Cricket

Rolling back the years, Irfan Pathan style

Vintage stuff: Pathan’s quick-fire 57 off 31 deliveries ensured India Legends’ come-from-behind victory.

Vintage stuff: Pathan’s quick-fire 57 off 31 deliveries ensured India Legends’ come-from-behind victory.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Irfan Pathan rolled back the years on Tuesday evening, with his quick-fire 57 off 31 deliveries to guide India Legends home in a rather close UnAcademy Road Satefy World Series fixture against Sri Lanka Legends.

Coming in at a time, when India Legends was five wickets down, chasing 139, Pathan had a challenging job on hand. But the former India pace ace — known for his big-hitting, coming lower down the order — held his nerve and crafted his innings with six boundaries and three sixes.

And as he walked back to pavilion, the first thing Pathan asked his team-mates was, “Is Sachin (Tendulkar) paaji happy?”

After all, having played with Tendulkar for long, Pathan knows how particular Tendulkar is about every aspect of the game. “When you play with a legend like Tendulkar, he ensures that every match is played seriously. We have to respect whatever paaji says and we follow that. He wants us give our best,” Pathan said.

Being the captain of India Legends, Tendulkar, obviously, was happy with the way his team fought back. “After the game, I had a word with paaji, and he was very happy. That was a very special moment for me,” Pathan said. A seasoned campaigner, Pathan retired from all forms of the game in January this year. But he returned to action after quite a while, and admitted that it was a bit challenging to get into the shape.

“We had very little time for training. There were hardly four sessions before the first game,” Pathan said. “I was in Russia before coming for the tournament, so in that extreme conditions, I tried bowling a couple of overs. It was snowing, but I wanted to get going. When you haven’t bowled for a year, it gets challenging.”

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:19:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/rolling-back-the-years-irfan-pathan-style/article31043191.ece

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