Yusuf Pathan , elder brother of Irfan Pathan and a brutal lower order batsman in white ball cricket , has finally quit all forms of cricket . Twice World cup winner in 2007 ( T20I world cup ) and 2011 ( ODI world cup ) , Yusuf gelled in white ball cricket as a hard hitting lower middle order batsman and also an useful off break bowler .
Yusuf’s first ever match for India was in the high profile 1st ever World T20 final vs Pakistan in Johannesburg. Sehwag was unfit to play in that match and Yusuf made his debut scoring 15 while opening the batting . He was the lucky charm as India won that tense final beating Pakistan by 5 runs in a sensational last over finish .
Two of his most memorable 100s was in ODIs. Against New Zealand at Bangalore in 2010 ODI , India were chasing a big total of 315 and Yusuf came up with a brutal innings od 123 off 93 balls with 7 fours and 7 sixes winning the game for India . Whenever he got into a hitting zone he was impossible to contain as the Kiwis found out and South Africa found out a year later .
At Centurion in 2011 South Africa scored 250 in 46 overs vs India and had the tourists struggling at 119/8 with certain defeat on the cards . What followed was sensational hitting by Yusuf Pathan who went berserk and clobbered the formidable South African bowling consisting of Steyn , Morkel and others . It was brutal strokeplay at it’s best. The power of his shots were awesome as he scored an outstanding 105 off only 70 balls with 8 fours and 8 sixes and took India to within 16 runs of a win. India lost that match but that innings of Yusuf Pathan was the talking point of that game .
Another insane inngs by Yusuf was in IPL match for KKR in 2014 which his powerpacked six ridden 72 off 22 balls helped KKR to beat SRH and qualify for playoffs on better net run rate . KKR went on to lift the IPL trophy that year.
Yusuf hit 810 runs in 57 ODIs at 27 average & 113 strike rate & took 33 wickets . In 22 T20Is he scored 236 runs at 146 strike rate & took 13 wickets . In 174 IPL games he scored 3204 runs at 143 strike rate & took 42 wickets . He won 3 IPL titles , first with Rajasthan Royals and two more with KKR . In that first ever IPL final in 2008 vs CSK , Yusuf took 3/22 and scored a match winning 56 . He scored 435 runs that season at an insane strike rate of 179. !!
After having played 100 first class games apart from IPL and international matches , Yusuf Pathan at 38 has declared his career closed . We wish him great success in his future endeavours.
***by amitava mukherjee