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Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan was regarded as one of the best talents of his generation when he made his debut at the age of 19. Pathan's left-arm bowling action coupled with his ability to prodigiously swing the ball both ways earned evoked comparisons with Pakistan fast-bowling great Wasim Akram. Akram is regarded as one of the finest bowlers in cricket and the left-arm pacer has picked up more than 900 wickets in international cricket, making him one of the most successful bowlers in history.
Former Pakistan captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan's comparison between Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan and his former Wasim Akram in 2004 has been doing the rounds on the internet. In the video, the 1992 World Cup-winning skipper compares the bowling actions of both the left-arm and believes that the then 19-year-old all-rounder Irfan Pathan was a 'Wasim Akram in the making'. Making a frame by frame comparison of their bowling styles, Khan said that both Irfan Pathan and Wasim Akram had an uncanny resemblance in their bowling style and had a similar run-up and arm action.
Imran compares Irfan & Wasim— subu sastry (@suubsy) July 24, 2020
'Frame by frame'
Run up, arm, wrist action
Uncanny the resemblance.
+15 year career was a done deal
Did World cricket miss something?@IrfanPathan @wasimakramlive #ImranKhan @ESPNcricinfo @BCCI #subu_vintagecricket #TGIF #cricketconnected @cricbuzz pic.twitter.com/3T87MW7LOU
Furthermore, Imran Khan said that both Irfan Pathan and Wasim Akram and identical wrist positions while releasing the ball, which helped them swing the ball late and trouble the batsmen. The 1992 World Cup-winning captain said that the only difference was that his teammate was a yard quicker then Pathan, but the India all-rounder could build it up as he was only 19 back then.
While the former Pakistan captain touted Irfan Pathan for greatness, the all-rounder had a stop-start international career, having made his debut in 2003. The former Kings XI Punjab star last played for India in Tests in 2008, while his last ODI came in 2012.
Irfan Pathan excelled in the domestic circuit after his national team snub before announcing his retirement earlier this year, having gone unsold in the last three IPL auctions. Pathan was part of India's victorious 2007 T20 World Cup squad and also played in the 2012 edition of the tournament. He remains the only bowler in cricket history to take a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match.
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