Calcutta: Yuvraj Singh is keeping fingers crossed. The rest of India, too.
“The next 24 hours are crucial' (Team India physio) John Gloster wants the pain to subside before examining the hamstring injury and deciding on my immediate future,” Yuvraj told The Telegraph on Monday evening.
Speaking from Mumbai on his cellphone, the Man-of-the-Series in the five ODIs against Pakistan (and the only Indian to score a hundred in the Karachi Test) accepted he was “worried.”
“I’m concerned' Yes, there’s a bit of tension' I could miss the first Test versus England (in Nagpur, from March 1) at a time I’m batting so well' I can’t say I’m not worried,” Yuvraj said.
The in-form left-hander ' elevated to vice-captaincy when Virender Sehwag returned home with a shoulder problem ' had planned to head for New Delhi, en route to home town Chandigarh, but had to change his itinerary.
“I want this hamstring bit out of the way' I didn’t aggravate the injury by continuing to bat (with a runner) in Karachi last evening' I didn’t put any weight on the left leg' In any case, at that stage of our chase, I couldn’t have come off,” Yuvraj pointed out.
He didn’t have to, but made a terrific statement by putting the team above acute personal discomfort for the last 25 runs of his innings ' an unbeaten 107, which fetched the MoM award as well.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s assault may have invited more cheers, but the hundred will be remembered as somewhat of an epic. Quite like Chris Cairns’ effort, ironically against India, in the ICC KnockOut final six years ago.
Incidentally, India’s Man of the Moment made his debut (as an 18-year-old) in that Nairobi tournament.
According to Yuvraj, his excellent run in the last ODI series at home (versus South Africa) gave the “mental energy” to soar even higher.
He scored 103, four not out, 53 and 49, a sequence which earned him the Man-of-the-Series award (with South African captain Graeme Smith) and enabled Team India draw 2-2.
“Success has much to do with being fresh and tough in the mind' Of course, I’m pleased at having been consistent' More pleased it contributed to a memorable series win,” Yuvraj remarked.
He dedicated the latest awards to mother Shabnam, who has been a “pillar of strength,” and his “two Gurujis” who stay near Chandigarh.
Asked whether he’d specifically learnt anything in the past few weeks, Yuvraj appeared to laugh while replying: “Make the most when the going is good'”
Many swear by that.