Kolkata: He wants to finish games like he did for the Kolkata Knight Riders against Delhi Daredevils but Yusuf Pathan won’t change his flamboyant style of batsmanship.
“There was a lot of pressure I just wanted to play my natural game. You will always get out at some point, be it in the first ball or in the 40th ball. But it’s about playing my shots and making the balls count,” Pathan told PTI during an interview.
On his own admission, Pathan feels that he is a special talent, who need not compete with anyone but focus on his own game.
“Everyone has some special talents, and I am also special in my way. I don’t want to compete with anyone. I want to prove myself with my performance on the field,” Pathan said with a lot of conviction.
So does he harbour hopes of an India comeback with so many ahead of him for those couple of slots in the middle- order?
“It does not matter to me who’s ahead of me (in representing India). I consider myself as a special talent,” Pathan said.
Having scored 39-ball-59 against Delhi Daeredevils, the India discard proved why he is so highly rated in the Kolkata Knight Riders ranks despite his game-changing knocks being few and far in between.
“I have to back my talent. It does not take time for things to change. If I continue to perform well, at some point I will get an opportunity if not today then tomorrow,” Pathan seemed positive that he may once again don the India blues.
“I don’t want to look at others. My job is to play good cricket and the start has been good this time. I should be satisfied with my cricket and be prepared whenever I get a chance,” he said.
Pathan has had his share of disappointment with the team especially during their maiden title-winning campaign in 2012 when he managed just 194 in 17 matches without a single half- century but the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise has backed him throughout these years.
In fact, his 112 matches since 2011 is one more than skipper Gautam Gambhir’s 111 games for the popular Kolkata franchise.
“The only message from Shah Rukh Khan continue to entertain the way you have been,” Pathan said.
Pathan refused to agree his style has changed but says he’s keen to finish off games now.
“Having played for so long, you are aware of your team’s strength. If you are set, it’s all about finishing the game.
It’s about setting a precedent for the youngsters in the team as well. They should also get an opportunity to learn. It’s about winning comfortably.”
Pathan believes that as long as he is at the crease, KKR can win matches.
“I think as long as I am at the crease, the team will win comfortably. In the past, I have seen the team has gone on to lose the match after I got out. All these things, I have brought some changes in my game. It’s about playing shots.”
At this stage of his career, Pathan only wants to enjoy his cricket.
“I just want to enjoy my cricket. If you see in the last game, I’ve started playing shots from the very second ball. My style has not changed, it is just that I want to make sure that I take the team through till end. This is the only change,” he said.
Pathan credited chief coach Jacques Kallis and his deputy Simon Katich for bringing a balance in the team, which is leading the table with four wins from five matches.
“The credit goes to Katich and Kallis. They have put on a lot of hard work. They have put a clear pictures on every player’s mind. Everyone knows their role well. If you play well result will come your way.”
Pathan also hailed the Kolkata crowd for turning up in huge numbers in every game.
“It was heartening to see packed crowd from the very first match. In previous seasons, there would be many empty seats in the initial phase but now it’s all packed up. Such an excitement among the crowd is really motivating to do even better,” he signed off.