A fitter and slimmer Yuvraj Singh is back from his six-week long fitness camp, along with Zaheer Khan, in Brive la Gaillarde in France and is raring for a crack at Team India again. He is deriving his confidence from skipper MS Dhoni’s recent remark that his team was reserved not only for youngsters.
“Dhoni must have thought about the 2015 World Cup. I am happy that youngsters are doing well but a right balance, with seniors too, is needed. The most important thing is to have the best team for the country,” said Yuvraj, on his first public appearance since returning from France.
The mainstay of the Indian middle order in the limited-overs format till very recently doesn’t mind talking about his past record. “While one’s past records should not be the criterion for selection, you can’t forget the contribution made by them either,” Yuvraj said at a promotional event here on Friday.
There has been extra emphasis on agility and fitness in Dhoni’s scheme of things. And the veteran of 282 ODIs is well aware of that. “I have never doubted my ability and won’t doubt it ever. The focus is to look sharp and agile in the field. My priority has always been to play for my country,” he stated.
Both, he and Zaheer, decided to undertake a different regimen over the one available at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore mainly to avoid people speculating about them. “I had trained hard at the NCA after I recovered from cancer but I just wanted to get away because of frequent distractions. Here, something is invariably cropping up every day about what I am doing. I also wanted to train in higher altitudes and play different sports, eat a different kind of food and have time to discuss my game with my father (former Test cricketer Yograj Singh). In France, I could stay focused on what I was doing.”
Coming out of that regime, he definitely looked more refreshed and fitter. But what about Zaheer? “Zaheer has been extremely disciplined and he worked as hard as I did. He has lost nearly six kilograms and looks in great shape. We started playing for India together and we gel really well. Working in tandem has helped each other. He has really pushed himself and am sure he will make a comeback soon,” Yuvraj said.
Yuvraj is itching to get back to the pitch but hasn’t got to play any of the pre-season domestic tournaments like the Buchi Babu. “I could only play Buchi Babu or Moin-ud Dowla if my state team is playing in the tournament,” he clarified.
Asked about a recent photograph which showed him along with Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun, Yuvraj recalled, “Some time back (Sachin) Tendulkar told me that his son bats like me. When I watched Arjun, he did remind me of my younger days in Chandigarh.”