World Cup star Yuvraj Singh’s ambitions of making a return to international cricket received a major boost when he was named in India’s provisional 30-member squad on Wednesday for the World Twenty20 to be hosted by Sri Lanka in September-October.
It’s the best news for the dashing left-handed batsman since being diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer last year. He underwent chemotherapy in the US earlier this year and successfully battled the disease.The other notable selections were Harbhajan Singh, Mandeep Singh and Ambati Rayudu. All three, though, only have an outside chance to make it to the final 15 as, barring injuries, at least 13 members in the 30 are automatic selections.
Mandeep and Rayudu have been rewarded for doing well in the 2012 Indian Premier League. Mandeep, the Kings XI Punjab batsman, aggregated 432 runs while Rayudu, a consistent performer for Mumbai Indians, scored 333 runs. Harbhajan did reasonably well leading Mumbai Indians but didn't find much success as a bowler. He didn't do much in the domestic season either to win back his place in the team from R Ashwin.
Pragyan Ojha, Rahul Sharma and Piyush Chawla will be fighting for the second spinner's slot, which should decide the 14th slot. Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Zaheer Khan and R Vinay Kumar are front-runners in the pace department. Irfan Pathan's chances will depend on a good showing as a bowler in the Sri Lanka one-day series.
While being named in the list will lift Yuvraj’s morale, it will be tough for him to make the final cut. He has started training at Bangalore’s National Cricket Academy and has been targeting a return to international cricket with the World T20. But, he has little time to attain match fitness as the final team has to be named by mid-August.
Being off-season, his game-time will be restricted to playing a couple of tournaments in south India. He had recently stated that he is aiming to play the Buchi Babu Tournament in Chennai and the KSCA League in Bangalore. His last international game was the Kolkata Test against West Indies in November 2011.