Dhoni keeps Yuvraj comeback suspense alive

New Delhi, Nov. 1 -- Yuvraj Singh seems to have made a strong case for a Test recall since his comeback, but skipper MS Dhoni on Wednesday was non-committal on whether he was ready for the rigours of the five-day game. Instead, he left it to Yuvi to assess whether he was ready.

Asked to comment on Yuvraj's fitness after his effort for India 'A' against England, Dhoni, in Delhi to launch his gym, said: "Sitting here, it's difficult for me to say whether he's fit for the five-day game. There are a lot of factors which make it different from the shorter versions, which have a set pattern."

Fitness levels

He added: "In a days' game, the opposition might bat for one or two days. If he stays in the field for that long, it shouldn't reflect on his batting, and that's something he is the best judge of."

Yuvraj, who hit a double ton in Duleep Trophy, followed it up with a quickfire fifty on Tuesday. While Suresh Raina failed, Manoj Tiwary, another contender for the India No 6 spot, top-scored with 93.

Interestingly, while not committing himself on Yuvraj's fitness, Dhoni named Tiwary and Virat Kohli as the fittest players around.

Dhoni also gave his fresh perspective on his push for playing home Tests on turning pitches. "There's no universal definition of a sporting wicket. The characteristics vary from place to place," he said.

"Wickets abroad are fast and suit the pacers," he said.

"The sub-continent has always been a haven for spinners, and that's how it should be. I haven't seen an off-break bowler for a long time who is able to hit the rib cage of a batsman with a delivery that has turn and bounce. It's really painful, but you enjoy the challenge."

Missing Ranji

Dhoni stressed on the need to take breaks. "Often, we don't realise the importance of giving ample rest to the body," he said.

"We play so many matches these days that if we stay at home for two or three days instead of training or going to the gym, we feel guilty. But it's important to take some time off."

Is that why he opted out of Ranji Trophy? "Well, when I was asked by my state (Jharkhand) association, I was ashamed to tell them I wasn't well," he said.

"I thought they might wonder how after staying fit enough to play continuously for India and my IPL team, I was unwell just before the domestic season. But I had a bit of cough and cold, so I told them I was not available for selection."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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