Mohammad Irfan took Gautam Gambhir's wicket twice in the three-match ODI series in 2012 which Pakistan won 2-1. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
At seven foot one inch, Mohammad Irfan was one of the tallest bowlers in world cricket during the start of the decade. In his career spanning from 2010 to 2016, Irfan played 60 ODIs, 20 Twenty20 Internationals and four Tests. He took 83 wickets in ODIs, 15 in T20Is and 10 in Tests as his big height posed problems for his longetivity in international cricket. However, the tall pacer has now come up with a sensational disclosure that he ended the white-ball career of Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener who retired from all forms of cricket in 2018.
In an interview to a Pakistan channel, Irfan said Gambhir was facing discomfort facing him due to his height. "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. 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.
Gambhir fell to Irfan twice in the ODI series as he managed to score just 34 runs in the three matches at an average of 11.33. Even in the T20Is, he scored 64 runs at an average of 32. Gambhir did not play any further T20Is after the Pakistan series and his form in ODIs dipped during the series against England in which he managed just 127 runs in five games at an average of 25. After the England tour, Gambhir did not play any further games for India in limited overs.
Irfan also went on to say that current Indian skipper Virat Kohli was also having immense trouble against him. The left-arm pacer said Kohli often misjudged his pace. "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. 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 said.
Irfan was plagued with injuries and his final match came in 2016 during the England tour and after which, he has not been picked. The left-armer recently played for Hawks in the Canadian Premier League while he played for Southern Punjab against Central Punjab in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Lahore.