Yuvraj: 'I have always backed myself'

Yuvraj Singh is part of a specific plan as India looks to maintain its good international record. The goal is the Champions Trophy and Yuvraj, along with Ashish Nehra, is expected to play an important part.

PTI

"There have been ups and downs, but the focus has been high this time,” said Yuvraj.   -  PTI

Yuvraj Singh is part of a specific plan as India looks to maintain its good international record. The goal is the Champions Trophy and Yuvraj, along with Ashish Nehra, is expected to play an important part.

“I have always backed myself and I feel good about my batting this season. There have been ups and downs, but the focus has been high this time,” said Yuvraj.

The role, he insisted, remains the same as in the 2011 World Cup which saw him win the ‘Player of the Series’ award. “I was supposed to bolster the middle-order then, to play the finishing game. It is the same even now.

“The game has become faster now because the rules have changed in the last five years, but my job would still be to chase the bigger targets which have become bigger than they were in 2011 when we won the Cup.”

There is another common factor to Yuvraj’s expected contribution — Narendra Hirwani. In 2011, Hirwani had trained him for the tournament. “I told him since he was a natural all-rounder, he knew the batsman’s psychology. He admitted he would get disturbed by the slower one. So, I asked him to vary the speed. He did that splendidly,” said Hirwani.

The former India leg-spinner worked on Yuvraj’s confidence and bowling during the last Duleep Trophy. The two again spent a week at the National Cricket Academy recently.

“I told him to be upright when bowling and look to bowl in the right place. It is the most important thing. I also told him to approach the game with a simple mindset.

“You have to enjoy your bowling. I am glad he showed improvement quickly because I always look to work on the bowler without tampering with his action.”

Yuvraj got some priceless advice from Hirwani. “I was told to back myself as a bowler. I should not consider myself as a part-time bowler. But being called a part-time bowler helps me.

"I feel under pressure if I am referred to as the main bowler. Everyone has his own style of bowling. I am more matured in my approach and would use my experience to serve the team better,” said Yuvraj.

The left-hander was excited at returning to the main fold. “I have a role to play in the middle order with Mahi (M.S. Dhoni). We bring experience to the middle-order and hope to relive the 2011 World Cup during this season,” Yuvraj concluded.

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