I first saw Yusuf Pathan in the finals of the Challengers Trophy 2005. India then lacked a genuine all rounder and I wondered why this guy has not played for India till then. He was bowling some tight off spins and showed a glimpse of the Pathan power . The match ended and the moment of the match was Piyush Chawla’s googly to get the Master. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan also made some name for himself. It was Indian cricket under Chappell and he wanted young bloods for Indian cricket . Raina and Sreesanth got into the national team .
With so much of International cricket around at that time, I almost forgot this name before I saw him in the Indian team for the inaugural T-20 World Cup , just because the Fab-3 opted out of it. He got his chance in the finals and the six of Md. Asif was the sign of things to come.
India, who was forced to play the inaugural T20 World Cup , saw a business world in this format. IPL was launched and the stage was set for the youngsters to explode. Rajasthan Royals, the winners of the first IPL was surely the worst team on paper and atleast till their first match. Shane Warne agreed to this fact after their first match, which was a one sided affair , but in a professional way. He said that we are a young team and it will take time for the nerves to settle down . Little did he know of what was to follow , an unexpected change in their fortunes and Yusuf Pathan will be the Indian lead of it. By the end of this IPL, he was a known face in the Indian cricket. Credit even goes to Shane Warne , they way he handled him.
Roads are not always rosy and after a successful time with RR, he was the weak link of the Kolkata Knightriders. He just lost the touch , may be the home conditions were not so favourable or the oppositons did their homework properly.
But asking for consistency from someone like Yusuf Pathan is not a wise option. He tends to throw his and bat at everything. He might not be having a sound technique , but is very effective , atleast when he comes good. He is a murderer of spin bowling , no matter whether the pitch is flat or a turner. But, he is facing what the likes of many attacking batsman of this era have already faced. People enjoy their golden period and are just not ready to face their failure. Dhoni , in this regard was very sensible. He curbed his natural instincts and adapted to a different style.
But, what Gambhir did is praise worthy. He persisted with Pathan and finally was rewarded.
Perhaps the latest blast by Yusuf will help him to regain his touch and claim for an all rounder spot in the Indian team.