Yusuf Pathan reveals how Shane Warne’s ‘rousing speech’ helped RR to get back on winning track in IPL 2008
RR lost their season opener in IPL 2008 but made a strong comeback later.
Updated - Jun 2, 2020 11:36 am
After the IPL 2008 auction, the general idea which ran through the masses was that Rajasthan Royals haven’t picked the best side. In truth, the Jaipur-based franchise had not bought many superstars of the game. They had former Australian leg-spinner, Shane Warne, as the player-cum-coach but none of the stars of the international cricket. However, the underdogs’ Royals ended up winning the IPL 2008. It is a story that is cherished even to this day.
Warne with his young brigade went onto script a historic win the inaugural season. The team beat a strong Chennai Super Kings side in a thriller at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. One thing which struck with many fans at the time was the fact how the former Australian made a really flexible team. Players like Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, and Ravindra Jadeja emerged out of the tournament as terrific all-rounders for the format.
Years later, Mohammad Kaif, who was a part of the side in 2008 credited the way Warne led the team. He appreciated the efforts of the Warne during an Instagram live session with a former Royals teammate, Yusuf Pathan.
He started the concept of ‘horses for courses’: Mohammad Kaif on Shane Warne
“Shane Warne was ahead of his time. He started the concept of ‘horses for courses’ during IPL 2008. Warne got the best out of everyone. He had the quality of being flexible,” Kaif said. “We had a lot of changes in our side. There was no batting position fixed for any player. Warne told me to talk to the Indian guys, who were a little weak in English,” he further added.
Yusuf Pathan was a revelation of the IPL 2008. The Baroda player had been part of the Indian team which won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup a year ago. However, he didn’t hold his spot in the team after the T20 World Cup. His younger brother, Irfan was still part of the Indian team in all three formats. It was during the first edition of the cash-rich league when the elder Pathan brother became a household name. He scored 435 runs in that season and took eight wickets. Most importantly, the runs that he scored came at a very high strike rate of 180.
Yusuf Pathan hails Shane Warne as captain
During the interaction, Yusuf noted that Warne held the team together with positivity even after they lost the first match. He credited the former Australian great for supporting and backing younger guys.
“I remember Warne took our team meeting. He was very positive. He told it does not matter that we lost in the first match, but he emphasized the need for showing team-spirit and giving our best. He motivated all of us by giving a rousing speech and then he went on to say that we will go on to win the tournament. Every skipper in the world should look to learn from him,” said Pathan during the interaction.
“Warne told us that the management will back every player. We went on to win our matches from thereon. Every player got the backing and appreciation after every match. We then made it to the finals. Whenever I go to Rajasthan, I feel like I have gone back to the time in 2008,” he further added.