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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Cricket

WT20: Yuvraj Singh battling for confidence and runs
Nilankur Das, Hindustan Times
Mirpur, March 25, 2014
First Published: 00:34 IST(25/3/2014)
Last Updated: 02:01 IST(25/3/2014)
Yuvraj Singh tries to catch the ball, unsuccessfully, against West Indies during their ICC World Twenty20 match at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. (Reuters Photo)

He has the record of hitting six sixes in an over in T20 internationals. He has hit the fastest fifty in this format, off 12 balls against England in the inaugural World T20. But coming back after being ignored for the Test and one-day squads for the New Zealand series and the Asia Cup, Yuvraj Singh finds himself short on confidence.

After scoring just one fifty in the domestic season, fetching a whopping `14 crore at the Indian Premier League auction when Royal Challengers Bangalore lapped him up by fighting off Kolkata Knight Riders, had raised eyebrows. Yuvraj himself must have reviewed his domestic performances and sought help from former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre, who’s had a role to play in the revival of the likes of Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa and Abhishek Nayar as well as the steady rise of Ajinkya Rahane.

Feeling pressure
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, said Yuvraj’s problem was more psychological than technical. “Yuvraj is one of the best players of T20, but yes, you can say that he is not in good touch at the moment,” Dhoni said after India defeated West Indies on Sunday night. “It becomes tough when you are dropped from ODIs and then you make a comeback in the T20s. So there’s a bit of pressure on him. It’s easy to say that it is a short format but when an individual comes back into the squad, there is bound to be pressure on him. It takes one or two matches. Hopefully, he will get his rhythm back as we know how good a match winner he is. He can turn the game on his own,” the India skipper said.

Batting struggle
Dhoni had sent in Yuvraj with India needing 23 off 32 balls. Yuvraj used up 19 of them for his 10 and was dismissed in the last over by Marlon Samuels after the scores were tied.

“We thought it would help settle his nerves. There was a fair chance as he could have increased the run rate. When he is in flow, he will win matches for us, he is a great asset to have,” Dhoni said.

But Yuvraj’s lack of confidence was getting reflected in the field.

He’s dropped two crucial catches in the deep in the two matches, something that was bread and butter stuff for him not so long ago.

“Anyone can be out of form, it is part of cricket,” Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said. “But I think one good performance will change that. It’s not that they need to score a 50 or a 100 but just a quick 20 or 30 or a good catch or run out can bring that confidence right back into a player,” he added.


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