser three of the greatest swing bowlers of all time were all in mid 120s as seen from several reports which had been written in their playing days. Their main weapon was deception not pride derived from the display of the speed on the TV screen.If irfan has the confidence of Dhoni, I am sure he will justify my belief that Greg Chappell was right after all in getting him to bat at No 3 and open thebowling as well. I believe that someone marked by destiny has to get his calling some time in life. Irfan Pathan's time may have come. I wish him the best of luch in whatever he does from hereon.

Posted by Prats6 on (August 8, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Always been a huge believer in Irfan. I have no idea how can anyone in India be considered ahead of him as an allrounder. He is such an honest guy, tries hard and gives it everything. Yet, he always needs to keep proving himself while others simply keep getting chances after pathetic performances ( Jadeja,Vinay,Rohit and the lot). All the Best Irfan for this innings.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

Irfan is back..and many I say like for the zillion time.But lets see how much time he lasts before he is dropped again.He had a lot of potential but sadly once his limitations start being exploited i.e lack of pace and bounce, lack of swing in flat dust bowls he starts losing his strengths and soon looses his place from the side.His true test would not be whether he can swing on the flat tracks or whether he could bowl fast but how he is able to cope up and bowl smartly when things are not going for him...a test which he has failed up till now

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Irfan , you are a ture champion. We are having so many hopes on you. MSD is a great captian and i am sure this time he will understand the importance of Irfan , a true champion.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

i will not forget this match performance,it was out standing , through out the tournament ,i hope irfan is select for India team permanent all- rounder

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

i second u 'Liza...... well said, its bizarre hw dey select team and what Mr DHoni said abt Pathan? "we dont want more bowlers bowling at the same pace as P Kumar and V Kumar" sucker...cudnt spot the difference between Pathan and V Kumar

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (August 8, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Before this series, SL fans claimed that they got the best all-rounders and they will win the series easily. They degrade Indian lineup. Now they got the answer. Their so-called best all-rounders were flop in the series and Indian underdogs proved their ability. Well done Irfan. Hope you will carry your good form to T20 WC. All the best!

Posted by Rukky on (August 8, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

I would like bcci to try Pathan and Jadeja together for upcoming series against NZ. yes....same team played against SL. Just replace Aswin and go for Jadeja for one series. Because Aswin is not atheletic. Always gets run out. Very lazy lags. And also replace Sehwag. I want Sachin to play more for India.

My Team for NZ tour is : 1. Sachin, 2. Gautam, 3. Virat, 4. Manoj Tiwary/Rahane, 5. Suresh Raina, 6. MS Dhoni, 7. I.Pathan, 8. Jadega, 9. Zaheer, 10. Umesh Yadav, 11. Dinda / Varun Aeron.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

Well done Irfan Khan. Wish you all the best.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

"MS Dhoni spoke about Jadeja's importance as a bowler before the first match;" lol. At times, I wonder about the selection process of team India, when players like Jadeja, Vinay even Ashwin keep getting selected. Jadeja and Vinay (Munaf & Nehra possible replacements!) are nothing special and Ashwin clearly lacks variation. I know Harbhajan has been out of form but I would still prefer to select him, considering his experiences, bowling variation and wicket taking ability. Even if you decide not to select Harbhajan, surely we have other spinners in India. Anyhow, Kudos to Pathan and India.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

Irfan has the heart of a true champion. Despite facing criticism and being written off by arm chair critics, he keeps coming back. I just hope, this time the team management utilises him properly. They must define Irfan's role in the current side (Batting and Bowling). For example, opening the bowling with Zaheer, batting at no.7, 5 or 3!! Anyway, good luck Irfan.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

Fletcher admits Irfan has potential just like Rohit sharma has also got potential.Can anyone guess how many matches irfan plays in future

Posted by xylo on (August 8, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

"the closest they have currently to a fast-bowling allrounder" - aptly put!

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

pathan is back,,,,,,,,,,,,,come on pathan make ur place permanent in the playing x1,,,,,,,,,,,u need india, india need u as well as v need u(a fast bowling allrounder),,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by TrueFactors on (August 8, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

Why management is standing on one all-rounder in team? Why team can not keep two all-rounders? If I am captain, I would like 2 to 3 all-rounders in my team. Its a great asset. For sure, I have more trust in Irfan's batting sense compare to Jadeja, but I am interested in both players at a time with Irfan at 7th and Jadeja at 8th position.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

Ok, so he is not Kapil Dev or even Wasim Akram - but then who is? But Irfan Pathan, even without his adoring fan base, has worked hard to stay where he is. His bowling has regressed a little since he first came along, and his batting has got a little more meat, but as a package he still is the best fast bowling allrounder we have. When India play abroad, it really has to be him, and not Jadeja. That said, Jadeja's fielding and tidy bowling does weigh in his favor in subcontinental conditions ...

Posted by QingdaoXI on (August 8, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

Forgotten hero of last decade, is back with the bang. Hope he continues from here on-wards and end his carrier on high. I know in Indian condition it will be hard for Irfan bbut this confidence will surely help him to raise the bar over there and bowl good. Best wishes Irfan and Team India for a long season vs NZ, T-20 World cup, ENG, Pak, AUS. I hope India win all the series and get ready for next foreign trips. ut stil i think there was no need of Pakistan series sandwich between the England series it will take toll of our Players, as we we be continune playing till end of the IPL 2013, cci should think about this carefullly. IPL and Champions League takes three months of cricket. There should e Ipl as well as champions league but tme should be shorter and no. matches reduced.

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 8, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

Irfan is good. He lost his pace but if swing is still existent he can be very useful most of times. True he may get tonked but then even Akthar, Lee, Malinga get tonked quite few times. His batting is an asset. Even if he makes 25 to 40 runs that is good enough if he is bowling well and taking wickets

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

now the time , we will give him more chance in indian conditions, now he starting his second life in cricket. let give him a chance to grow up an allrounder, best luck irfan

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

"fast-bowling allrounder" At mid-120s? Remember his speed was around 140s when he started. Let's not celebrate another 'fast' bowler. No Indian 'pace' bowler has consistency for 2 consecutive matches; and our media immediately has a headline for them.

Posted by lovepork on (August 8, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

Irfan Pathan: a real fighter and very good team man, love to see you back mate! still remember your hat rick against Pakistan. very useful with the bat and give 100% on the field, a genuine all rounder and utilty player!

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