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Saturday , December 29 , 2012
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‘I don’t go into the middle thinking of hitting a six’

- Will remember this match for a long time, says Yuvraj
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and MoM Yuvraj Singh, in Ahmedabad, on Friday

Ahmedabad: Yuvraj Singh hit three massive sixes off Saeed Ajmal in the penultimate over of the innings. At the media conference, he said it was pre-meditated. Apart from the batting, he also credited his side’s bowlers and fielders for the win.

The following are excerpts

On his game plan…

I just wanted to stay till the end. In the previous two games, I hurried up a bit. Here I got an opportunity to bat from the seventh over, so I thought I’ll try and get set, and then start hitting the ball. That made the difference. I didn’t have a good net session yesterday and initially I was just trying to settle in. It was very important for me to bat in the last five overs.

Hitting Saeed Ajmal for three consecutive sixes…

In the last match their best bowler, Umar Gul, hadn’t bowled in the first six overs. This time he did, so Dhoni and I knew that one over in the death will be by a spinner, and we thought we’d target him.

On his ability to clear boundaries with such ease…

I don’t go into the middle thinking of hitting a six… I just back myself and react with my natural instincts. If the ball is there to hit, I hit it. I try to watch the ball till the end. The problem is if you make plans early and you find that the ball is not there to be hit, you’ll get out. So, it’s important to watch the ball and react to the situation.

Whether batting in T20 is different from the other formats…

Well, in T20 only the mindset is different. At the end of the day, you still have to go and play good cricketing shots and bowl in the right areas to get the batsmen out. So, I think that the basics are the same. It’s just that you get less time in this format. In that time frame, you have to get set and you have to start hitting the ball. So, it’s not easy. That’s the reason the batting averages are not high.

Whether the Indian team were surprised by Pakistan’s chase…

We knew they are going to come hard at us. It was a high-scoring game and they batted really well. Mohammed Hafeez batted brilliantly… He was outstanding, not only in this match but also in the last game. You know the match could have gone in favour of any side if a couple of hits cleared the boundary. But the catches of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina were exceptional. And Rohit Sharma, as well. These catches mattered, especially under pressure. I think we won the game because of our fielding.

On the bowlers’ performance at the death…

The bowlers who bowl at the death always have a difficult job. Batsmen are set and always trying to swing. I think Ashok Dinda bowled really well… He got his yorkers this time. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also carried on well from the last game. He’s a talented youngster and he’ll only get better with time. Ishant Sharma is coming back after a couple of months… He took the responsibility to bowl the final over. I think they showed that they’ve learnt their lessons from the previous games.

On the newcomers of Team India…

It’s good for Indian cricket that new talents are coming up. The format is such that new guys will keep coming in and they’ll do well also. I think it is important to have a mix of youngsters and seniors. If there are only youngsters, the maturity and experience will be missing.

Ahmedabad being one of his favourite grounds…

Every game is a fresh game… But yes, we have fond memories of beating Australia (in the World Cup) on this ground. Also, most of the time, the ground has proved lucky for me… I’ve scored a good amount of runs here. The crowd was amazing… The buzz was amazing and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I will remember this game for a long time.