Back in the spotlight after his awe-inspiring knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad, swashbuckling KKR batsman Yusuf Pathan attributed his success to team’s bowling coach Wasim Akram who has helped him understand the psyche of opposition bowlers.
Yusuf, who smashed a scintillating 22-ball 72 to power Kolkata Knight Riders to finish second in the league table said he “never went out of business” and was just “a little unlucky” as all cricketers go through such phases in their career.
He said the team’s bowling coach Akram’s advice was of great help to him to prepare mentally.
“Wasim Bhai is a great inspiration and he has a lot of good advice from all his experience that any player can learn from. He has helped me with the mental preparation and understanding a bowler’s mindset to the game,” Pathan told PTI in an interview.
Needing 161 in under 15 overs to book a second spot ahead of the playoffs, Yusuf struck four fours and seven sixes to take the Eden Gardens by storm and put KKR behind Kings XI Punjab. Yusuf, 31, described the effort as his best IPL knock.
“Definitely, because of the circumstances going into the match and also the value of the result to my team,” said the Baroda bomber.
After a forgettable last season, Yusuf struggled for form for a good part of IPL 7 but has regained lost touch in the last few games.
Yusuf partially answered his critics with a composed 39 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and then a small but significant 22 against Royal Challengers Bangalore before the Eden outing.
Asked about whether vintage Yusuf is back in business, he said,”I never thought he went out of business. He was just a little unlucky and all cricketers go through phases in their career. I am just happy to have been able to contribute to my team,” he said.
Yusuf, who completed his half-century in a record 15 deliveries, was especially severe on South African quick Dale Steyn — hitting the pacer for three fours and two six in the 12th over to take home the momentum.
The elder of the Pathan brothers however, denied targeting any particular bowler and said he wanted to dominate all of them.
“I was just looking to attack all the bowlers as we had to do so in order to finish in the top two. The main aim was to do that so I was just looking to dominate all the bowlers,” he said.
Yusuf though got out in the 13th over off Karn Sharma but he had done the damage as SA Yadav hit the winning six in the continued…