Mumbai:Australian leg spin legend and Rajasthan Royal skipper Shane Warne on Saturday rated Yusuf Pathan's blistering hundred against Mumbai Indians in their IPL opener as the best he has ever seen.
In his international career, Warne has been at the receiving end from India's Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies' Brian Lara many times but the Australian said Pathan's 37-ball 100 against MI here was the best.
"I have played first class cricket for 21 years and Sachin Tendulkar has been the best batsman I have bowled to. I have seen him thrashing pace and spin alike as well as Brian Lara but today's innings by Yusuf is the best I have seen," gushed Warne after his team nearly won against Tendulkar's MI after chasing an imposing total of 212 for 6.
Yusuf's innings, which included eight sixes and nine fours, is the second-fastest ever in T20 cricket worldwide.
Heaping praise on Pathan, Warne said to score such an innings when team was in dire straits was most impressive.
"To come in at 40 for three when we looked totally out and to have got a hundred in just 37 balls was a great effort," he said.
Pathan, himself, rued that his small mistake of backing up too far and getting run out resulted in his team's loss by four runs.
"It was a small mistake. We also gave too many extras towards the end (of MI innings). Otherwise we surely would have won," said Pathan.
Asked what he ate before playing that knock, Pathan brought smiles by saying, "I did not have my breakfast. It was a very good pitch to bat on," he said.
Warne was unhappy over the dropped catches and missed chances of run-outs, apart from bowling of wides, by his team.
"We dropped a couple of catches, missed a few run-outs and bowled a few wide balls that proved costly," he said.
"But I'm proud of the way we played today. We are the only team in the two IPL seasons to have won 9-10 close finishing games," he remarked.
Warne was happy to have lost the opening game by such a small margin in IPL 3 after having been outplayed in their first game in the first two seasons.
He also praised the efforts of Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Paras Dogra and said the two players did well.
"I thought Jhunjhunwala and Dogra played very well. The IPL is an Indian domestic tournament in which the Indian players benefit by playing alongside internationals," he said.
He also hoped that the issue over Ravindra Jadeja, who has been banned for a year by the IPL Governing Council for breach of player guidelines, would be resolved and the talented all-rounder will be available to play in this season for the Rajasthan Royals.
"Two years ago no one knew Jadeja. Now he's become a very good player and an India player. I know the issue involved and appreciate the IPL's viewpoint. But I also hope it would be resolved and he's available to play," he commented.