Tuesday, 14 April 2009

IPL Watch: Yusuf Pathan

The Dave Hussey to our Mike. Currently in form, a real all-rounder with strengths in both batting and bowling. Not a bad fielder either. Yusuf Pathan is yet another example of those Rajasthan Royals picking players based on quality performances, and he stepped up to the plate in the inaugural season of the IPL to prove his worth. $475,000 worth.

Good man.

The IPL really brought Pathan into the spotlight. He was a key player on Warnie's side, and if you'll remember, played a big role in the final against the Chennai Super Kings, picking up 3/22 and also having a handy day with the bat, with 56 off 39 balls. That won the match, and also won him the man of the man award.

Throughout the tournament, Yusuf Pathan scored 435 runs and took 8 wickets with his off-spin. Shane Watson scored 472 runs and took 17 wickets. They were both excellent players, but this post is about Pathan. Maybe Watson will come later.

Pathan's big strength was his batting. Over the course of 16 matches, he had a strike rate of almost 180, the second highest in the tournament after Sehwag. Along the way, he scored 4 half centuries, one of which was from only 21 balls against the Deccan Chargers - the fastest fifty in the competition.

When he's not busy pretending not to know his brother...

"Hi, uh... Imran, right? No? Irfan? Gotcha."

...Yusuf Pathan is a very clean hitter of the ball. He's no slogger. Watching him hit repeatedly perfect shots over the boundary made this pretty clear. He was an expert at finding the middle of the bat, and played straight out of a textbook. Nice to watch.

This year, with Shane Watson still recovering from an injury and not likely to bowl, perhaps Pathan will find himself playing a more important role in the proceedings with the ball. More likely, however, is that the Rajasthan Royals have been grooming a few younger Indian players for this. Kamran Khan, says Warne. I want to see this guy in action. Pathan looks likely to continue to make big scores and push his team closer to the finals.

There's a reason he's so good. I don't know why nobody else has considered this, but it's pretty obvious to me. Yusuf Pathan is some sort of reincarnation of King Kong. If you look at him in motion, or especially after he takes a wicket, the similarities are tremendous. Photos don't do his ape side justice, you need to watch it with your own eyes.


12th Man said...

Yusuf is the half-brother of Irfan. That explains why they look patently different. Yusuf is not completely unorthodox, but does not have a feet and as a consequence doesn't have something called feet movement.It works for T20 and Indian tracks. I doubt if he would be able to replicate that in SAPL.

Amy said...

This darn SAPL is going to change a lot of things. Think about just how many Indian cricketers are entirely shit batsmen when they get off the subcontinent.

I think the results might differ by quite a bit this time. It'll be interesting to see.

12th Man said...

Indian bowlers are equally bad outside the sub-continent. So it will be an even contest :)

Anonymous said...

IPL2 has proved you all wrong. Indian batsmen are still firing away!

Amy said...

They're definitely struggling a little more, though.