Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan revealed that he would choose Rahul Dravid as the captain he would have given his life for. Pathan’s career commenced under current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and then went on to play under the leadership of legends like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, and MS Dhoni.
In an interview with Sports Tak, Irfan opened up on how Dravid was the captain who defined his role, and Pathan enjoyed thoroughly during his captaincy.
Pathan recalled, “It’s a tough pick but I would like to go with Rahul Dravid. Dada was my first captain, Dada backed me throughout. Anil Kumble could have led for a longer period, unfortunately, that did not happen. Achievement-wise, nobody can be compared to MS Dhoni. But I enjoyed thoroughly during Dravid’s captaincy, the reason being the communication about the role was very clear. He clearly defined my role as a captain.”
Irfan also explained how Dravid’s captaincy achievements went unnoticed due to India’s poor run in the 2007 World Cup.
The all-rounder added, “I remember when we were knocked out of the World Cup, then I and MS Dhoni had gone to see a movie with Dravid. After the World Cup, we were quite upset for 2-3 days and did not feel like going anywhere, Dravid was also very upset. He then told us that he would take us out for a movie. While we were not in the mood, he knew we were the future of the Indian team and wanted to tell us something.”
During the same interview, Irfan recalled how Ganguly told him that he was hesitant in picking a 19-year-old Pathan for the tough Australia tour. Pathan also revealed how he managed to get the backing of Ganguly during his maiden international tour.
Pathan explained, “Australia tour is really tough tour. When a 19-year-old player goes there, he gets a lot of beating. I remember Dada also told me after the tour was about to come to a close, that Irfan you might not know, but I didn’t want you to come on the tour. I had rejected you in the selection meeting. Not because I had seen your bowling. But because, I didn’t want to take a 19-year-old player in such a difficult tour to Australia. But when I saw you, I was sure that you would do well.”