I would like to contribute wherever I bat: Yusuf

Having scored an unbeaten fifty down the batting order, all rounder Yusuf Pathan said he was prepared to bat at any position so long as it helps the team.

updated: November 17, 2008 14:37 IST
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Having scored a crucial unbeaten half century down the batting order, all rounder Yusuf Pathan said he was prepared to bat at any position so long as it helps the team in piling on a match-winning total.

"I am willing to bat wherever I get the opportunity to serve the team the best," said the 26-year-old, who also clarified that he had celebrated his birthday last month and not today as wrongly noted by some statisticians.

"This performance will give me a lot of confidence and I dedicate my first ODI half century to my parents," he told reporters after the 54-run win.

Pathan, who usually opens the innings, came at number seven and smashed 50 not out to propel the team total to a respectable 293-9 and also picked one wicket in the second ODI against England.

The October 23-born all rounder, who lasted only two balls in the first ODI at Rajkot when he was sent up the order, said Monday's victory was a team effort and it was important for him not to lose his wicket as batsmen realised that it was not as easy a wicket to bat on.

"We knew it was not an easy wicket to bat on and anything could happen later and I wanted to score as many runs as possible to give our team a good total in the end," he said.

Pathan said though the opening few partnerships did not work well, the lower order batsmen rose to the occasion and did the job.

"Yes, unlike at Rajkot the opening partnerships did not get off to a good beginning. But it cannot happen every day and the others too need to contribute and did so today," Pathan pointed out.

He also said the perception that he was a Twenty20 cricketer after his exploits in the T20 World Championship last year in South Africa was not correct as he had not played as many short duration ties as compared to three, four and One-day ties at the domestic level.

"I have played more three, four and One-day matches in domestic cricket and not as many Twenty20 games. I think the perception that I'm only a T20 player is wrong," he said.

Pathan said it was not easy to choose between the two match-winning efforts of Yuvraj Singh in the first two matches of the best-of-seven rubber.

"Both were important efforts and both were match-winning ones. I enjoyed both his innings. Not only the opposition, but our own bowlers are not able to get him out in the net sessions," said the off-break bowler and hard-hitting batsman about the left-handed stylist's two knocks of 138 not out and 118 at Rajkot and here.

About his younger brother Irfan, who has lost his slot in the Indian team, the senior Pathan said it was up to the selectors.

"Irfan is doing well in domestic cricket, but I cannot comment on his exclusion from the Indian team. It's up to the selectors (to pick him again for India duty)," he said.