| Yuvraj Singh
Bangalore: Yuvraj Singh Friday brushed aside talks about his disappointment at losing the Team India vice-captaincy, saying he was proud to represent the country merely as a player.
“My job is to go out and play. If a certain responsibility is given to me it’s an opportunity and an honour, but at this stage I am just a player playing for my country and am very proud of it,” the Punjab lefthander said.
The 25-year-old batman has played in 19 Tests, scoring 830 runs at an average of 33.20, since making his international debut in 2000. In comparison, he has played 171 ODIs from which he has 4665 runs at 35.54.
In fact, he was not included in the team for the two Tests against Bangladesh.
“It’s been that case for six or seven years now. With difficulty I have made it to the middle-order. There’s lot of competition and tough matches are ahead,” Yuvraj said.
“Over the last one-and-half years I have played 6-7 Test matches. I had a few good games and a few bad games. I am just looking forward to doing my best whenever I get a chance, be it a one-day game or Test.”
Yuvraj also attributed his inconsistency to his not being given a fixed batting position.
“One cannot be judged in one or two seasons. I was in good form in the World Cup but unfortunately the team could not go far. I did not get a chance (to play) in Bangladesh. If I go at the same number my form will be known after five or six matches.”
On the upcoming tours, Yuvraj said a good performance against South Africa — in the three ODIs in Belfast - would set the tone for the England series.
“It’s very important we do well against South Africa. If we do well against South Africa, I am sure we will play good cricket from there. It’s very important we start well.”
Yuvraj has also decided to use a light bat on the tour to counter the extra bounce. “I have told him to make my bat lighter because the ball is going to bounce there. I am sure he’s working on it and I am very happy with the way he’s making my bat,” he said.
Yuvraj predicted a tough tour and stressed on the importance of the players remaining fit and retaining focus on the long season ahead.
“After Ireland and England we have got Australia visiting, so we have to (retain) focus, remain physically and mentally fit.”
Yuvraj said the team did not miss a coach. “On the last tour (Bangladesh) also we did not have a coach but had Ravi Shastri as cricket manager and got good help from him. There’s a bowling coach and a fielding coach. Things are looking good,” he said.