Yuvaraj was at the peak of his career during India’s World Cup triumph but a major illness sidelined the superstar’s cricketing career and eventually landed him on the sidelines. He went back to domestic cricket, did the hard work and notched up scores of 93, 36, 36, 78 not out and 98 in his five outings in the Vijay Hazare Trophy that helped him get back into the Indian squad for their tour down under in 2016.
However, the selectors did not pick Yuvaraj in the ODI squad and only selected him for the three T20 games that will take place in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Yuvraj expressed disappointment at not being selected in the ODI squad but remained thankful for another chance to wear the blue jersey.
In a statement, Yuvraj said “Yes, conditions in Australia are challenging and the T20 format is even more demanding. It’s such a compressed affair that there’s little time to adjust. The 20-over game isn’t easy. That said, I’m positive, for that’s the way I am. I have the confidence to try and do my best in the opportunities I get. The dressing room needs to have belief in me. I’m sure I’ll get the support I need.”
India have a big season ahead as soon as they return from Australia, they have a T20 series scheduled against Sri Lanka at home and right after that is the Asia Cup T20 before concluding with the World T20 that takes place between March- April 2016. Yuvraj will have to put in a great performance every single series to be certain of featuring in the World T20.
While it is clear to everyone that Yuvraj is getting closer to the end of an illustrious career, the selectors have shown faith in picking players irrespective of their age and will be hoping that their faith in Yuvraj will pay off with another World T20 win. The selectors have also recalled veteran pace bowler Ashish Nehra into the T20 side as they believe he can use his experience in the shorter format to give captain MS Dhoni the control he needs at the depth.
MS Dhoni has relied and used Yuvraj in the past as an all rounder as his slow left arm spin has proven effective in the sub-continent and his fielding has always been top notch. All eyes will be on the star player during 2016 to see if he still has that magic touch and the ability to win matches on his own.