India news October 10, 2011

'Unfair to label me as a one-day specialist' - Yusuf

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yusuf Pathan, the India allrounder, has said it is unfair to label him as a 'one-day specialist' given his performance on the first-class circuit, where he's averaged 41.38 from 46 games. Yusuf is representing India Red in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, and aiming for a comeback into the national side after missing out on the ODI series in England and the first two ODIs against the same opposition for the home series starting this week. His exclusion followed an ordinary World Cup with the bat and a poor time in the West Indies, where he averaged 10.5 from four ODI innings.

"I can play at any position. If the team management wants me to bat up the order, I am ready for it," Yusuf told the Times of India. "Whenever I spent time in the middle, I have made it count. Last year, I scored a match-winning hundred against New Zealand and then scored another hundred against South Africa. Besides, I have also scored big hundreds in Ranji and Duleep Trophy over the years. I enjoy batting for long periods."

Yusuf, who usually bats in the lower-middle order for India, played what he described as the "best innings of my career" when he smashed 210 in 190 balls for West Zone against South Zone in the Duleep Trophy in February last year, helping his team chase a record-breaking 536. He's been preferred in the shorter versions for his big hitting, but Yusuf insisted his game is also suited for the five-day format. "The T20 craze has started only now, but I have been playing first-class cricket for a decade. I would also like to play Test matches. It's unfair to label me as one-day specialist.

"There is more to my batting than just hitting. You can't succeed at the international level if you have limited strokes. I can play all round the wicket. If you analyse my hundreds, you will see I have scored runs on both sides of the wicket. I like to play aggressively and that's the way I have played cricket all my life and I will continue to do so."

Due to India's powerful batting line-up, with several of the big names batting in the top order, Yusuf said it was difficult not to adopt a risk-free approach when he came in to bat. "More often than not, one of the top-order batsmen scores big. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh love to bat long.

"When I go in to bat, I normally get five to eight overs in which I have to score as many runs as possible. You can't do that without taking risks. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not. It can go either way. But I always try to give it my best shot. I won't be making hundreds everyday, but if my quick 30s or 40s can make a difference, I will be a happy man."

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  • dummy4fb on October 12, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    @AK1318: Dhoni has always said that he wants a batsman who can bowl a bit as the allrounder..with Raina and Kohli in the side..we are never short of bowling options.. that place is for people like Yusuf who can turn the game on its head in matter of balls.. Lmaotsetung: Mate..the problem is with people like Rohit etc we say they need to be given more chances when they fail.. It is fair to give a batsman atleast 20 matches of chance before judging him..But we get impatient with Yusuf..he got about 7-8 chances to settle in and play..he scored 2 centuries and a half century of those in the recent times..but he is not good enough for us..we want him to score a 100 of every match he gets a 100.. He will surely do that..but show faith in him..he will do miracles with the bat and with the ball as he has shown against Ind Green...

  • Nampally on October 12, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    @AK1318; Your comparison between Jadeja & yusuf Pathan is correct.However as you say, the Indian batting order is not frozen, especially now with so many injuries.With Sehwag & Tendulkar missing at the top and Yuvraj in the lower half, I would think there are 3 genuine vacancies.For Yuvraj's spot Pathan & Jadeja are competing. I think where Jadeja scores convincingly over Yusuf is in the fielding. Jadeja is a brilliant fielder and he adds to Kohli & Raina's fielding by his presence. But Jadeja as a bowler is erratic & expensive.I would be inclined to coach P.Kumar in batting and use him as pace bowling all rounder - India's need.Ashwin & Rahul Sharma are also useful batsmen - leaving last 2 spots for bowlers.I would be inclined to gamble with Pathan if it is choice between Jadeja & him because of his powerful strikes. Yusuf can change the complexion of the game in 20 minutes of batting while Jadeja can contribute in less dramatic way.Yusuf is also steadier of the 2 in bowling.

  • dummy4fb on October 11, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    To all the Yusuf bashers out there let me ask you who has been India s best test batsman in the past few years Virender Sehwag when he came into the team people considered him to be unfit for the test format too but he proved all of his critics wrong so I tell you dont be so quick to judge a cricketer or anyone for that matter while Yusuf may not be good enough to make it to the test team right now he will be after some more years of domestic cricket and as far as one dayers are concerned apart from Sachin Gambhir Kohli Sehwag and Yuvraj he is the best batmsman team India has at present

  • AK1318 on October 11, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    @ Jadeja bashers and @ Yusuf supporters. Sorry Yusuf and all Yusuf supporters. You might have talent but that is not the only thing. You have to be better than others and must also fit in the playing XI. India ODI side has #1 to #6 fixed. Only no. 7 spot remains. The spot can go to only a specialist bat or a bowling/batting allrounder. Yusuf is only a big hitter. He might build innings when in at no. 4-no.6. But at #7 he plays very few balls. His big minus is that he CAN'T GET THROUGH 10 OVERS QUOTA. Capt is able to get only 4 overs out of him. Compare it to Jadeja, who is able to get through 7-10 overs in each match. He also gives some good hitting at the end. More importantly he bats well in almost every time he bats. But Yusuf is a hit in 1 out of 5 matches. When failed with bat, his role in team is diminished and Ind virtually plays with 10 players. Thats why he was dropped midway through WC. He is a player on avg 5-10 balls in a match. What is the need for those 5-10 balls?

  • dummy4fb on October 11, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Yusuf, it's all your fault man... When you come in to bat in the 45th over, try to stay not-out till the end even if that means scoring 5 runs off 20 balls! That might help you prove to them that you can bat in Tests... My point: This guy has rarely been given an opportunity to bat in for long and has mostly come in to bat in the ;art few overs where he has had to go for the big hits and take risks.. Certainly a better choice than the likes of Jadeja!

  • dummy4fb on October 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Pathan isnt good enough for test matches no way....

  • Lmaotsetung on October 10, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    How did that work out for you Yusuf today? You get a chance to come in early in the Red v Blue matcha nd what did you do? Strike rate of 104 and out for 22 runs. Is that the long inning you were telling us about?

  • dummy4fb on October 10, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Untill Krishnamachari srikanth is there in selection panel... guys like yusuf pathan, Robin Uthappa, Irfan pathan, Manish Pandey, Iqbal Abdullah, Murali karthik wont get spot in team.....

    He prefare to have his favorite lot likes of Ravindra jadeja, Murali Vijay, Yuvi and co even if he get 1000's of white washes

  • Nampally on October 10, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    It must be noted that in the ODI's there is limitations to bowling bouncers, outside leg stump as well as fielding restriction + shorter boundary.These restrictions do not exist in the Tests along with deeper boundary.So quite a few of the sixers from the ODI or T-20 are just fly balls.Test cricket requires sound technique, defence as well as patience. Currently Yusuf Pathan has not proven ability in these requirements. Whenever he was sent early in the ODI's he failed. Of course his best innings was against the NZ where for the fiorst time he showed these characteristics by scoring a brilliant century. He needs to do this and fight for his promotion in the batting order.Ideally Yusuf could bat #5, if he incorporates these attributes in his batting. With so many youngsters knocking at the door it is getting tough for Yusuf to even fit in the ODI teams let alone Tests.Batsmen like Dhawan, Mukund, Rahane, M. Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Pujara,P.Patel,are amongst the competition.

  • tanstell87 on October 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Well the road to get in Indian team seems difficult for Yusuf Pathan...he missed two opportunities to score runs in West Indies...Robin Uthappa has been ignored by the selectors since Asia Cup 2008 & now Yusuf will be ignored...he plays too many shots...even if he comes in 45th over he should try & bat till the end even if he manages 10 runs off 15 balls...!

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