It's unfair to blame Greg Chappell for spoiling my career: Irfan Pathan
During his playing career, Pathan had featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the national side, claiming a total of 301 wickets across all formats of the game.
Six months after bidding adieu to all forms of cricket, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has stated that it would be wrong to blame former Australian cricketer and former coach Greg Chappell for spoiling his career.
The 35-year-old's comments came during an interation with ESPNCricinfo presenter Raunak Kapoor on his channel Beyond The Field.
During the interaction, Pathan revealed that it was not Cheppell--who served as the head coach of the Indian team between 2005 to 2007- but legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who pitched the idea of promoting him to No.3 spot.
Pathan said that Tendulkar recommended the then skipper Rahul Dravid to move him up in the batting line-up prior to the opening ODI against Sri Lanka in 2005.
Though Pathan notched up a crucial knock of 83 runs to help India seal 152-run win over Lanka during that match, many believed that the team's management's decision to convert him into an all-rounder from the fast bowler was the reason behind his decline of the international career.
"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 all-rounder at No. 3 and all these things. Actually, it was Sachin paaji's idea.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," Pathan said.
Pathan further said that Chappell was made a punching bag because he was not from India.
"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. 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,"
Meanwhile, Pathan described Chappell as a 'misunderstood character' in a rapid-fire round of the interaction.
Irfan made his international debut for India during a Test match Australia at Adelaide Oval in December 2003.
During his playing career, Pathan had featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the national side, claiming a total of 301 wickets across all formats of the game. Besides this, he also managed to notch up 2,821 runs, including with a single hundred and 11 fifties.
He is also one of the three bowlers to have taken a hat-trick for India in the longest format of the game and the first one to grab it in the first over of the match.Irfan announced retirement from all forms of cricket in January 2020.
(With inputs from IANS).