Once Upon a time Irfan Pathan was a hero of Indian Cricket. Later the heroism failed to reproduce itself, still the hope remained. The swinging sensation has turned him into an allrounder when his bowling kept deteriorating. The hope of others earned him USD 1.9 million, making him the top 5 costliest player of IPL 2011. Surprisingly besides poor performances, he is not even ready to take singles in the last overs.
He is failing with bat and ball. In 9 matches of Delhi Daredevils he has good enough opportunity to bowl and bat. Even on green track of Kotla he is just leaking runs, when opponents are taking wickets on his “Home” track. Even with bat he has nothing much to show. A six or two even a fresher Nagar can hit. Even in Delhi’s Players Index his performance is much below par.
Batting: In 7 innings remaining not out twice he has scored only 58 runs with 14 as highest, hitting 4 sixes and 2 boundaries.
Bowling: He has taken 6 wickets in 9 matches. In some matches he was not even allowed to complete his quota of 4 overs.
Fielding: He has dropped sitters, more than one, left boundaries or shuffled while collecting balls. Still ball follows him and has held 3 catches so far.
No Singles, No Strike
Unfortunately for him, Delhi Daredevils batting is testing his batting skills almost in every match. Hitting sixes and making runs can be tricky in this shorter version of game. But taking singles can be also tricky, Irfan forces us to believe that. In at least three matches he was batting during the 20th over. On most of the occasions he was the senior batsman among the two batsmen on crease.
Improving Batting Average!!
Common sense tells us to believe that senior batsmen would like to come on strike to try getting the maximum for his team. Surprisingly on the 4th or 5th ball of the last over, when there is opportunity to take a quick risky single, even when the other batsman is running towards the danger end, Irfan is refusing the single. The most comical scenario was that even on the last delivery of the innings, when even a tailender tries to steal a single even if the ball goes to wicketkeeper, the Vadodara Lad has been refusing singles. Why!!
Probably Sehwag or DD Management needs to inform him that in Twenty20 there is no rule of winning by number of remaining wickets in case of a tie. Also he should be told that he is expected to take strike even if it comes at the cost of risky singles that might let other batsmen to be run out, specially when 3-4 wickets are remaining and you have only 2-3 balls left in the innings.
His refusal to mingle with the singles and be on strike has made all believe that he just wants to remain not out, so that his batting average improves. Somebody should tell him batting average would not increase his rate or selection chances, but a battling brave inning, even if it is part of defeat would not only earn him accolades but also may give him bigger opportunities.
Play for the Team
Hopefully, Irfan will improve his team dedication skills. Team needs him. He is one of the best allrounders India and Delhi Daredevils have. DD needs some daredevilry from players like him to win some matches, if not all remaining matches, in current edition and exit with pride. Otherwise also a team called Daredevils where players like Sehwag play, there is no place for players, even if they have glorious history, who play safe and does not want to risk themselves for the team, despite knowing their place is safe at least in Delhi Daredevils team.