Irfan Pathan recollected the incident from 2006 test match against Pakistan where he & MS Dhoni nullified Shoaib Akhtar’s reverse swing by sledging the bowler into bowling short stuff.
Irfan Pathan went back in past & recalled a test match against Pakistan in 2006 during which he partnered with former India Captain MS Dhoni to sledge Pakistan’s former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Irfan Pathan revealed he had just asked MS. Dhoni to laugh when Pathan would sledge Shoaib Akhtar. “Akhtar was sledging as he always does, trying to get into our minds & break the partnership. I told Dhoni that I will sledge Akhtar & you just laugh at him & Dhoni agreed to it. Akhtar continued sledging us and at the time, the ball was also starting to reverse swing, which was even more dangerous for us. Our plan was to negate the reverse swing on the ball, which we could do if we could Akhtar to bowl shorter deliveries”, Irfan Pathan told a leading media portal.
“That was the time, I sledged Akhtar saying ‘will you be able to bowl with the same intensity in the next spell’? He responded angrily ‘you are talking too much, I will remove you from here’. So, I said, ‘You won’t be able to do it, I am also a real Pathan, you just do your bowling, don’t talk’,” Irfan Pathan further recalled.
Irfan Pathan exactly did what was expected from him, he bowled a series of short balls but the bowling all-rounder was ready for all of them. He survived & kept tapping the gloves with Dhoni to further irritate Akhtar.
“The next ball was a bouncer, I wasn’t ready for it. I left it. Then he started bowling short balls. I went to tap gloves with Dhoni while Akhtar was there, and I said ‘Paaji, the pitch is damp, you need to bowl a little more shorter’,” Pathan said.
“He kept getting angry, and we were able to play out that spell. After Akhtar’s spell, the batting became easier for us, and we were able to save the Test match and the match ended in a draw,” the former India fast bowler added.