Yusuf Pathan is an Indian all rounder who has a reputation as a hard hitting batsman who can single handedly win matches on his day. He is a right hand batsman and a very useful right arm offbreak spinner. He has numerous memorable knocks to his name, both in domestic and international level.
Yusuf was born on 17 November 1982 in Vadodara, Gujarat and is the older brother of another Indian cricket star Irfan Pathan. Pathan brothers had a humble upbringing and they started playing cricket on the local streets and bylanes at a very young age.
He was first picked for the Baroda U-16 team for Vijay Merchant Trophy 1999-00. He made his Ranji Trophy debut against Saurashtra in 2001-02 season.
While his little brother Irfan made it big earlier, Yusuf had to grind it through the ranks to finally get his chance in the national team.
But his international debut couldn’t have been any more special. It was in the 2007 ICC World T20 final against Pakistan. Virendra Sehwag was deemed unfit to play so Pathan donned the opener’s role. He could score only 15 runs but the insipid performance did not affect much as the Indian team won the final in miraculous circumstances.
However, Pathan had to wait for his ODI debut which came next year, again against Pakistan. He hasn’t represented India in Test matches as his style of play is suited to shorter formats of the game.
Rise to glory
Yusuf has had a stop start international career but there was a period of time where he put in crucial performances on a regular basis. He was used as a handy bowler to provide breakthroughs and a pinch hitter during the end of the innings.
One of his most memorable performance came against Sri Lanka in a T20 match where India were looking good but threw away its advantage and looked set to lose. Yusuf, along with brother Irfan stitched a fantastic eighth wicket partnership to guide India past the finish line.
His 123 not out off 98 deliveries against New Zealand in an ODI match in Bengaluru in 2010 is one of the finest displays of hard hitting. India were destined to go down at 108 for 4 but Pathan and Saurabh Tiwary lead India past a mammoth target of 312.
His knock against South Africa at Centurion is his classiest innings. On difficult wicket where every other Indian batsmen failed, Pathan scored a 105 from just 70 balls. He almost took India to victory but the lack of support made him a lone warrior in a lost cause.
He was also a part of Indian when which won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
Yusuf has been in and out of the national team many a times due to his inconsistency. His flamboyant approach was often seen as suicidal and his good performances could not keep up with his failures.
After 2007 T20 debut, he had to wait for a year to get called up again. He was dropped in 2009 due to dip in form. He was again dropped in 2012 and has found it difficult to make a comeback in the nation team ever since.
He lost his place to Jadeja and the current crop of all rounders like Axar Patel and Hardik Pandya has made his chance of a comeback even slimmer.
Yusuf has had a great track record at the IPL as a finisher. He was a vital cog in the well oiled machine of Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL edition, which Rajasthan Royals eventually won. Actually, it was after this tournament that he caught the eye of the selectors again.
He was bought by KKR in the 2011 auction. He has since then played for them. Often criticized for being inconsistent and throwing away his wicket, Pathan has put in some memorable performances too for the club.
It is no surprise to see Pathan feature in the list of ‘fastest knocks ever’ section. Yusuf held the record for the fastest century in IPL, off 37 ball, till Chris Gayle bettered it in 2011. He scored it against Mumbai Indians in 2010 edition.
He currently holds the record of joint fastest fifty, off 15 balls, with Sunil Narine. He scored it against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014.