Pakistan left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan on Monday (October 7) claimed that former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir couldn’t sight his delivery due to the bowler’s height and wasn’t able to read his pace during the 2012 bilateral series, which ended the batsman’s white-ball career.
Irfan recalled how Gautam Gambhir’s distinct discomfort while facing him in the limited-overs series literally finished the Indian opener’s white-ball career.
Standing tall at 7ft 1 inch, Irfan dismissed Gambhir four times during that T20Is and ODIs series and the southpaw played only one more white-ball series for India (vs England) before being dropped.
“When I played against India, they were not comfortable batting against me. Some of them told me in the 2012 series in India that they couldn’t sight my ball properly because of my height and also didn’t read my pace,” Irfan told the ‘Samaa’ channel.
“He (Gambhir) didn’t like to face me in match or when both teams had nets, I always felt he avoided eye to eye contact with me. I remember I got out him four times in the 2012 limited over series and he was unnerved against me,” Irfan said.
The T20 against Pakistan at Ahmedabad in that series was Gambhir’s last play in that format for India.
Gambhir also featured in just one more ODI series against England after facing Pakistan in the winter of 2012/2013 and was never picked in white-ball format by India again.
Responding to a question, the Pakistani bowler said he wouldn’t say anyone was “scared of him” but when he went out, people congratulated him for ending Gambhir’s white-ball career.
He also recalled in the interview that Virat Kohli had told him while batting against him, that he didn’t read his pace properly.
“He told me he thought I would be around 130-135 kph but I had increased my pace and I was bowling around 145 kph and he had problems picking me up. Once when he was batting he tried to pull a good length ball and missed,” Irfan remembered.
“Yuvraj (Singh), who was at the other end told him in Punjabi. Don’t try to pull him, rather try to cut him. Off my third ball, he went for a pull and was caught behind. Yuvi Paji told him… now go back,” Irfan recalled.
(With inputs from agencies)