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“I’m a funny man”, says Irfan Pathan, raising our expectations before his rapidfire interview with iplt20.com. Twenty minutes later, we agree. The Delhi Daredevils paceman, who leaves batsmen stunned with his in-swingers, left us equally stunned with his quick wit.
With a boy-next-door charm belying his celebrity status, Irfan spoke fondly about his family and friends. And the not-so-mundane desire to time-travel and be Sherlock Holmes. Take a look.
1. My favourite cuisine is my mum’s biryani. She also cooks this mixed vegetable curry which I think is the best vegetarian dish in the whole world.
2. When it comes to beverages, I like milkshakes, hot chocolate and anything else that tastes good.
3. My favourite movie is Hera Pheri. Amongst English films I love Ali in which Will Smith played the title role. I like any movie which has Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Amitabh Bachchan or Paresh Rawal.
4. My favourite music artiste is Lucky Ali. I’d love for him to sing more than he does because he’s got a different kind of voice. I also like listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sonu Nigam and Kishore Kumar.
5. My favourite TV series are Two And A Half Men and The Simpsons. In Hindi there’s a comedy series called Lapata Ganj that airs on Sab TV. A lot of people don’t like that kind of sense of humour but I enjoy it.
6. My favourite gadgets are the Blackberry and iPod. I also carry my laptop with me wherever I go because I like to watch a lot of movies.
7. My mantra in life is Jiyo aur jeene do (Live and let live). With time and experience I’ve also realised the key to being happy is being satisfied with whatever god has given to you.
8. I idolise my brother a lot. He’s a gem of a person and a very genuine guy. In cricket, I really admire [VVS] Laxman bhai. I don’t think you’ll find any better person than him.
9. One thing I cannot live without is food. I don’t have any other bad habits like drinking or smoking, but I love indulging in food. It’s my weakness.
10. I don’t follow any particular trend or style. I wear whatever looks good on me and whatever I can carry off.
11. Robin [Uthappa] and my brother [Yusuf] are my best mates in cricket. Robin and I share a husband-and-wife sort of relationship. We fight a lot and at the same time cannot do without each other.
12. Adam Gilchrist was the toughest batsman I’ve bowled to. He was always a tough nut to crack. He had all the shots in the book and at the same time was very aggressive.
13. The easiest batsman to bowl to? There were times when I used to bowl to Mohammad Yousuf and thought I could get him out. He is, no doubt, a world-class batsman but sometimes you feel you can get a batsman out.
14. My favourite non-cricketing sportsperson has to be Muhammad Ali. His entire life is a story of motivation. He was someone who always stood by what he thought was right. He made black look beautiful. He was a three-time world champion and a fierce competitor but he was also a gem of a person. He had a sharp tongue but a pure heart. I remember, once in England I saw a security officer wearing an Ali shirt. I made him take it off in the hotel lobby and gave him his choice of bat from my kitbag in return. I still carry that T-shirt with me.
15. My most memorable cricketing moments are my Test debut at Adelaide, the 2007 World Twenty20 win where I was the Man-of-the-Match in the final, the Test hat-trick against Pakistan and making a comeback in 2011.
16. If I weren’t a cricketer, I’d probably be a priest or a doctor, like my mom wanted me to be. I don’t think I’d have done a good job of either profession.
17. My favourite delivery is the in-swinger that releases perfectly from my hand. I like to see the ball coming in and hitting the pads of the batsman.
18. If I could have a superpower, I’d like to have a time machine. I’d visit the past, repeat the good things that happened and try to change the bad ones. Personally, I’d go back and enjoy my school life all over again.
19. If I were invisible for a day, I’d become Sherlock Holmes and reveal all the mysteries of the world.
20. My message to Delhi Daredevils’ opponents in the IPL is – beware of Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner, Ross Taylor and most importantly, our captain Virender Sehwag.
He flattens the morale of the biggest opponents with his mighty bat. He guides his team over the line with monk-like calmness. He fills hearts with pride, and the mantlepiece with silverware, be it the World Cup or the IPL trophy.
But what’s the enigmatic MS Dhoni like off the field? Where does the inspirational leader himself draw inspiration from? What superpower does he crave? Which movie does he dig?
iplt20.com found out what the Chennai Super Kings skipper is like when he’s not scripting wins for his team on the field. Sneak a peek yourself.
1. My life mantra is to live in the present. Try to learn a lot from the past and implement it in the present to make a better future.
2. My idol in life would be somebody like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan. Not only have they excelled in their respective fields and made the most of their talent, but they are also great human beings whom people look up to.
3.I love Indian food. When we travel to places where Indian food is not easily available, I shift to Chinese and Thai. At times I also like burgers and pizzas, which are not greatly recommended by the physio.
4. My favourite beverage is Pepsi. I usually have it with a meal, either lunch or dinner. With breakfast I generally prefer fruit juice.
5. My favourite movie is the original Agneepath. I thought Amitabh Bachchan was brilliant in it and the movie was fantastic throughout. You see a hero that can’t be dominated, no matter what the situation is.
6.I love Hindi film music – songs from the ‘80s and late ‘70s. Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi are my favourites.
7.My favourite gadget is my laptop because I play a lot of games on it. I also love small gadgets that work in different ways.
8. I haven’t come across anything thatI cannot live without. But in a broader way, if I get food, I’ll be quite happy. It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is as long as it’s good enough to feed me.
9. My style statementis casual. I’m a jeans and T-shirt person, but I prefer shoes and boots over sandals.
10. I have quite a few best friends in cricketand it’s very difficult to name one. Suresh [Raina], Robin [Uthappa], RP Singh and Irfan [Pathan] are a few.
11. The toughest bowler I’ve faced depends on the match situation and conditions. On certain tracks playing Muralitharan might be very tough; on others Brett Lee or Shoaib Akhtar would be a handful.
12. The easiest bowler I’ve faced is Yuvraj Singh in the nets, bowling right-arm leg-spin. I can tell you, it’s really funny.
13. My favourite non-cricketing sportsperson is Rafael Nadal. You can pick up a lot from the way he plays his tennis. He’s someone who doesn’t let the game go through easily. Even in a lost cause, he’ll make the opponent fight for that final point before he can celebrate.
14. My most memorable cricketing momentdefinitely has to be the 2011 World Cup-win. There were a lot of emotions flowing right through the tournament. We were playing in India and the number of people that wanted us to win created tremendous pressure around us. But the team handled it very well. At no point in the tournament did we take the expectations as a burden.
15. For methe most embarrassing cricketing moment was when I got run out off the very first ball on international debut.
16.If I weren’t a cricketer and I’d have to choose another sport, I’d have played soccer. If asked to pick an alternate profession, I’d have joined the army.
17.My favourite shot is the paddle sweep but of late I’ve started liking the helicopter shot, which is very peculiarly and nicely named by people.
18.My dream vehicle is the Hummer H1. They make it for the US Army but now they’ve stopped producing it for the general masses. So I bought a Hummer H2, which comes closest to that.
19.If I were granted a superpower, I’d choose a power through which I could help people be content with what they have. By that I don’t mean to obstruct their aims and tell them to stop dreaming. I’d just ensure they go about achieving their dreams in a legal and morally correct way.
20.If I were invisible for a day, I’d love to go all around India, roam on the roads and stations, try to steal some gol-gappas from the roadside stalls and do all crazy stuff. I’d make the most of those 24 hours and wouldn’t sleep a minute.