The world fame left arm swing bowler, ex-Captain of Pakistan and bowling coach, Wasim Akram has condemned the ‘Board of Control for Cricket in India’ for ignoring Irfan Pathan for the series against Australia.
Irfan was recalled for the fourth One Day International against the visiting West Indies which will be played at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore, on December 8, 2011. He has to sit out of the Indain squad for more than two years due to lack of form and inconsistency. The left arm seamer represented India for the last time against Sri Lanka on February 8, 2009, at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, where he got one wicket and India lost the match by 68 runs.
India has picked right-arm medium fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun while ignoring Irfan and Wasim predicted that will be a costly decision.
The promising Mithun has played four Tests for India and claimed nine wickets at an average of 50.66 with the best of 4 for 105 in an innings and 4 for 138 in a match.The youngster has yet to impress in the ODIs as he could manage just one wicket in three matches.
Wasim assumed that it is always demanding for a youngster to perform well against Australia in their home conditions where the seasoned campaigners like Zaheer Khan faced fitness problems in the past. He commented,
“An experienced cricketer like Zaheer Khan has broken down twice in two previous tours to Australia. On a big tour like this, the pressure to perform is huge, and I think Mithun would struggle on that front, which is why Irfan’s experience would have been handy.”
Wasim was one of the finest bowlers Pakistan has ever produced who used to rule the batsmen while bowling irrespective of the strips. He has played 104 Tests and grabbed 414 wickets at an excellent average of 23.62 runs with the best of 7 for 119 runs in an innings and 11 for 110 runs in a match.
He was a match winner and had the ability to clinch victory single handed with his lethal bowling.
The famous swing bowler has played 356 ODIs and accumulated 502 wickets at an average of 23.52 with the best of 5 for 15 runs and even now holds the second position in all time wicket holder’s list.
The 45-year-old has groomed Irfan for the last few years and knows exactly his skills.
Irfan has played 29 Test and held 100 wickets averaging 32.26 with the best of 7 for 59 in an innings and 12 for 126 in a match. The 27-year-old represented India in 107 ODIs and had 152 wickets at a reasonable average of 29.91 with the best of 5 for 27 runs.
Wasim was optimistic that Irfan should have been the best choice as a front line bowler in the absence of Zaheer Khan as he was accustomed with the conditions in Australia. He further elaborated, “I would’ve definitely picked Irfan. His previous experiences in Australia would have been a boost to Team India. I don’t know why he wasn’t considered. He looks confident and his swing would have been very handy in those conditions.”