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Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan reckons that he could have been the country’s best all-rounder in the One Day Internationals. However, Pathan admits that he was not backed by his teammates as he would have liked. In fact, Pathan had recently criticized the selectors that there was no kind of communication from the national selectors when he was dropped from the side.
Pathan revealed that he could not play till the time he would have liked for the national team. The Baroda all-rounder played his last match in the Indian colors at the age of 27 but despite decent performances in the domestic circuit, he could not catch the eyes of the selectors.
Irfan Pathan was the man of the match in his last ODI
Pathan played his last ODI against Sri Lanka back in 2012. Interestingly, the left-hander was awarded the Man of the match in his swansong match in the Indian blues. The southpaw scored 29 runs off 28 balls to add the finishing touches. The swing master also scalped five wickets for 61 runs. Surprisingly, Pathan was dropped and could not break into the side.
“In terms of achievement, there could have been a lot more. I really believe that in One-Day Internationals I could have been the best all-rounder that India ever produced, I could have been. That didn’t happen because I didn’t play as much cricket as I could have because my last game for India was at the age of 27,” Pathan told Rediff.com.
“I think if you play till 35, things would have been better, but that’s gone, it’s done and dusted. Whatever matches I played, I played as a match-winner, I played as a guy who made the difference to the team. Even if I took one wicket – the first wicket for the match – that made a big impact on the team. Whatever innings I played with the bat, I played to make a difference.”
Irfan Pathan also added that he was able to make a difference to the side with his solid performances. The all-rounder stated that he was opening bowler in the first 59 ODIs of his career and he was always instrumental in the success of the team.
“If you see the first 59 ODI matches that I played, I got to bowl with the new ball. And when you are the new ball bowler, you get the opportunity to bowl with the new ball as well as the old ball. Your aim, your mindset, your body language and your responsibility is to take wickets. But when you are bowling first change, your role changes as well, your role becomes defensive,” Irfan said.
“When you are bowling first change, when you are a defensive bowler according to your captain and coach, you have to play the role of containing the runs. You have to make sure that you don’t give away too many runs. So, if your role becomes different, then your numbers also become different as well.
Irfan Pathan scored 1544 runs in 120 ODI matches at an average of 23.39 whereas he scalped 173 wickets at an average of 29.72. Pathan could have easily played more for the Indian team but the selectors didn’t give him ample opportunities after he was dropped.