Former India seamer Irfan Pathan recalled his hat-trick against Pakistan in 2006 Karachi Test. The left-arm pacer had dismissed Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf in the first-over, but it was not enough to win the match for India. The two previous Tests in Lahore and Faisalabad had both ended in a draw, and Irfan’s hat-trick had ignited hopes that India would go on to win the Test. But Pakistan bounced back emphatically and managed to win the 3rd Test and clinch the series 1-0.
Speaking in an interview to Sports Tak, Pathan said: “I always feel sad that we lost the Test because we got off to a 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.”
The 35-year-old then went on to talk about the hat-trick and explained how he planned against each of the three Pakistan batsmen. “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.
“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 cleaned up Yousuf with an inswinger, which is still regarded as one of his best wickets. “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.