Ranji Digest, Round 1: Prashant’s triple hogs limelight
Yusuf’s twin tons go in vain, Ashwin returns to Ranji after five years, Railways stun Uttar Pradesh, and more
Yusuf Pathan’s powerful hitting has made waves right from the time he played for Baroda in the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy in 1999-2000. He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2001-02, but only came to the notice of the selectors after a superb domestic season in 2006-07, which included being the highest scorer in the Deodhar Trophy and the only one among the top ten to have a strike-rate of over 100. He was included in India’s World Twenty20 squad for 2007 and made his international debut in the final, smashing the second ball he faced for six. In the inaugural IPL that followed, Pathan was instrumental in Rajasthan Royals’ march to the title with 435 runs scored at better than 10 runs an over and a Man of the Match performance in the final. An ODI call-up followed soon after, though Pathan was unable to nail a permanent spot in the team with limited opportunities to shine, coming lower down the order. He was dropped from the international side after a couple of seasons but made a strong comeback in 2010, starting with an incredible 210 off just 190 balls in the Duleep Trophy final and help West Zone chase down a world-record 536 for victory. Pathan had also scored 108 in the first innings. He was soon recalled to the national team and smashed a 79-ball century against New Zealand, helping India chase down 315, and went one better with a 68-ball ton against South Africa. In the IPL auctions of 2011 that followed, he was picked up for a whopping $US2.1m by Kolkata Knight Riders. A poor World Cup 2011 saw him out of the team for a brief while once again, but he returned for the 2012 Asia Cup.