Yusuf can be really devastating down the order: Uthappa

Tapan Mohanta

New Delhi, February 3 (PTI) Out-of-favour batsman RobinUthappa reckons impact player Yusuf Pathan along with SachinTendulkar will be India''s trump cards in the forthcoming Worldcricket Cup to be held in the sub-continent from February 19.

The hard-hitting Karnataka opener, who has been out ofreckoning since 2008, said Yusuf apart, Sachin Tendulkar''sform over the next couple of months will also be crucial toIndia''s fortunes.

"Yusuf Pathan is the biggest surprise package. He cando the talking with both bat and ball," Uthappa told PTI fromVisakhapatnam where he is representing South Zone in theDuleep Trophy final.

The 25-year-old Karnataka player said that it would be atough call between Suresh Raina and Pathan for the numberseven spot.

"With Sachin back, it will be a tough call... If he getsa chance, Yusuf can be really devastating down the order,"Uthappa, who was bought for a whopping USD 2.1 million (approxRs 9.66 crore) by Indian Premier League franchise Sahara PuneWarriors, said.

A vital cog in India''s wheel during the team''s triumphantcampaign in the inaugural edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in2007, Uthappa said the entire country will be behind Tedulkar,who, in all likelihood, would be featuring in his last WorldCup.

"No particular role should be assigned to him... SachinTendulkar should go there and be like Sachin Tendulkar. Wemust send all positive energies and give all the supportneeded. Hope he is able to express himself fully. It will dowonders to the side," he said.

Known for his clean hitting against fast bowlers, Uthappasaid, "If all play to strength and potential we can definitelywin it. We have the class and recent history in thesub-continent is phenomenal. We are definitely the best bet."

"Pressure definitely will be there. It''s a World Cupafterall, the competition of highest standard. There is goingto be pressure on players. Hype is pretty much normal. Wemust get used to this. I don''t think hype will have anynegative impact on the side," he said on the buzz surroundingthe event being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


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