New Delhi: After Yuvraj Singh was dropped from the Indian team after the ODI series against England in January due to lack of form, there were several voices questioning his fitness level as well.
But back from a 42-day fitness programme with Zaheer Khan in France, not only does Yuvraj look fitter, but also hungry for an opportunity to represent India again.
Even though the young crop of players has done quite well for India in the recent past, Yuvraj feels every team needs the right mix of youth and experience to succeed at the top level.
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And it would be no different for the Indian team going into the 2015 World Cup.
Yuvraj said that while he was really happy with the performance of the young players in the Indian team, he urged the men who matter — selectors and captain — to not forget the contribution that senior players have made in the past.
There is no denying the fact that senior players like Yuvraj, Zaheer and Gautam Gambhir among others have played an important role in India doing well in the last few years at the international level.
“I believe that any team should be a blend of youth and experience. I am not saying that past success should be taken into account while selecting a team, but one shouldn’t forget what we have achieved for the country."
“I am very happy for the youngsters who have been doing really well for the country. This augurs well for Indian cricket and the future is in safe hands. I believe a good team should have a proper balance and I will do anything to get back into the team as that is my target. With or without me, India should select the best XI,” he said on the sidelines of an event in the Capital on Friday.
Speaking about his chances of making it to the 2015 World Cup squad, Yuvraj said: “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, let alone two years down the line. Yes, I want to play in the World Cup and am ready to slog it out to make it. If I can play domestic cricket and perform, I don’t see any reason why I can’t get back into the team. I have never doubted my ability,” the left-hander stressed.
While he is definitely looking in shape, Yuvraj said the basic reason for going to France for the fitness regime was to stay away from the spotlight.
“I had trained at the National Cricket Academy after recovering from cancer. But this time I thought that I should get away from the normal distractions and train in a high-altitude area. I focused on having a proper regime, different food and focus on my diet. It was all about working out with a purpose. There are lot of distractions in India. Also I wanted to stay away from you guys — media (laughs),” he said.
The pictures on Twitter have given enough hints that Yuvraj had a great workout with Zaheer in France and on Friday, he alluded to the great chemistry between the two.
“We have achieved what we wanted. In fact, Zaheer was very disciplined. He worked very hard and lost six kilograms. We both worked really hard and the focus was on getting fit. The fact that we started our international careers together also helped us to push each other,” he said.
Yuvraj emphasised that he was willing to play as much domestic cricket as possible to be in the reckoning for a place in the Indian team.
“I want to be back as soon as possible and am ready to play whatever domestic tournament that is to be played ahead of the Challenger series. I couldn’t play in the Buchi Babu tournament as my state association wasn’t playing,” he said.
While the NCA has, over the years, been a training centre for talented youngsters from around the country, it has in recent times become more of a rehabilitation centre for injured Indian cricketers.
As a result, there has supposedly been an escalation in cost in the NCA as players like Zaheer and Yuvraj have been indirectly accused of spending extensive time at the academy.
But Yuvraj refused to get into the debate.
“Sorry, but I was training in France and I am not aware of any such development,” he signed off.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.