New Delhi: Two years ago, when India hosted the World Cup, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted like champions in the final to guide India to a historic triumph over Sri Lanka in Mumbai. While skipper Dhoni was adjudged the player of the match, the man of the tournament award went to Yuvraj for his spectacular all-round show.
A lot has happened since. But on Friday, when Yuvraj spoke about his ideas on the composition of the national team, it was evident that he and Dhoni had lot of things in common.
Like the Team India captain, who said a few days back that the fitness and performance of a cricketer and not his age should be the prime criteria for selection, Yuvraj also felt a balance should be struck between age and experience.
“What Dhoni said is right… The team should be a balance of young and experienced,” said the southpaw during a promotional on Friday. “What one is needed to do is to select a team on fitness and form. I am sure Dhoni has the 2015 World Cup in mind. So he wants to build a balanced side to defend the title.”
Currently out of the Indian team, Yuvraj was also quick to heap praise on the youngsters.
“I am very happy the way youngsters are performing. It proves that Indian cricket has great future.
“There is nothing better than playing for India. When I played for the country, I always tried to do my best. While selecting a team one should not think too much about past performances. At the same time, one should also not totally forget the past performances,” Yuvraj said.
The all-rounder, however, made it clear he was eager to make a comeback. “I will do my best… I will play whatever domestic cricket is possible before the Australia series in October. I have to play as much cricket as possible before the Challenger. I am feeling sharp and fired up… The rest is with the selectors,” he said.
Looking supremely fit in jeans and T-shirt, Yuvraj said he deliberately chose to go to France for fitness training. “I could have gone to the NCA (National Cricket Academy) or any other place in India but there could have been lot of distraction. So I went to France… It was a different country, different training centre, different conditions, different food… away from everything, I enjoyed training there.”
Asked whether he still hoped to be part of the 2015 Cup squad, Yuvraj said: “Yes, but it is still far away… One and half years are still left. Who knows what will happen at that time! My current goal is to come back in the team immediately.”
Yuvraj informed that, Zaheer Khan, who also trained with him in France’s Brive La Gaillarde under Tim Exeter, was hungry to make a comeback. “Zak was very focused throughout the training period. He lost about six kilos… We started playing for India almost together… We have great friendship. He is keen to return.”
Yuvraj said he watched Sachin Tendulkar’s son, Arjun, bat recently and felt the youngster is like what he used to be in his young days.
“Sachin told me the boy was like me! So, I watched him. He reminded me of my young days in Chandigarh’s Sector 16 Stadium.”