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Team India bats for Yuvraj Singh

R.K. Radhakrishnan
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CRICKET / I am really happy to have him in the side, says Dhoni

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:Irfan Pathan speaks at an open media session ahead of the T20 World Cup, in Colombo on Friday.— PHOTO: AFP
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:Irfan Pathan speaks at an open media session ahead of the T20 World Cup, in Colombo on Friday.— PHOTO: AFP

There has been one emotional selection to Team India that has the approval of everyone in the team — having Yuvraj Singh back in the team.

When asked if his inclusion was an emotional decision or one based on form, captain M.S. Dhoni said that he would not like to discuss selection matters and said, “But as skipper, I am really happy to have him in the side. The reason being he is a champion player, he is a match-winner.”

He also helps Dhoni get the balance that he looks for, especially in the Twenty20 format. “We don’t really play with a fifth bowler… we don’t really have that genuine all-rounder. All these part-timers can contribute. Yuvraj is one of them,” he says.

Irfan Pathan, someone who has been through the thick and thin like Yuvraj, said that having him back in the dressing room was emotional. “Very emotional. But after that it is about performing really well as a group. We hope to perform well as a group and make this World T20 really memorable not only for us, but for Yuvi as well. You know, I was in constant touch with Yuvi throughout last year when he was abroad for the treatment and all. So obviously you get attached, especially when something like that happens to your teammate, your family member,” he said.

Phenomenal person

Suresh Raina asserted that Yuvraj has been a phenomenal person. “Everyone wanted him to play for the Indian team again. I think he showed character and responsibility.

“He showed that the disease can be cured. And he worked really hard at the NCA [camp]. I saw him play the last game against New Zealand [the T20 match in Chennai]. He was fully pumped up.

“He fielded very well and he bowled two overs brilliantly and he was just like what he was earlier. I think it is important for us to keep supporting him all the way to the end. It’s going to be good for the Indian team,”

Ashwin recalled that Yuvraj had been part of all World Cups that India has won over the past five years. “So we look at it as a big positive. He did a few good blows in the last game as well. He is hitting the ball really well. That’s what he has been saying.

“Like Dhoni said, he gives us a lot of options and combinations to go in with. It’s a big plus for the Indian team.”

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