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Yuvraj keen for an encore

Young batting gun Yuvraj Singh is keen to get back into good form against an opponent he did so splendidly well in England last summer.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2003 12:39 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Young batting gun Yuvraj Singh is keen to get back into good form against an opponent he did so splendidly well in England last summer.

"It's been up and down in the 2003 World Cup so far and I am willing to pull my weight from now on," said Yuvraj Singh who lit the England summer in 2002 with some amazingly powerful knocks in pressure situations.

None was more brilliant than the 66 in the final of the NatWest triangular series in which India beat England in stirring fashion, chasing 326 successfully after being five down for 150 at one stage.

Yuvraj shared a century stand for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Kaif on that occasion which made rival captain Nasser Hussain term the Indian batting line up as the most brilliant in the world.

Yuvraj was unwilling to gloat on the glory of NatWest final in the World Cup and said everything about the game tomorrow would be different to England.

"NatWest is past now. We are not thinking about the NatWest. It's different conditions and different climate, different pitches and everything would be new tomorrow," said Yuvraj.

Yuvraj did not feel that India won the NatWest final because England were a little complacent after they had the rivals down to 150 for five.

"I wouldn't say England became complacent. The first half went their way and the second half ours. It was a good fight all through," he said.

Yuvraj foresaw an exciting match between the two teams given the way England performed against Pakistan at Cape Town on Saturday.

"Every game is a tough game and everyone wants to do well, it's a World Cup and obviously England is playing well and we are playing well so it's going to be a good match."

Yuvraj was pleased to see his team get back into the thick of things in recent games but dismissed suggestion that India had a psychological advantage over England.

"We have done well in the last few games and the batsmen have come to form," said Yuvraj. "We also have a good record against England but I wouldn't say we have a psychological advantage."

Yuvraj made a special mention of Sachin Tendulkar, who made an outstanding 152, albeit against Namibia, in a Group A clash at Pietermaritzburg Oval on Sunday.

"Obviously, Sachin is a great player and he's been proving it again and again. It's good to see him back in form," he said.

Yuvraj, arguably the most powerful hitter in the Indian team, is not too worried about James Anderson who has taken the cricket world by storm with his destructive bowling.

"I saw Anderson bowl against Pakistan and he bowled very well... But I am not nervous as I will try to stick to my game plan and let others do what they can under the circumstances."

Yuvraj was keen to contribute in whatever way possible to the team's cause in this competition even if meant bowling his unorthodox left-arm spinners.

"Whenever I get an opportunity, I try and bowl my best. World Cup brings an extra excitement but it's not pressure."

Yuvraj picked four wickets in about five overs to expedite Namibia's downfall.

Yuvraj, like a few senior members of Indian side, was extremely disappointed at the hostile reaction of cricket fans back home after India put up a humiliating performance against Australia earlier in the competition.

"When you hear something like that, you obviously tend to feel disappointed. But at the back of your mind you know when things would fall in place everything will be fine.

"When you are not doing well there is bound to be criticism but when you do well, everyone is behind you. We're just not bothered about what's happening back home. We are just bothered about the World Cup," Yuvraj said.

First Published: Feb 25, 2003 12:39 IST