It is common for any captain to have a favourite player and when it came to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it was Suresh Raina, who enjoyed unstinted backing, feels Yuvraj Singh.
One of India’s greatest limited-overs cricketers, Yuvraj remembered how Dhoni faced selection dilemma when he had to choose two players from Yusuf Pathan, Raina and him, in the playing XI during the 2011 World Cup.
“Suresh Raina had a lot of support then, because MS used to back him. Every captain has a favourite player and I think Mahi really backed Raina at that time,” Yuvraj told Sports Tak .
Ultimately all three players made the playing XI (although Yusuf lost his place mid-tournament) with Yuvraj playing a pivotal role in winning the title.
“Yusuf Pathan was also performing well at that time and even I was doing well and was also picking wickets. And Raina was not in a good touch then,” he said.
“They did not have a left-arm spinner at that time and I was picking wickets so they did not have any choice,” he added.
The swashbuckling batsmen also revealed questions were raised over the bat he used to famously hit Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over during the 2007 T20 World Cup. It also led to the match referee checking the willow.
“The Australian coach at that time had come to me and asked if there was a fibre behind in my bat. He asked if it was legal. Has the match referee checked it? So I told him to get it checked.”
“Even (Adam) Gilchrist asked me who made our bats. So, the match referee had also checked my bat. But honestly, that bat was very special for me. I have never played with a bat like that. That one and the 2011 World Cup bat, they were special.”
Yuvraj was lavish in his praise for Sourav Ganguly for nurturing young talent and picked the BCCI President as his favourite skipper.
“ Dada would be my favourite captain. He supported me a lot, the most. We were young also, so he nurtured the talent,” Yuvraj said.
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