Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan has memorized how Gautam Gambhir’s distinct discomfort while facing him during the 2012 bilateral series literally finished the Indian opener’s white-ball career.
“Gautam Gambhir was scared of me. I think his career ended because of me. He didn’t turn to the team after that.
Standing tall at 7ft 1 inch, Irfan removed Gambhir four times during that limited-overs series (T20s and ODIs) 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 correctly because of my height and also didn’t understand my pace,” Irfan told SAMAA TV.
Mohammad Irfan claimed that it was that critical series that ended Gambhir’s career. The Indian opener had got out double in the ODIs to Irfan during that series which the hosts won 2-1.
“He didn’t like to face me in a match or when both teams had nets, I always assumed he avoided eye to eye contact with me. I remember I got out him three times in 2012 limited over series and he was unnerved against me, “Mohammad Irfan said.
Gambhir played his last T20 for India against Pakistan at Ahmedabad, India in that series.
To a question, Irfan told 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 recalled in the interview that Virat Kohli present Indian team captain 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 improved my pace and I was bowling around 145 kph and he had problems picking me up. Once when he was batting he decided to pull a good length ball and missed.
“Yuvraj Singh, who was at the other end informed 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,” Mohammad Irfan recalled.