n Pakistan cricket, there is always hype around a ‘new’ pace bowler being readied before a key overseas tour. There is always a ‘youngster with a lot of promise for the future’.
Take for instance, the hype and the attention of the international media in ongoing Pakistan’s tour of England. Most conversations around the Pakistan outfit has been about their ‘young pace battery’ of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, both cricketers with immense promise.
Similarly, a few years ago, the focus was on a 7 feet 1-inch tall left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan. When he had made his debut, the lanky pacer was the talk of the town, with his thin tall frame, and the conversation was around the bounce that he can generate off the pitch.
But the bowler had a deceptive pace too, and this was found out by none other than current India captain Virat Kohli, according to an incident narrated by the Pakistan paceman.
IRFAN ON HIS MAIDEN INDIA TOUR
Speaking at a chat show with the Pakistan broadcaster Sawera Pasha on her Youtube chat show ‘Cric Cast’, Irfan spoke about his maiden tour to India in 2012 and the conversations around him.
“When I toured India for the first time, the Indian players were telling me that their coaches and support staff had told them that I bowl only at 130-135 kph. Even Virat Kohli told me that the coaches next to him had said that.”
But while that is what was expected of him, soon Irfan was clocking speeds close to 150 kph.
So when he was sitting with his pads on, he saw that I delivered the first ball at 145-146 kph. So he thought there might be some issue with the speed gun. Virat Kohli told this to me face to face. And when I bowled the next one at 148 kph, he told me that he abused the person next to him asking what sort of medium-fast bowler I was, as I was bowling at 150 kph,” Irfan said.