New Delhi: Critics were up in arms the moment chairman of selector K Srikkanth and his panel decided to pick Yuvraj Singh for the ICC World T20 in August, arguing the call was based on emotion and not on cricketing logic.
They felt that while the left-hander could be a part of any international team before being diagnosed with cancer, four months wasn’t enough time for him to regain match fitness — after going through rigorous therapy for a rare germ cell cancer — and be a part of Team India.
Even well-wishers questioned the decision saying that only in India could such a selection happen and comparisons were drawn with teams like Australia and South Africa.
Back then, Srikkanth and team had stayed silent. But not on Monday after Yuvraj hit a well-deserved double ton for North Zone against Central Zone in their Duleep Trophy semi- final.
Yuvraj hits 208 in first-class comeback
Ex-chairman of selectors Srikkanth hailed Yuvraj as a fighter and said that he had repaid the faith they had shown in him while picking him for the World T20 in Sri Lanka.
“A lot of discussion was regarding his fitness and if we were being emotional by picking him just four months into his recovery from cancer. Not many supported our case, but deep within we always knew he is a champion cricketer and on Monday he proved that once again."
“I am very happy for him and wish him further success. In a way, he has also justified us backing him and bringing him back into the national fold. He has repaid the faith we showed in him,” he told MAIL TODAY . Srikkanth feels that Yuvraj is ready for the longer formats of the game and not just T20.
“His knock in the Duleep Trophy proves that he has regained enough fitness to not only play the shortest format of the game – T20 – but also the longer versions. Even if it might be too early to consider him for Tests, he is definitely ready for the ODI format,” he said.
Srikkanth found support from one of the current selectors who refused to be named. He too feels that Yuvraj’s double hundred is the best way that he could have answered his critics.
“Yuvraj’s double ton not only shuts his critics up, but also augurs well for the future of Indian cricket. It once again proves that if you are determined and willing to go that extra mile to bounce back, even the Almighty takes your side,” he said.
When asked if Yuvraj was ready to don national colours in the ODI format and ultimately the whites that every cricketer dreams of, he said: “As of now, he is definitely ready to go through the rigours of 50-over cricket. Test cricket could still take a little bit of time, but with the dedication he has shown while training, I won’t be too surprised if he is back into the Test team sooner rather than later.”