Yusuf Pathan joined the chorus to say that the Indian players were getting enough practice in the IPL for their ICC World T20 preparation.
Swashbuckling Delhi and India opener, Virender Sehwag had earlier played down concerns that India were walking on a thin rope- not playing a single warm-up game.
Now, he has a supporter in Yusuf Pathan. The Jaipur-hitter supported the Delhite’s views, saying, “Yes, we are getting very good practice. If we were not playing the tournament, we would have a 15-20 days camp before the world cup. We would have done everything that we are doing here. We are training, getting all the facilities we should have had during any camp. And more so, we are doing it in real matches. That makes the preparation better.”
But this is a long tournament where each of the franchises have to play at least 14 games. Will not the cricketers be fatigued, especially after working out day in and out under such scorchin heat for 14 matches? Isn’t the burn-out factor worrying?
The elder of the Pathan brothers was not ready to advocate the same. “Yes, we are playing 14 matches, but we don’t play it daily. We are getting adequate rest in between matches.
“And there is something called momentum. We are playing T20, not in 50-overs game. The ICC world cup will be for twenty overs. These matches will give us a good momentum. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch from the 50-overs mode to the 20-overs mindset. But as we are playing the same format of the game, it will be helpful for all of us to get the right momentum before the T20 world cup”, said Yusuf.
If you have the greatest leg spinner of the cricket history beside you, it is quite natural that the media persons would always ask more questions to him, rather than you.
So, Yusuf did not have to speak more, in presence of his captain and coach Shane Warne.
Yet, when his turn came, he was in the same jovial mood that oozed confidence. Like, when he was asked whether the bowlers had read his batting well, because, after that explosive start to the tournament (a 37-ball hundred against Mumbai), he had not done something special, Yusuf said, “If they took two IPLs to read my weaknesses, it’s their problem, not mine!”
And when he said that in Hindi, Warne could not understand a single word, but the laughter had forced him to enquire of Yusuf what was asked to him. Yusuf briefed him in his inimitable English and Warne broke into laughter, too.
The captain, however, was all praise for his ‘true match winner’. “He had opened the bowling against Deccan and got Gilly in the first or second delivery. And if there is one player who can change the course of the game single-handedly with his bat, it is Yusuf Pathan.”
But, Yusuf is currently coming late to bat. Will not it be better if he gets more balls to play?
Warne said, “Yusuf himself is a bit disappointed with his own form. But tomorrow is all about match winners and he will bat wherever the team would like to have him at his best. He can bat at 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, we should keep something up our sleeves. But he will do it for the team wherever he bats Saturday.”
By Kashinath Bhattacharjee