The IPL and Indian cricket have produced many stars who have gone on and served the nation for years. While some of them stuck around for long, a few others faded away with time, failing to live up to the hype that they generated.
A world cup winner and an IPL superstar, Yusuf Pathan has had an aura of his own while taking the field. He made his international debut against Pakistan in the final of the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa replacing Virender Sehwag, playing a small but crucial role in India's triumph.
Not just for the country, the elder of the two Pathan brothers has been a part of 3 IPL title victories - once with the Rajasthan Royals and twice with the Kolkata Knight Riders. He slammed 435 runs in the 2008 edition of the IPL for RR, finding himself a spot in the national team.
3 of the best knocks from Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan’s international career has all but come to an end now, but the hard-hitting batsman from Baroda has played some crucial knocks for the nation and his IPL teams when at the peak of his powers. We bring back a few of these memories on the occasion of the all-rounder 38th birthday:
1. 56 runs off 39 balls to help RR win IPL 2008
Yusuf Pathan delivered for his team when it mattered the most throughout his career, and this particular instance was no exception.
Rajasthan and Chennai were competing in the first-ever IPL final to become the maiden winners of the tournament. CSK were on top when Yusuf Pathan came into bat. The right-hander was involved in a crucial 65-run partnership for the 4th wicket with Shane Watson before adding 32 runs for the 5th wicket with Mohammad Kaif.
He scored a blistering 56 from just 39 balls in a high-pressure scenario to hand CSK a defeat. Yusuf Pathan also took 3 wickets with the ball, and was named Man of the Match in the 2008 IPL final.
2. 105 off 70 balls against South Africa in 2011
It was the 5th of the 5-match ODI series between India and South Africa which was tied at 2-2. India were limping at 119-8 in a tall run chase of 268, and a victory seemed impossible.
Cometh the hour, cometh Yusuf Pathan - he smacked the South African bowlers to all corners of the park. He went on to score a baffling 105 off just 70 deliveries in one of the most remarkable finishes in international cricket. Pathan's knock consisted of 8 fours and 8 sixes at a strike rate of 150.
His brilliance in the domestic as well as the international circuit earned him a much-deserved call-up to India's World Cup 2011 squad, which India eventually won under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
3. 72 off 22 balls against SRH in IPL 2014
In the 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League, KKR's chances of finishing in the top 2 seemed dim. The team looked hapless and were tumbling against SRH's dangerous bowling attack.
Yusuf Pathan, however, had other plans. He plundered the SRH bowlers, and scored a blistering 72 from just 22 deliveries. Without a doubt, it changed IPL history forever as KKR ended up in the top 2 and went on to win the IPL title that year.
After 7 long years with the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, Yusuf Pathan was picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad. After a short stint with SRH, Pathan finds himself in the fringes of IPL selection, having gone unsold during the 2020 edition. Franchises, however, will want to keep an eye on him - owing to the value he brings to any team.Published 17 Nov 2020, 12:37 IST