Former Indian International Irfan Pathan has recalled onfield tussle with veteran Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar, during the 2006 Faisalabad Test.
The high-scoring Test match saw the Men in Green smashing 588 runs in their first innings but this was matched well by the visitors, who responded with 603 runs, thanks largely due to a 210-run sixth wicket stand between wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni (148) and irfan Pathan (90).
Speaking about his resilient batting during the aforementioned game, Pathan recalled his verbal spat with Akhtar.
“When I was coming out to bat, Akhtar was bowling at a rapid pace of 150-160 kph. I went down and joined Dhoni and asked how’s the pitch is behaving, he responded by saying, ‘nothing much, you just bat’,” said Irfan
“I faced Akhtar’s first ball and it was a bouncer and couldn’t even see the ball. Somehow we tried to negate his spell. We tried building our partnership and after sometime, Akhtar again came for a new spell,” he added.
The former allrounder also opened about sledging strategy to neutralise the threat posed by Akhtar.
“Akhtar was sledging. I told Dhoni ‘I will sledge Akhtar and you just laugh at him’ and Dhoni agreed to it. Akhtar continued sledging us and the ball started to reverse,” he said.
“That was the time, I sledged Akhtar saying ‘will you be able to bowl with the same intensity in the next spell?’. Akhtar responded angrily by saying ‘you talk too much’. He somehow completed that spell and that was how we drew that Test,” he added.
It is to be known that Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of the game, earlier this year in January, calling time on a decent which included a World Twenty20 trophy.
The 35-year-old left-arm seamer played 29 Tests, 120 One-day Internationals (ODIs) and 24 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for India, picking a total of 301 wickets.