In a throwback to the Gary Kirsten days when the then India coach would always help Sachin Tendulkar with throwdowns, the Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC) ground in Colombo on Tuesday witnessed Yuvraj Singh going through the same routine with fielding coach Trevor Penney.
Yuvraj Singh listens to trainer Trevor Penney during a practice session ahead of their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan in Colombo. AP/Eranga Jayawardena
It was an
optional session but the likes of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Lakshmipathy Balaji slogged it out with the reserve players ahead of India's first World Twenty20 match against, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
While all of them were practicing at the main nets, Yuvraj quietly strode out to the farthest corner with Penney in tow.
From 18 yards, Penney started hurling the deliveries as a confident Yuvraj negotiated each and every ball with intent. Whenever something was pitched short, he went for the horizontal bat shots.
The volume of deliveries faced may not be as many as compared to Tendulkar but in 75 minutes, he faced at least 200 'throwdowns' from Penney and even Dhoni applauded the effort put in by the stylish left-hander, who successfully recovered from a rare germ cell cancer.
"He is shaping up really well. It's all about putting up a fight. I believe one shouldn't think about the past and there are lot of uncertainty about the future. But it's about putting up a fight on the day," said Dhoni.
The captain felt his most dangerous T20 player is getting better with each passing day.
"Yuvraj has looked fit for this format. Obviously, he is still not hundred per cent as far as Tests are concerned but he is getting better."