Yuvraj Singh, in Rajkot, on Wednesday
Rajkot: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded that comeback-man Yuvraj Singh will be under some pressure during the upcoming ODI series against Australia. But he also said the team would insulate him from any “undue” stress by keeping things “normal” in the dressing room.
Yuvraj would be eager to prove a point after being recalled to the squad, following a string of good scores for India A against the West Indies A and a solid display for India Blue in the Challenger Trophy.
According to Dhoni, the 31-year-old, who beat a rare germ cell cancer last year, will perform well if he manages to keep his mind off pressure and expectations. “We are trying to keep it as normal as possible... If it’s a comeback scenario, I think there is a kind of pressure on the player.
“It doesn’t matter if you are one of the biggest match-winners. It is very important to take that feeling away from the individual that he is making his comeback,” Dhoni said on the eve of the one-off T20 International against Australia to be played, here.
“Because what’s important for the individual is to be expressive on field, back himself, have belief in the talent he has. Ultimately that will show on the field.
“We will try to keep it as normal as possible and try to take the undue pressure off Yuvraj and hopefully, that will work,” he added. “Yuvraj, of course, is a match winner and we all know that. He is a big player and has been proving himself whenever questions have been raised.
“The fact is that he is a big match player. He performs well in big matches. He does well in tough series. We are hoping that he will come back stronger,” Dhoni stressed.
Despite the BCCI advancing the start of the ODI matches by an hour, Dhoni said dew would be a key factor and a lot would depend on it, especially the use of spinners.
“We will have to see exactly how much it turns, whether dew will be a factor because if it does become one, then the spinners may not get the same amount of turn that they would have got at some other time of the year,” he explained.
Dhoni said the seven-match ODI series, starting from Sunday, would be an exciting one. “If a side lags behind, it will have ample time to get back into the series. So, it’s a bit different compared to the other series that we have played.
“Mostly, we play a five-match international series. So, this is something slightly different for us. But I think we have played one seven-ODI series before.”
The inspirational captain, who enjoyed a two-month break from international cricket, said it is good to be back. Asked to comment on the Australian team, Dhoni said the visitors have the right mix of players.
“I think they are a very good side. It will be foolish to underestimate them. If you see, they have got the right mix. They have got the all-rounders, proper batsmen and good bowlers at the same time. I think it will be an exciting series and the best team will win,” he said.
Before the start of the series, Australia vice-captain Brad Haddin had said the visitors would be striving to win the series 5-2 to be No.1 in ICC ODI rankings. “They can look at 7-0 also, but that is not what we are looking at,” quipped Dhoni in response. “It is not about what we are looking at, but how well we do on the field. I think they have a got a very good side. But we have also played good cricket.”
Local boy Ravindra Jadeja would be making his first appearance at home in a T20 International tie. Dhoni will be using the left-arm spinner appropriately, as he has been struggling in the shortest format of the game.