Kolkata: On a high after smashing the fastest fifty in the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Yusuf Pathan slammed his critics saying that they have no clue how hard he works.
"People don't know what all I'm doing to achieve all these things. It's their job to criticise, they are getting paid for that and I'm being paid for playing and doing my duty. Everybody is doing their job," Yusuf said responding to the outpouring criticism. (Match in pics)
"Whatever they may say, I know what I'm doing to achieve. I'm clear about what do I want and I know my ability. I know how much can I score in an over and the hard work I put in to make those 20 runs in an over.
"I know how much I work hard in nets and in free time when there are no matches. I just keep backing myself. It's like being well prepared before an exam. I don't care about what people say," the senior of the Pathan brothers said in the post-match presser.
The misfiring Baroda all-rounder, who was bought by KKR in a USD 2.1 million deal, paid back the faith blasting a 22-ball 72 to help his team chase down Sunrisers Hyderabad's 161 in 14.2 overs and storm into Qualifier one by knocking off Chennai Super Kings from the second spot on net run rate.
KKR needed to chase down the target in 15.2 overs and when Yusuf came in, the equation was 106 from 47 balls as SRH let off the big hitter by dropping on 0 and 16.
As Yusuf exploded back to form, world's No 1 bowler Dale Steyn cut a sorry figure conceding 26 runs in an embarrassing over that read 4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2 as KKR chased down the required target with ease for a never before seventh win on the trot.
Yusuf said he forgot what he ate in the lunch but he did not skip what his captain Gautam Gambhir had instructed.
"We always thought of making the Qualifier 1 and play here as we would get two chances of playing the final (in the play-off). If I was out first ball, you people would have been up in arms with harsh criticism. I wanted my team to play freely so I was just backing myself up. I followed Gautam's instruction.
"I did not think much, we just had to score 80-odd runs from 36 balls to become second (in the table). The only thing going in my mind was to hit the ball that comes in the area. We just had to score about 12-15 runs in one over and take the game forward," he said. (Also read: Never seen such an innings, says Gambhir)
On dedicating the knock, which he rated higher than his 37-ball ton for Rajasthan Royals in 2010 before joining KKR, Yusuf said, "I want to dedicate this to my fans, gift this to my mom and dad and all the well wishers. This win is for them. We've been playing some good cricket this season and we deserve to finish top two."
On getting a reprieve while he was on zero, he said: "It could have been a clear six had I played a little late. But we had enough balls left. There was less pressure and we had enough firepower to achieve the target."