IPL 2016: The curious case of Irfan Pathan under captain MS Dhoni

Before joining MS Dhoni's CSK in 2015, Irfan Pathan had played 98 IPL games. Since then, he has featured in just one game.

Written by Somya Kapoor | New Delhi | Updated: May 12, 2016 2:50 pm
IPL 2016, IPL, IPL schedules, IPL news, IPL standings, IPL scores, Irfan Pathan, Pathan Pune, Pathan bowling, sports news, sports, cricket news, Cricket Irfan Pathan has just played one game in this edition of IPL. (Source: BCCI)

Beginning their campaign as heavyweights, the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise wouldn’t have thought that their debut IPL season would end before the business end begins. Pune became the first team in the IPL 2016 to make an exit as they are placed second from bottom of the points table with three wins in the 11 games they have played so far. (Fixtures | Squads)

RPS is one of the two new teams who made their first appearance in Indian Premier league. The MS Dhoni-led Pune were initially considered to be the contenders of lifting the title as they had the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, R. Ashwin, Mitchell Marsh, Thisara Perera, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan along with MS Dhoni in their squad.

Smith, du Plessis, Pietersen, Marsh flew back home after sustaining injuries and it was assumed that Irfan, especially after the growing list of injuries, would become a regular member in the playing XI.

To everyone’s surprise, Pathan has played just one match in RPS colours and has been warming the match since then. The seamer was the most successful bowler of domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy where the left-arm pacer grabbed 17 wickets in 10 matches.

Irfan has played for different franchises in the Indian Premier league starting his career with Kings XI Punjab with whom he played in the first three seasons. He then turned out for the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2012 and 2013, and played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2014. In 2015, the Baroda paceman was bought by Chennai Super Kings and is now a part of Risisng Pune Supergiants.

Irfan Pathan has 99 IPL caps to his name, 98 of those coming before 2015 edition when he joined CSK. Pathan wasn’t given a single match in Chennai colours which was led by MS Dhoni and in 2016 season too, the paceman donned the RPS jersey in only one match out of the eleven that Pune has played so far.

Apart from having a tally of 80 wickets, Pathan is also a handy customer with the bat as the left-hand batsman has scored 1128 runs so far with a fifty to his name.

The injury-struck Pune team could have picked up Pathan as a replacement for any of the players who left the campaign in the middle. His continuous exclusion from Dhoni’s XI has surprised many.

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  1. S
    May 28, 2016 at 1:41 am
    We are with Irfan Pathan.. Dhoni only wants to build a cult of his dedicated players.
    1. R
      May 13, 2016 at 9:45 am
      Dhoni needs to learn from Kholi or Gambir, surly there is something against Irfan. Wish he would have been bought by some other team! Having said that everybody has some periods of time to rule, it seems Dhoni time will end soon.... A good saying by Gambiar. No captain is as soon as team. People need to think Dhon is not winner of any but the TEAM. pity for Irfan....
      1. B
        May 12, 2016 at 10:32 am
        This is the best example of Dhoni politicking in Cricket. If he had no confidence in Patan he should not have picked him up for his franchise. Patan is such a useful cricketer he would have pla many matches with any other franchise. Dhoni not only lead his team down he has also spoiled the career of Mr Patan. Pune franchise would do better to pick up some one else to lead their team in the next outing.
        1. Shaktiprasadswain
          May 13, 2016 at 7:04 am
          His carrer already ended..thats why no keeps him in a particular team.From king xi to SRH to RPS..Like Yuvi..Look at his brother yusuf still in KKR.MSD is captain..He is the man who comes with plan..Ashwin is best friends..They why is not giving bowl to him.Captain have his won plan..May be its a fail plan.BDW MSD suggested him to buy in csk.Means he is good.But not perfect
          1. M
            May 12, 2016 at 9:24 am
            R Ashwin was never been India's best bowler, due to favouritism Dhoni preferred him in the likes of Amit Mishra , Harbhajan.
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