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Yuvraj Singh's 41-ball 71 against the Delhi Daredevils helped him regain lost form and prepare himself well for the business end of the IPL. However, his knock ended up being in vain, as the Delhi Daredevils registered a comfortable eight-wicket victory to put an end to their losing streak and keep them in contention for a spot in the playoffs.
The Southpaw credited the Daredevils batsmen, especially Karun Nair who was dropped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar early in his innings, and mentioned that the Sunrisers have been overly reliant on Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The 35-year-old also spoke about his own batting form and his innings during which he faced more than 20 balls for the first time since the beginning of the season. “It was important for me to get some runs,” Yuvraj said.
“Last three-four innings, I didn't get enough time in the middle. The wicket was a bit tougher in the first innings, the ball was gripping a little and I just thought that I will just try and play till the 16th over and then attack in the last four.”
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Yuvraj hadn't been in the best of touches this season and barring the innings against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening game of the season – wherein he scored a majestic 62 – the left-handed batsman had managed scores of 6*, 15, 3, 0, and 26 in his last five innings.
Having missed a game due to illness, the onus was on him to up the ante and regain his lost form ahead of the playoffs, as it was his form that was perhaps the most crucial for the Sunrisers middle order.
The Punjab-born had his share of luck too, it must be mentioned as he received a reprieve while on 29, when Sanju Samson spilled an easy chance. “[I] was lucky I got dropped [by Sanju Samson on 29] and I was able to cash in in the last four overs.”
While Hyderabad lost the match against the Daredevils last night, it should only come as a minor hiccup in a campaign that has otherwise been marked by David Warner's golden run with the bat and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's emergence as an all-conditions bowler.
The two veterans have bene ably supported by youngsters like Rashid Khan, Siddharth Kaul and Mohammad Siraj, and Yuvraj was appreciative of their efforts.
“I think we really rely on Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar] and Rashid. Hopefully, when Ashish is fully fit, we will have a stronger unit [with] more confidence in the bowling,” he said.
“Siraj is a young guy, he's got good pace, so he's learning. It's a good learning curve for Siddarth Kaul as well.”
Yuvraj's innings must have sent shockwaves across the rest of the dugouts and the power-hitting that he brings to the table can never be underestimated. Hyderabad would only hope that he builds on the confidence that he has gained from the knock and pulls out similar performances for them in the future.
The Hyderabad middle-order hasn't bene tested so far in the IPL as their top three – in Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, and Kane Williamson – have fired on all cylinders and have finished off games on their own.
Hence, Yuvraj's form becomes all the more important, as he would be the pillar responsible for holding the SRH middle-order together, in case the top order fails to perform.