There’s no pressure on me: Yuvraj
Visakhapatnam, Sep 9: Yuvraj Singh has been an important part of the Indian line-up in the shorter versions of the game since his international debut in 2000. The 30-year-old has been making waves since his early days and continues to be a key figure even today, inspiring awe and affection from the followers of the game.
The southpaw played a crucial role in India winning the inaugural ICC World T20 in 2007 and then bringing home the coveted ICC World Cup in 2011. A livewire on the field, the dashing southpaw first impressed with his all-round capabilities when he helped India lift the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, back in 2000. Little wonder why his captain, MS Dhoni, has been ruing the all-rounder’s absence in the past few series.
However, Yuvraj is now ready, just in time to wear the blue armour and take guard as India prepare for the 2012 ICC World T20. Eagar to have his day on the field before the all-important ICC tournament, he is looking forward to the T20I against New Zealand and the couple of practice games thereafter. Although the first match against the Black Caps was washed out by rain, Yuvraj took a round of the ground acknowledging the thousands of fans, who had waited through heavy showers for the game to start and watch the cricketer make a comeback.
Excited to do what he does best, Yuvraj expressed his keenness to perform for India in a brief chat with bcci.tv.
Is there pressure going into the ICC World T20 after winning the 2011 World Cup and before that the 2000 U-19 World Cup and the 2007 ICC World T20?
I don’t think there is any kind of pressure on me because I am really happy that I am getting another chance to play. I am just going to go and express myself. I have been practicing really well and it was unfortunate that it rained today [in the first T20I against NZ] but maybe in another game [I will get the opportunity to play] and then going to the World Cup [ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka]. I am really looking forward to it.
Is there any pressure on the team going into the ICC World T20?
Definitely! As a team we perform well under pressure. Sri Lanka is a place that we are used to playing in and we are used to the conditions there. I am sure that the guys will regroup [and be ready to play] and [also] we have got a couple of practice games [ahead of the tournament]. So it will be a good momentum [builder] for us going in to the World Cup.
How do you cope with the expectations?
As I said I don’t have any pressure. The team will be under pressure to play well to win. I think we have done well in those kinds of situations before. But for me I don’t feel any pressure at the moment. When I start performing, the pressure will be back on me; but at the moment I am just happy that I am going to step on the field.
MS Dhoni has talked about missing you and missing an all-rounder in the last few series. What is your take on that?
I think MS has been missing my bowling more than my batting [laughs]. I fit in the role of a fifth bowler for the team. So, I think that is my responsibility because I did well with the ball in the World Cup. So hopefully, I can deliver the same way in the T20 World Cup as well.
How much does the balance of the team change with your return?
As an all-rounder it is good that both me and Irfan [Pathan] are back and so is Bhajji [Harbhajan Singh]. We can all bat and bowl. That adds good depth for the team and the balance of the team is really good at the moment.
Does anything change in T20 as compared to the one-day format?
T20 is a very unpredictable format. You don’t know which way the game might shift, at anytime. We can’t really predict what is going to happen in the game, but the guys have been playing well and hopefully we have a couple of more days to prepare. We have one more game against New Zealand and hopefully it doesn’t rain [in Chennai]. And then we step into the World Cup and have two practice games [before the World Cup].
What kind of wickets do you expect in Sri Lanka?
The wickets might spin and the spinners might come in handy. Let’s go there and see what the conditions are like.