Munaf Patel (born July 12, 1983) is a former Indian cricketer who competed in all cricket formats. Munaf Patel, tall and wiry, was regarded as India’s fastest bowler when he made his debut in 2003. He broke onto the domestic scene bowling with raw pace from a rural region in Ikhar, Bahruch, Gujarat.
Recognition Of Talent
Munaf Patel was one of the most hyped medium-pacers before even bowling a ball in first-class cricket, let alone international cricket. Kiran More had watched him bowl in the nets and immediately referred him to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, where he would be trained by TA Sekhar and Dennis Lillee. He was quickly dubbed “Indian cricket’s fastest bowler.”
Even as Baroda and Gujarat competed for his services, Munaf Patel selected Mumbai when Sachin Tendulkar expressed interest in him and spoke with Mumbai Cricket Association officials. Following that, he had a consistent series against the West Indies, in which he constantly bothered Brian Lara. However, as with other Indian fast bowlers, injuries, a lack of discipline, and a slacker attitude forced him to retire.
When the ball gets old, Munaf Patel has the ability to get a natural reverse swing. Munaf’s go-to pitch is the leg cutter, which goes away from the batters and squares them up. Munaf’s actions are based on Glenn McGrath’s. Munaf’s greatest strength is that he adheres to his fundamentals and avoids trying new things. Munaf gets a lot of bowled and LBW dismissals because of his ability to attack the stumps.
Munaf, who is well-built but not particularly tall, builds momentum as he approaches the crease before unleashing the ball with a windmill-like motion of his hands. In his early years, his main goal was to bowl quickly. It was this that drew the attention of More and others. Later in his career, he added reverse swing to his arsenal and wreaked havoc on batters with a well-directed yorker.
After much speculation and close calls, he was finally called by the national selection panel for the second Test against England in March 2006, following an excellent performance for the Board President’s XI, in which he took ten English wickets for 91 runs.
He finished with 7 for 97 in Mohali a week later, the highest performance by an Indian fast bowler on Test debut. Munaf Patel had established himself as a regular member of the side after a steady series against the West Indies later that year.
Decline In Form
Munaf Patel is one of India’s unlucky cricketers, but not for lack of opportunities. Rather, a series of ailments prompted him to spend more time off the field than on it at the time of his selection. Munaf’s pace and spot in the team were quickly lost as a new crop of fast bowlers arrived on the scene.
Munaf drew a lot of criticism for his lacklustre performance against South Africa in the final Cape Town test in 2007. He pretended to be fit when he clearly wasn’t, and he underperformed as a result. He was left off the side.
He quickly lost his Test place, and after a few disappointing ODI performances, he was a last-minute selection for the 2009 New Zealand tour. He did a decent job in India’s triumph in Hamilton, but his schedule was crammed with home Tests in between ODIs and Twenty20s, so he was rarely in the spotlight for long.
But, thanks to some strong home performances, he was able to claw his way back. Injuries to Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth in the build-up to the 2010 Sri Lanka tour provided him with another chance to shine.
Return To The Team
Munaf Patel was recalled to the Indian team for the 2010 tour of Sri Lanka due to injuries to Zaheer and Sreesanth, and he established himself in the ODI squad with his consistent performances.
Munaf’s career was plagued by injuries, but in an ironic twist, he was the one who benefited from one when Praveen Kumar was pushed out of India’s World Cup squad in 2011. Munaf went in to replace Praveen as India’s third seamer.
With the help of a better training programme, he was able to stay in shape and play a vital, but little-noticed role in India’s World Cup victory in 2011.He finished the tournament as India’s third-highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps, behind Zaheer and Yuvraj Singh. Bowling coach Eric Simons dubbed him the “unsung hero” of India’s World Cup victory because of his steady efforts.
Munaf Patel was a standout performer for the Rajasthan Royals in the first three seasons of the IPL before being acquired by the Mumbai Indians for the fourth edition. During the fourth season of the IPL, he had an unpleasant brawl with Amit Mishra.
Munaf was unable to establish his spot in the Mumbai team, and he did not appear in any of the league’s six editions. Even in the home circuit, he was unable to make any substantial contributions. Finally, he declared his retirement from cricket in November 2018.