The uncertain figure of Yuvraj Singh looms over proceedings as India A’s limited-over series with the West Indies ‘A’ gets underway here from Sunday.
Yuvraj stayed away from the pre-match conference on the eve of the first one-dayer at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, but the captain will be aware that there will be no let-up in scrutiny once play begins.
Yuvraj last turned out for India eight months ago, when he was dismissed third ball by Steve Finn in Dharamsala. In between, he has featured in the Deodhar Trophy and the IPL — neither an opportunity big enough to make a case for himself. Now, returning from a much-documented fitness camp in France, the 31-year-old has three 50-over games and a Twenty20 here, leading up to the Challenger Trophy where he will lead India Blue, to reclaim a spot that was once decidedly his.
“He is extremely hungry to perform and return to the Indian team,” said India ‘A’ coach Lalchand Rajput, at the end of what has been a wet fortnight in the city. “He has worked extremely hard on his fitness. In between, he had put on a bit of weight, but he has reduced that now.”
Yuvraj leads a largely young side, five of whose members featured against New Zealand ‘A’ in Vishakhapatnam earlier this week. Unmukt Chand, who also strung good scores together for the under-23s in Singapore, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh and Robin Uthappa all impressed against the Kiwis.