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Asia Cup: Yuvraj’s return to form ticks one more box ahead of World T20

India’s win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday not only sealed their place in the Asia Cup final, it also saw Yuvraj Singh in full flow, showing glimpses of his old self.

cricket Updated: Mar 03, 2016 11:47 IST
Kushal Phatarpekar
Kushal Phatarpekar
Hindustan Times
Asia Cup,World T20,Yuvraj Singh
India’s win over Sri Lanka not only sealed their place in the Asia Cup final, it also saw Yuvraj Singh in full flow, showing glimpses of his old self.(AP Photo)

India’s win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday not only sealed their place in the Asia Cup final, it also saw Yuvraj Singh in full flow, showing glimpses of his old self.

Yuvraj, who scored an 18-ball 35, took little time to settle down. His first boundary came off the second ball he faced. A ball later, he smashed his first six of the innings only to be followed by another off the final delivery of the over. His innings included three boundaries and as many sixes. On Tuesday, Yuvraj scored more sixes than his eight previous innings put together.

Chasing 139, the team was going at a slow pace and needed a batsman to score the boundaries. Yuvraj changed the pace of the chase.

Since India’s tour of Australia, this is an aspect the 34-year-old had failed to display. The famous swagger and nonchalant shot-making had been eluding him. On Tuesday, there were signs that he was well and truly back.

Skipper MS Dhoni concurred, lauding the knock and manner in which Yuvraj went about scoring runs. “When you return to international cricket, there is a lot of pressure from yourself, there are people’s expectations as well. Then, the first few matches go out in just figuring out what to do. Whether you want to go out and play the big shot. The problem being that if you don’t do well in the first couple of innings, there is more pressure on yourself,” said Dhoni.

“I felt his approach has always been very good. As you saw, he’s someone who can hit sixes at will. So, if the same thing continues, gradually he will be in a very good position before the World Cup,” the captain added.

The timely knock not only lifted India in the match, it went a long way in sorting out the lower order that had failed to fire since Australia.

Speaking to the BCCI website, Yuvraj said, “Today was one of those days where I felt my flow was back. I needed a bit of a flow out there to feel good. I felt that my game is back. I have been trying to get as much batting time as possible and I believe I have been picking up slowly.”

In the past nine innings, India’s lower order – particularly Yuvraj and Dhoni --- have hardly played a part in the team’s success in T20s. On Tuesday, not only did Yuvraj play a critical role, Dhoni too showed great composure as he helped finish the game off.

With two more games left in the tournament, one of which is the final, there could not have been better news for the side than Yuvraj’s return to form. It was one of the last bits of the jigsaw puzzle to fall in place ahead of the World T20.

First Published: Mar 03, 2016 11:46 IST