BY Himanshu Dubey

(Jagran Post Network): He is simple, shy and calm on the field. But remember, aggression is in Yusuf Pathan’s DNA as he displays it with extraordinary ease when bats.

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South Africa’s Lonwabo Tsotsobe would agree to that. Pathan powered the pacer for two fours and two sixes in the same over, in his match winning knock in the third ODI against the Proteas during recently concluded ODI series and robed SA of win.

In the decider contest, during the same series, Pathan once again stood between Graeme smith and victory. Indian top order was demolished by Morne Morkel and as scorecard read 98/7, India looked down and dusted.

In came Pathan and with his brutal, fearless hitting, turned the momentum in India’s side. He brought up his brilliant hundred smashing Morkel over square-leg for the maximum. With Pathan going all guns blazing, India’s victory looked inevitable.

But cricket is a highly unpredictable game. Yusuf, who was murdering SA bowlers all over, ran out luck and mistimed a pull shot and with him departed India’s hopes of winning a series in South Africa.

Though India lost the match and the series, Pathan won many hearts.

He likes to keep things uncomplicated and he follows this rule when he walks out with bat in his hand. If the ball is there to be hit, Pathan gives everything to send it out of the park, no matter what the game situation is. His swashbuckling 37-ball hundred for Rajasthan Royals against Mumbai Indians in IPL testifies it. Even though Pathan was unfortunately run out and failed to win the game for Rajasthan, but his knock made it clear to the opposition that Pathan can win games from anywhere, making him the ‘most-wanted’ scalp.

Pathan’s inconsistency had kept him warming the benches for the most of the time since he first doned Indian colours in ODI’s in 2008, but Pathan has evolved over the years as a batsman. In his unbeaten knock of 123 against New Zealand, Pathan showed a solid combination of attack-cum-defense and his composure was the standout attribute.

At No.7, Pathan will play a pivotal role in shaping fortunes in India’s favour. Team India will count on his ‘win it from any situation’ ability and his subtle off-spinners will be handy for skipper Dhoni on slow sub-continent tracks.

Pathan will fill in the shoes of an all-rounder in Team India. A fierce batsman and a smart bowler, Pathan knows the tricks of his trade very well and he is undoubtedly Dhoni’s most lethal weapon.