Yuvraj questions India batting coach’s ability to guide T20 players

Vikram Rathour, who had played six Tests and seven ODIs between 1996 and 1997, had replaced Sanjay Bangar as the Indian batting coach last year.

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh raises his bat after smashing six sixes off Stuart Broad during India's 2007 T20 World Cup game against England in Durban.   -  REUTERS

Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, on Tuesday, questioned Vikram Rathour’s ability to guide cricketers in the T20 format. Rathour had replaced Sanjay Bangar as the Indian batting coach last year.

“He (Rathour) is my friend ... do you think he can help players of this T20 generation? Has he played cricket at the level to help them?” Yuvraj, who was part of the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winning teams, said during an Instagram session with freelance journalist Nikhil Naz.

Rathour played six Tests and seven ODIs for India between 1996 and 1997.

Yuvraj said a player should be dealt with on the basis of his personality.

“If I was coach I’ll tell goodnight to (Jasprit) Bumrah at 9pm and take Hardik (Pandya) out for a drink at 10pm ... that’s how you deal with different personalities.”

Dig at Shastri

Yuvraj, who had retired from international cricket last year, also took a veiled dig at India chief coach Ravi Shastri.

“The current guys have no one to talk to and take advice,” he said.

Asked if it is not Shastri’s job to guide the players, Yuvraj said: “I don’t know if Ravi is doing it but maybe he has others things in his hand.

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“Anyway, you can’t tell everyone just ‘go out and play your game, express yourself’, this approach may work with someone like Sehwag ... but this will never work with Pujara ... so these things the coaching staff need to realise.”

'Pandya to break fastest T20 fifty record'

The 38-year-old also tipped Hardik Pandya to break his fastest T20 fifty record.

“Hardik Pandya could be the guy who breaks my record of fastest T20 fifty ... he has all the making of being a great all-rounder ... but then again you need to have someone to guide him in the team.”

'Wanted to run away from KXIP'

Talking about his experience of playing for different teams in the Indian Premier League, Yuvraj said he did not enjoy his time at Kings XI Punjab:

“I wanted to run away from Kings XI Punjab ... the management didn’t like me there ... they did nothing I asked them to do ... and when I left they bought all the players I had been asking them to. I love Punjab but I did not like the running of the IPL franchise.”

'Selection during 2019 World Cup shocking'

Yuvraj also slammed the selection of players during last year’s ODI World Cup, where Virat Kohli and Co exited at the semifinal stage after losing to New Zealand.

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“The selection during the 2019 World Cup was shocking. You need people to question those decisions when players who have played five ODIs are playing in the middle order.

“Can the current selectors question these decisions when they themselves have played only five ODIs?” he asked.

'Take full responsibility for 2014 World T20 loss'

The 2014 World T20 final was one of the worst days of his otherwise illustrious career as he could only muster 11 off 21 balls to see India go down to Sri Lanka in the final.

“I take full responsibility for that final loss. I couldn’t hit the ball. But then the Lankans bowled very well. Even the other batsmen struggled but fans and media made me the villain.

“There were stones thrown at my house in Chandigarh. When I came home, I saw my India cap and the bat I hit six sixes with and realised my time is done.”

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