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Player Profile: Yusuf Pathan

by Gaurav Sethi

From Irfan’s half brother, he’s now Irfan’s better half brother. Starred in the cricketing equivalent of Godfather where he was Don Warne’s favourite son. Loves the home turf, and if he had his way, all games would be played in his neighbourhood – is used to bashing bad bowling, be it Irfan’s, or whatever else the local goons throw at him. Once upon a time he chewed gum and played with the Rajasthan Royals, then realized it takes much more to be King Richards.

Glamorized the Ranji, Duleep, Deodhar, Irani and other desi tournaments by winning matches solo. Legend has it, when India was 108/4 chasing New Zealand’s 314, Yusuf next in to bat, skipper Gambhir whispered in his ear, “that is not New Zealand, that is North Zone”.

Throughout his savage innings of 123 (96 balls, 7 4s, 7 6s), Yusuf repeated the secret mantra, ““that is not New Zealand, that is North Zone”.

It was only after he came off the field that Gambhir removed the spell, whispering in his ear, ““that is not North Zone, that is New Zealand”. To which Yusuf grinned, “I knew it…they are fair in the North, but not too fair like in New Zealand”.

Yusuf went on to play in the World Cup, where he continued to make bad bowling look worse.


Crownish said...

Yusuf had been working all this while to make bad bowlers look good to get them selected in their respective World Cup squads. However, now it's action time.
Yusuf. Action. Time.
You will have seen the best innings in an ODI ever from him by the time the World Cup is over.

Gaurav Sethi said...

No better game than the one on Feb 19 for that.

Govind Raj said...

Yusuf isn't a great player of left arm spin. Even Jadeja has troubled him.

But he loves those 130k kind of bowlers who can't aim at his rib cage.

Since there aren't too many Malingas and Steyns and Andersons in World Cricket, he will survive.

But on 19 Feb, he will have to deal with two extremely talented left arm spinners.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Govind, you recall what he did to Vettori in the IPL

Govind Raj said...

That was once in a while thing. And I don't have a great opinion of Dane Vettori either. Bangladesh have about half a dozen of them better than him. He is thriving in Desi Cricket because Abdur Razzak and BD Captain don't play there.

I really think he is growing the beard to thank Allah the merciful because he made Yusuf an Indian and not Bangladeshi :-)

Som said...

Bee's knees, some gems beneath the laughter!

Gaurav Sethi said...

Govind, for some reason most of our players have a high opinion of him, gng by how they play him in LOIs at least.

Must be the specks.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Thanks Som!

Govind Raj said...

Ever since India relegated left arm spin to second class category after the emergence of Kumble in early 90s, left arm spin withered away.
Manindar Singh could never recover from the Tied test dismissal.
Raju was at best Rajesh Chauhan's assistant.
Sunil Joshi never quite understood if he was a batting all-rounder or bowling all-rounder and failed as both.
Murali Karthik was always the wrong man at wrong place at the wrong time. His prime coincided with Saurav Ganguly, the last great player of left-arm spin in India and he never liked them.
Nilesh Kulkarni - same as above.
So what we are left with are Pragyan Ojha who would have found it tough to play even at Zonal level during the Shivalkar, Bedi, Goel days.
And then the Great His Highness Ravindra Singh Jadeja !

Now you know why Indians fear Vettori. Because Sachin Tendulkar doesn't like playing them !