IPL 10 can once again witness both the Pathan brothers in action as Gujarat Lions roped in Irfan Pathan as Dwayne Bravo’s replacement for the remainder of the tournament.
The Lions received a big jolt when Caribbean all-rounder Bravo was ruled out after failing to recover from his nagging hamstring injury. Irfan, who went unsold in the auctions, will replace Bravo in the squad. The younger Pathan brother has already joined his new team in Bangalore ahead of Lions’ match against RCB.
— Amit Singh (@7414amit) April 20, 2017
Gujarat, who are second from bottom with five losses from seven games have had an abysmal campaign so far this year. Bravo’s absence has not only affected the balance of the team, but most importantly has taken the sting out of the Lions’ bowling attack. Without the experienced T20 cricketer, Gujarat’s bowling has looked a pale shadow of last year's. Hence, Irfan’s inclusion is expected to breathe life back in Lions’ stuttering journey.
The left arm bowler brings in an experience of 102 IPL matches, where he has scalped 80 wickets and scored 1137 runs at a strike rate of 120. Prior to this, Irfan has plied his trade for five different IPL franchisees in the form of Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Rising Pune Supergiant and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
With Irfan being an Indian player, Lions will get an added advantage in this aspect. Clearly the team management will not have to worry about axing a foreign recruit from the playing XI. Already having Ravindra Jadeja in the ranks, Irfan’s addition will ensure Gujarat can enjoy the luxury of owing the best Indian all-round duo in this IPL.
Irfan might have lost his razor sharp swing from his early days, but the Lions can still benefit a lot from his rich experience. A safe bet with the bat, Irfan still has the skill to fox the best of batsmen on his days. He has featured in all seasons of the competition except IPL 8.
Gujarat needs to win at least six from their next seven matches to keep their play-off hopes alive. Therefore, Irfan coming in will for sure bolster their lacklustre bowling line-up and add an extra dimension in the batting unit. It remains to be seen as to how soon Suresh Raina and the team management utilizes Irfan’s skills in the 22-yard.