Yuvraj Singh had a mere 72 runs to show in five one-dayers the last time India toured Sri Lanka. Just six months on, he proudly flaunts the 'Man-of-the-Series' award as he walks back to the dressing room from the presentation area of that same R Premadasa Stadium. More than the trophy and the cheque of $2500, he carries back home a load of 274 runs from five matches.
Always a lot more comfortable against medium-pacers than spinners, Yuvraj didn't have to bother much when he went on the rampage against English bowlers on batsmen-friendly wickets in Rajkot and Indore, hitting back-to-back centuries. But coming here, with the ghost of mystery bowler Ajantha Mendis chasing him, the left-hander came out with flying colours. The last time, Yuvraj was dismissed thrice by Mendis in the ODI series. This time around, it seemed the Punjab all-rounder had solved the problem.
So, what is the secret of his transformation? “I worked hard in the nets as I was very disappointed with my performance the last time I came here,” he said and acknowledged Sachin Tendulkar's advice on tackling Mendis.
Skipper MS Dhoni praised the improvement and added that the team had tackled Mendis much better than last time. “He is a very talented batsman. He deserves a permanent place in the Test side. Another plus is his bowling. He has taken some wickets in Tests and is a brilliant fielder. The good thing about Yuvi is that when he settles down, he puts a lot of pressure on the opposition.” Some comforting words for Yuvraj here!