Irfan Pathan has revealed that it was a veteran and not the former Team India controversial coach Greg Chappell who had played a role in his batting promotion. Irfan is one of the finest all-rounders to have represented India at the highest level. He had the capability of providing early breakthroughs with his amazing swing and was also a very handy batsman as an opener, at number three and in the middle-overs.
Reportedly, many experts have said that Pathan's downfall started after he had started focussing too much on his batting instead of bowling as per the advice of Chappell himself during his coaching stint from 2005 to 2007.
While speaking to a news daily, the veteran all-rounder went on to say he had made it clear after he had announced his retirement as well that those who are talking about Greg Chappell having spoiled his career by sending him as an all-rounder at No. 3 and all such things, they need to know that it was actually Sachin Tendulkar's idea and that the Master Blaster had advised the then Indian skipper Rahul Dravid to send him at No.3. Pathan then mentioned Tendulkar had told Dravid that the southpaw has the power to hit sixes, can take on the new ball, and can play the fast bowlers well.
The Gujarat cricketer then added that it (the move of sending him up the order to bat)was tried for the first time in the series against Sri Lanka (during the home series in late 2005) when spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan was at his peak, and the idea was to attack him as well. Talking about the Lankan pace attack, the cricketer-turned-commentator/analyst said that Dilhara Fernando back then had started the concept of the split-finger slower ball and the batsmen did not understand that too well, so the belief was if he could pull it off, it could work in India's favor , especially since it was the first match of the series.
Furthermore, the 2007 T20 World Cup winner clarified it is not true that Greg Chappell spoiled his career and since he was not from India, it is easier to criticise him.
(Image Courtesy: PTI)