Yuvraj Singh made 35 off 18 balls against Sri Lanka © AFP
Allrounder Yuvraj Singh showed glimpses of improved batting form during his cameo against Sri Lanka, which helped seal India’s spot in the final of the Asia Cup. The second ball he faced was slashed over backward point for four, and then Yuvraj unleashed signature flicks and lofts on his way to 35 off 18 balls. He struck three fours and as many sixes before he was dismissed with India only 18 runs away from the target.
“Today was one of those days where I felt my flow was back,” Yuvraj told bcci.tv. “I needed a bit of a flow out there to feel good. I felt that my game is back. I have been trying to get as much batting time as possible and I believe I have been picking up slowly.”
Yuvraj had targetted left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, smashing him for 13 runs off three balls, including two sixes in the arc between long-on and deep midwicket.
“I was assessing which bowlers I am going to attack and which bowlers I won’t,” Yuvraj said. “I told myself that if a left-arm spinner is bowling, then I am going to go and attack straight away. Any left-hand batsman who can hit sixes will go after left-arm spin … Tonight I just wanted to be positive and hit the ball straight away and deliver for the team.”
Yuvraj has managed only 64 runs in three Asia Cup matches at a strike rate of 96, but has batted 125 minutes on considerably green pitches. In India’s previous match against Pakistan, Yuvraj faced a proper short-ball attack from Mohammad Irfan. The fast bowler had Yuvraj ducking and swaying, and even sent a 146 kph bouncer past the batsman’s nose. Yuvraj survived the threatening spell, though, and added 68 with Virat Kohli to stabilise a chase of 84. He was unbeaten on 14 off 32 balls as India won by five wickets with 27 deliveries to spare.
“Last game, it was a different situation where we needed to take a spell out and get a partnership going,” Yuvraj said. “I took my time out there where I could leave a lot of balls and get a partnership going along with Virat Kohli. It was a small total so I could take a lot of time.”
Yuvraj also complimented Kohli, who has four 50-plus scores in the last six matches and averages 103.66 in T20Is in 2016. “I feel he has been in the form of his life for the last five to six years,” Yuvraj said. “He has been very consistent and he knows his role really well. He is batting beautifully and I hope he continues to do that.”
Having spent time in the middle and found his hitting range, Yuvraj hoped to win games for India in the upcoming World T20. “I want to get better every game,” he said. “Hopefully, I can continue this good run ahead. I believe it is my responsibility to go and change the game for the team. Hopefully, I can do it more than once.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo