Yusuf Abdulla, a skiddy left-arm fast bowler, slipped into cricket lovers’ consciousness with a slew of impressive performances during the second edition of the Indian Premier League in South Africa early this year.
With 14 wickets from 9 games, Abdulla created a flutter, and even though his team- Kings XI Punjab failed to make it to the semis, he had done enough to book a berth for himself in South Africa’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup bound squad.
While one did feel that Abdulla was in danger of being typecast as a Twenty20 specialist, especially since he had only one first-class five-wicket haul by the end of the 2008-09 season, a short chat later, we, Sudeshna Guha Roy
and Pratik Dogra
, were left convinced that the 26-year old from Johannesburg has enough fuel in to light up the international scene in the years to come.Excerpts from the interviewZeecric:
Disappointed to miss out on Champions League?Yusuf:
Yes, of course. It would have been good to be a part of the Champions League, especially after my IPL experience.Zeecric:
You have featured extensively in Twenty20 matches. Do you think this shortest format of cricket would bring down the curtains on One-Dayers or even Test cricket?Yusuf:
Well, everyone has been worried of T20 doing harm to ODI cricket and Test cricket. But I doubt it will make any difference. Cricketers still love ODIs and Tests, even though T20 is exciting and quite popular amongst people. Tests are a priority for every cricketer.Zeecric:
From a player’s point of view, what do you enjoy the most?Yusuf:
Well I enjoy bowling with the new ball… I enjoy T20 cricket as it is important to swing the ball in it and take wickets upfront… The good thing is that it gets very exciting when the batsmen are smashing around even as bowlers are performing extremely well… You can get a lot of wickets and be economical at the same time. It is very challenging.Zeecric:
How was you experience with the Indian Premier League? Did playing at home at help?Yusuf:
The IPL was indeed a very good experience; it is great to be playing with the best players in the world! It was exciting. I had my nerves when I played my first game, but after that, everything was fine and I enjoyed every bit of it. And yes, playing at home with home support is obviously just as good.Zeecric:
Are you happy with with the way your career is shaping up? Have you set any targets for yourself as to when to crack into the national squad?Yusuf:
I have just played one game for South Africa so far. I was also in the the Twenty20 World Cup team. So I am somewhat happy with the way things are shaping up. But yes definitely, I do hope to get into the national team as soon as posiible and play a lot of games for my country.Zeecric:
But are there any time frames that you have set?Yusuf:
Well, the only goal right now is to get to play some matches for my country this season. I like taking things one at a time.
First Published: 9/30/2009 8:47:09 AM