New Delhi: The latest season of IPL has already kicked-off and tournament giants Sunrisers Hyderabad have started on a winning note. The star of the match was Shikhar Dhawan who scored a blistering 77 to take his team home comfortably against Rajasthan Royals.
The match was a lop-sided affair and some of the Sunrisers players didn’t even get a chance to show their skill on the park. One such player was SRH new recruit Yusuf Pathan, who in the past seasons had proved his mettle as a T20 player.
Pathan, who had been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders for the past few years, was bought by SRH this year during the IPL Auctions for Rs 1.9Cr. Enjoying a successful stint at KKR, the 35-year-old is sure that he will leave a long-lasting impact in the tournament and will contribute hugely in his team’s success. But the question that looms large is that whether Pathan will be able to adjust in a new franchise with a new set of players?
In an exclusive chat with Cricketnext, Pathan sounded confident of making a successful transition from one team to another. He said, “I’m gelling really well with the team and I’m getting to learn a lot from head coach Tom Moody and Muttiah Muralitharan. I am excited for the new season as I will get to play for a new team.
It is not at all difficult for me to adjust into the new setup. When you play a sport professionally, you have to make these adjustments. I am looking forward to put my step forward and give it my best. SRH has a good legacy and I hope I can contribute to team’s success this season.”
It is just not him alone who has made the move from KKR to SRH, but has the company of Manish Pandey and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan. Not to forget Deepak Hooda who plays with Pathan at the domestic level. Yusuf feels that the presence of these players will make his job easy as they know each other’s game well.
“It is always good to have players around with whom you have played earlier, as they know your game and vice versa. Only the team color and the name has changed for us. So that itself is a good plus point for SRH as we can contribute to the team better.”
SRH has always been thorough in their approach since the team was formed in 2013. Yusuf feels that one of the key reasons for their success has been that they concentrate on giving it their best on the field, and not think about the opposition.
“I think when you play at such a big level, you don’t make strategies to beat good opposition, you make plans to play your best. That’s how you can put them under pressure. SRH has been doing well consistently for the last two three years, so our focus will be to concentrate on our strengths,” he added.
The SRH squad boasts of some of the world’s best names in their team but batting middle-order looked lackluster right before the start of the tournament. If Yusuf is to be believed, they have well-balanced team and they have no issues in the batting department too.
“I don’t think that we have any problems in our batting order. We have seen in the practice matches too that all the batsmen are giving it their best. I can really say that it’s a well-balanced team. This time in the auction, team management has ensured that we have a solid looking team. If each player plays to his potential, we can reach far.“
Once a regular in the Indian team, Pathan hasn’t played for the national team since 2012 and just like other hopefuls, he aspires to play for his country once more. For him, his fans’ support has been immense and that is what keeps him going.
“I have still not given up the hope of making it to the Indian team. I think my fans have kept me going till now. They still want me see in India colours and I still have it in me to prove them right. Even my family has been right behind me. All I have to do right now is concentrate on my game and do well for the team. It’s a tough ask, but then I’m up for the challenge,” he concluded.