Shane Warne will always hold a special place in my heart: Yusuf Pathan [Exclusive Interview]

Pathan was considered as one of the biggest ball hitters in the slog overs.

PRANCHAL SRIVASTAVA

Jr. Staff Writer

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Published - May 28, 2022, 21:23 IST | Updated - May 29, 2022, 15:06 IST

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Former Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan is one of the most destructive power hitters to have ever played for India. The right-handed batter was a part of India’s 2007 and 2011 World Cup-winning squad and has played some memorable knocks for his nation and the IPL franchises he has represented. During his playing days for India, Pathan was considered as one of the biggest ball hitters in the slog overs.

Overall, the 39-year-old played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is and amassed 810 runs and 236 runs respectively. The right-handed batter also played some memorable knocks in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the tournament and was instrumental in taking the side to the glory. He was even adjudged the Player of the Match in the final encounter against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

In an exclusive interview with CricTracker, Yusuf Pathan opened up about his memories with former RR skipper Shane Warne, who passed away earlier this year. He also shared a special message for RR who will be playing the final match of IPL 2022.

Shane Warne studied my game and gave me the freedom: Yusuf Pathan

Talking about his relationship with his former Shane Warne, Pathan said, “I remember he (Warne) used to say that, I am his man who can turn the match or win the match for our team. Before coming to the IPL, Warne studied my game and gave me the freedom to play as I wanted. He showed confidence in me right from the first game and whenever there was an important match including semi-finals and finals, he used to boost my confidence. Warne will always have a special place in my heart.”

Pathan also opened up about an incident when he missed a pool session after a game in IPL due to communication gap. As a result, he and Ravindra Jadeja were punished by the former Australian cricketer. “I do not recall him punishing us for any practice session, but we missed a pool session due to some lack of communication. As soon as were about to reach the hotel, I along with several other cricketers from the international arena including Jadeja were told to reach the hotel by walking as a punishment,” Yusuf added.

Sanju Samson plays aggressive cricket and enjoys the game: Yusuf Pathan

Sanju Samson and Yusuf Pathan (Photo Source: Twitter)

Meanwhile, the senior Pathan is pleased with RR skipper Sanju Samson’s performance this season. “Samson plays an aggressive brand of cricket and enjoys his game. His game has improved and he is also captaining the side very well. His wicketkeeping skills has also improved,” he stated.

Speaking about the decision to include two new teams in IPL 2022, Pathan stated, “Inclusion of two new teams in IPL 2022, presented an opportunity to young players to show their skills and said that it is a good sign for Indian cricket.”

When asked about which one youngster has impressed him the most, “I cannot take name of only one player, but Tilak Varma, Shahbaz Ahmed, Umran Malik, Mohsin Khan, Deepak Hooda and Abhishek Sharma have impressed me in the current edition,” he added.