Akhtar threatened Irfan in Faisalabad Test in 2006
Former Indian left-arm pace bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan has incredible memories against the Pakistan cricket team. In the 2006 Karachi Test, Irfan picked-up a hat-trick with three wickets in the first three balls of the match.
Irfan also has a bitter experience in the same series. However, it is not because of his own batting or bowling, but because of the sledging. He sledged the then speedster of Pakistan Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib had threatened to pick up Irfan in the Faisalabad Test.
Irfan has reminisced about that match after almost a decade and a half. Pakistan scored 588 runs in the first innings of the match. In reply, India took a 15-run lead and were all out for 603 runs. Irfan Pathan and MS Dhoni were instrumental in taking the lead.
After the fifth wicket fell at the team’s 281 runs, the two added 210 runs for the sixth wicket. Dhoni made 148 off 153 balls and Irfan made 90 off 170 balls. Shoaib lost his temper in frustration of not getting a wicket during this partnership. Of course, Irfan also had a hand in this.
Recalling that match on an Instagram live, Irfan said, “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’.”
He kept saying, “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.”
When Irfan and Dhoni could not keep up with Shoaib’s pace, they both planned to humiliate him mentally. Irfan started sledging and told Dhoni to just smile. The Pakistani fast bowler got angry and threatened Irfan.
In Irfan’s words,
“Akhtar was sledging. ‘Agar baat das hai toh woh bees bolenge’ [If it’s ten, I’ll call kit twenty]. 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.
“That was the time, I sledged Akhtar saying ‘paaji, agla spell me utna hi jaan lagegi?’ [brother, your next spell will take the same amount of energy?]. Akhtar responded angrily saying, ‘Bahut zyada baat kar rahe ho, tereko mai utha lunga idhar se’ [you are talking too much. I’ll get you out of here]. He somehow completed that spell and that was how we drew that Test.”