Irfan Pathan is an international Indian cricketer who plays for the Indian national team since 2003. Although Pathan began his career as a left arm fast medium swing bowler he later worked upon and enhanced his batting skills and became a bowling all rounder while sometimes opening the innings also. Presently, he is playing for the Delhi Daredevils team at the IPL 5 season 2012.
The former Indian captain Datta Gaekwad guided Pathan to be chosen by the Under-14 Baroda Cricket team. After his selection in the Under-15 level representing Baroda in a national tournament he was given a full set of cricket equipment. Prior to this event he had to use second hand gear owing to the limited economic means of his family.
In the 2000-01 season Pathan made his first class debut and assisted Baroda to lift the Ranji Trophy. When Pathan was selected for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand in early 2002 he took 6 wickets. Further he was chosen in the India A team in 2003 that played in the domestic Challenger Series in England.
In December 2003 Pathan debuted in Test cricket at the Adelaide Oval against Australia in the Second Test when he was 19 years old. He gave away 150 runs and took the single wicket of Matthew Hayden and was dropped in the next Test. However in the fourth Test he was recalled and he took 3 wickets of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh for 106 runs.
On the 2004 Test tour to Pakistan Pathan led the pace attack and took 12 wickets and bowled more maiden overs than any other bowler and overall assisted India to win the first series over Pakistan in 20 years. In the 2004 Asian Cup in Sri Lanka Pathan displayed a good form and was the leading wicket taker. He took three three-wicket hauls and overall took 14 wickets at an average of 16.28. In the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy Pathan took 5 wickets at an average of 9.
Along with his bowling Pathan improved his batting and at Bangalore in October 2004 while playing against Australia scored 31 and 55. This was his first half-century in Test cricket. The period from 2005 to 2007 was very disappointing for Irfan Pathan where he was also traded to a B-team form an A-team.
In 2007 test series against Pakistan Pathan was recalled to the A-team where he was successful in both taking wickets and scoring runs. Pathan continued to perform strongly in the ODI arena, scoring 65 in the top order in the first ODI against Pakistan in Peshawar before making three consecutive three wicket hauls in the following matches. This included a man of the match performance that included a haul of 3 wickets for 43 runs at Rawalpindi as he claimed nine wickets at 18.88 for the series. Pathan continued this successful form in 2008 Indian Premier League (IPL) also.