Let’s admit, Irfan Pathan has become an anachronism, though that was not supposed to be the case with an otherwise immensely likeable chap with a disarming smile. An obituary to his career seems premature but I’m afraid he would go down in cricket history as a mere case study -- how not to tamper with a talent.
Indeed, Irfan can’t be faulted if he looks back and feels he got stuck somewhere between his own potentials and Greg Chappell’s aspirations. In his weaker moments he would probably admit that the aspiring all-rounder in him subdued the bowler within. Suddenly, belting looked so glamorous and bowling such a chore. No wonder, pace dipped and swing deserted, rendering him lesser a bowler.To make it worse, too many mentors compounded the crisis. Irfan simply lost his way in the haze of advices that came from left, right and centre. Suddenly, everyone had something or the other to offer to him. No wonder, Irfan’s slower became a tautology and at some point of time, Jhulan Goswami was bowling faster than him. The same bowler who could make the ball talk, now only releases it and implores the almighty for the rest.
He probably got up one morning to discover in his horror that he has been robbed of his endowment.My sneaking suspicion is Irfan had an identity crisis all along. He began as Zaheer protégé, was the next Wasim Akram at his zenith and then rumormongers exclaimed
Again, this was not to be the case.The other day, Rafael Nadal had an asteroid named after him. I won’t be surprised if someone proposes to name a meteor after Irfan.