I am not just only Twenty20 player: Yusuf

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Indore, Nov 17 (UNI) All-rounder Yusuf Pathan today said he was willing to bat at any position as long as it helped in puting up a match-winning total.

''I am willing to bat wherever I get the opportunity to serve the team the best,'' Yusuf told mediapersons after India's emphatic 54-run win over England in the second ODI here.

Yusuf, whose crucial unbeaten half century down the batting order laid the foundation for a match winning total for India, also clarified that today was not his birthday as wrongly said by satisticians. ''I celebrated my (26th) birthday last month,'' he said.

''This performance will give me a lot of confidence and I dedicate my first ODI half century to my parents.

''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.

Yusuf, who usually opens the innings, came at number seven and smashed an unbeaten 50 to propel the team total to 292 for 9 and also picked up a wicket.

He said though the opening partnerships did not work well today, 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,'' he added.

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 today'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.

He was of the view that it was difficult to choose between the two match-winning efforts of Yuvraj Singh in the first two matches (138 not out at Rajkot and 118 here today).

''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,'' he said.

Yusuf said he was not just a Twenty20 cricketer, ''this perception is not correct.'' ''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.

About his younger brother Irfan, he said it was up to the selectors to decide his fate in the team.

''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 added.

UNI XC HSB RAR BST1918

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