Yusuf Khan Pathan
November 17, 1982, Baroda, Gujarat
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Yusuf Pathan, a hard-hitting batsman and offspinner suited to the shorter formats, was first picked for the Baroda Under-16 team in the Vijay Merchant Trophy in 1999-2000. His impressive showings meant he quickly climbed the rungs to the Baroda U-19 and the West Zone U-19 sides. He made his debut in the Ranji Trophy against Saurashtra in 2001-02, but it wasn't until the 2004-05 season, by when younger brother Irfan Pathan was donning national colours, that he established himself as a regular in the Baroda squad. Yusuf ended the 2004-05 season as Baroda's fourth-highest scorer and third-highest wicket-taker.
His ability to score runs quickly - he had the highest strike rate in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy (min 200 runs) - coupled with impressive performances in the one-day Deodhar Trophy and Twenty20 domestic tournament in the 2006-07 season was rewarded with a spot in India's squad for the inaugural World T20, in South Africa.
Yusuf's impressive showing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in 2008 - 435 runs with four fifties at a strike-rate of 179 - earned him an ODI call-up for the tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan. He recorded the fastest fifty of the IPL's first season - off 21 balls against Deccan Chargers - and his dazzling all-round show in the final was instrumental in Royals' triumph. But then a run of patchy scores in India's limited-overs squads had Yusuf dropped, but he replied with emphatically with a 190-ball, unbeaten, double century as West Zone sealed the highest first-class chase ever in the 2010 Duleep Trophy final.
His ODI career hit a peak when he helped India chase 316 with a blistering century against New Zealand in December 2010. He carried his form to South Africa too but could not do the same in the 2011 World Cup and the subsequent tour of the West Indies. At the IPL auctions, though, he remained hot property, snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for a bumper US$2.1 million.
He has, however, been unable to come up with outstanding performances to be picked for international cricket since March 2012. Yusuf has kept his T20 expertise alive with the IPL. He scored a 21-ball 40 in the IPL semi-final in 2012 to help Knight Riders to their maiden final and eventually their first title. His other aggressive performances on the domestic circuit - a century in the 2012-13 Vijay Hazare Trophy, fifites in the Deodhar Trophy, some all-round displays in the Ranji Trophy, and a 15-ball fifty in IPL 2014 have been sporadic, not allowing him a place in a talented Indian limited-overs middle order.
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