Irfan Pathan's first over hat-trick against Pakistan in 2006 is considered as one of the most iconic moments in Indian cricket history. Pathan at his very best in the Karachi Test scalped Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf to achieve the rare feat. India lost the match but it's still remembered by many Indian fans for the special hat-trick.
Recently, Pathan recalled the hat-trick and claims he feels sad that India lost the Test because they got off to a good start.
“I always feel sad that we lost the Test because we got off to such a good start. Sometimes, I wish if I had bowled from both the ends, then I could have got Pakistan all out much earlier,” Pathan told Sports Tak.
The left-arm seamer further explained his plan to dismiss the Pakistan batsman during the hat-trick. Pathan said he got to know on the first two balls that the wicket is helping him and he executed his plans against Salman Butt. (Also Read | Irfan Pathan reveals how Dravid motivated him and Dhoni after shocking exit in 2007 WC)
"Whenever I used to bowl to a left-hander, I always used to think that if I bowl outside leg stump, it is okay, but I will not bowl outside off-stump. Because then the left-hander gets time to play the shot.
“So, I tried to swing the ball from leg-stump, but it remained straight. The 2nd ball, I bowled outside off-stump, it turned. So, I realised there is a lot of help from wicket. So, I got the wicket in 3rd or 4th ball, and I felt relieved. Because I always believed that it’s my job to get first wicket,” he said.
Pathan then emphasized on Younis' wicket and said it was a well-executed plan against him as he bowled him an overpitched delivery to hit his pads.
“Then came Younis Khan, and he used to trouble Indian team a lot. He used to score a lot of runs against us. I was thinking, I would bowl in front, even if I overpitch it, I will try and hit the pads. If you look at the delivery, I struck him below the knees. Luckily, the bowl was pitched exactly where I wanted to, Simon Taufel gave it out. Then came Mohammad Yousuf,” he said.
Pathan completed his hat-trick with Yousuf's dismissal, which he considered amongst the top five deliveries of his career. (Also READ | Exclusive: Sunrisers Hyderabad's new recruit Abdul Samad credits Irfan Pathan for his success)
“I definitely feel that wicket was top five deliveries of my career. Because ball turned in the air, because it picked up speed after it was pitched. I had been on a hat-trick before that match, but was unable to complete the milestone. I was thinking at the time, if it happens, it will happen. But then I thought Mohammad Yousuf was in front of me,” he said.
Pathan also revealed that Yousuf talked to his father before the tour and told him to pray that Irfan doesn't get his wicket.
“Mohammad Yousuf has spoken to my father before the tour, and said that ‘Khan sahab, I want to talk to you’. My father is very respectful, and he speaks openly to everyone, so he said, ‘Yes, tell me’. So Yousuf said, ‘You pray that even though I get out, I don’t get out to your son’. So, when I was on a hat-trick, I that incident came to my mind.
“I knew that I trouble him with my inswinging deliveries. So, I used to exploit him a lot. So I thought, Yousuf is front of me, the ball is turning in air, and pitch is helping me, so it was a great opportunity to take a hat-trick. So, I tried to hit him in the pads, I was not trying to hit the stumps. I tried to hit him in the pads, it turned in the air, and got inside, and hit the stumps. That day, whatever I planned, I was able to do,” he signed off.