Yusuf Pathan will be turning out for a new franchise this IPL 11, as he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.9 crore, after 7 years of association with Kolkata Knight Riders, which yielded two IPL titles as well.
NDTV.com caught up with Yusuf Pathan and had a chat about his new journey in IPL. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Talking about seeing the Pathan brothers in India colors, Yusuf said, “I am sure this will happen soon. I have been asked this question quite often. I am glad that fans love us and appreciate the Pathan brothers for their contribution to Team India. We are eyeing a comeback to the Indian side. I am focusing more on domestic games but those performances do not get highlighted much. We both are working hard to wear the blue jersey again.”
Yusuf won IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 with Kolkata Knight Riders and called the journey a memorable one.
He said,” It was a memorable journey. Aside from the star-studded unit we had over the years, the most important thing about KKR was that it was like a family, right from the captain, to the owner and the management. We enjoyed each other's company and supported each other through our ups and downs. The credit for the success of any team goes to the captain. Under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir, KKR as a whole was greater than the sum of its counterparts. This gave us the confidence that we could beat any team that came up against us.”
Talking about current SRH setup and he preparations, Yusuf said, “Definitely. We have a strong batting line-up and I will look to contribute in the middle order, as well as adding variety to the bowling attack with my off-spin, whenever required. Every year is a new challenge, and I am preparing myself for it. I'm currently playing in the Dhaka Premier League. Hopefully this season, I will be able to come stronger.”
He also spoke about playing with KKR teammate Shakib-Al-Hasan in SRH and said, “Shakib has been a good friend and he is a great all-rounder. We played together at KKR as well, so I consider him to be more of a companion than a competition. Together we will look to contribute to the success of the team.”
Talking about his best memory with KKR, Yusuf said, “There are many. But the innings against Delhi Daredevils in the Qualifier 1 in 2012 edition will be always close to my heart. We didn't score much in that match. KKR were 106 for 4 in 16 overs. We had just four overs left. I and Laxmi Ratan Shukla stitched together an unbeaten 56-run stand to take KKR to 162 for 4 in 20 overs. I was continuously chatting with Shukla. He is a player with an amazing temperament. We won the match by 18 runs and entered the final.”
Yusuf described the role of an all-rounder as, “Be ready to bat at any position. Be ready to bowl in any situation. An all-rounder is like the spine of a team. If you perform you will be there, if not then there are many in the line for the job.”
He also had some advice for Hardik Pandya, saying, “He needs to work harder. We should give him more time. This is just a beginning for him. Most important thing is that he shouldn't be compared to any big player. This will create pressure on him. Let him play in his own style.”
Talking about the Cricket Academy of Pathan, Yusuf said, “All we see is excitement. You will find more Irfan's fans than me (laugh). We have 10 operational academies in India and another 10 will be there in the next few months. We are looking to build around 30 academies by the end of this year. We have around 50 students in an academy. We also have a Pitch Vision Technology. Whenever we (Yusuf and Irfan) are busy, they watch the action of the players through this app and ask them to correct it.”