You talk too much: Irfan Pathan recalls verbal spat with Shoaib Akhtar in 2006

Former Indian cricketer speaks about his heated battle with the world’s fastest bowler

You talk too much: Irfan Pathan recalls verbal spat with Shoaib Akhtar in 2006 PHOTO: AFP

Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan has opened up about his verbal spat with Pakistan’s legendary speedster Shoaib Akhtar, during the 2006 Faisalabad Test

The high-scoring drawn Test saw Pakistan score 588 runs in their first innings but this was matched by India, who scored 603 runs, thanks largely due to a 210-run sixth wicket stand between wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni (148) and Pathan (90).

Talking about his batting during that Test match, Pathan recalled his heated battle with Akhtar.

“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’,” Irfan told to Sports Tak on Instagram Live.

“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,” he added.

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Pathan also spoke about sledging strategy to neutralise the threat posed by Akhtar.  

“Akhtar was sledging. 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,” he said.

“That was the time, I sledged Akhtar saying ‘will you be able to bowl with the same intensity in the next spell?’. Akhtar responded angrily by saying ‘you talk too much’. He somehow completed that spell and that was how we drew that Test,” he added.

Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of the game, earlier this year in January, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career which included a World Twenty20 triumph.

The 35-year-old left-arm seamer played 29 Tests, 120 One-day Internationals (ODIs) and 24 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for India, picking a total of 301 wickets.