Adelaide: Yuvraj Singh came in for some praise from India team director Ravi Shastri, who dubbed the stylish southpaw as an impact player, match-winner and someone whose record speaks for itself. India take on Australia in a three-match Twenty20 series starting on Tuesday. (Finch Confident of Nullifying Threat of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina)
India will seek to reverse their One-Day International (ODI) series blues and strike some form ahead of the World Twenty20 when they face the hosts in the first T20 at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. (Experience Can’t be Bought in Super Market, Says Ravi Shastri)
India go into the series after suffering a 4-1 defeat in the ODI series. They will host the World T20 from March 8 to April 3 with the Asian giants taking on New Zealand in the opening match of their campaign on March 15 at Nagpur. (India Have the Advantage During World T20, Says Zaheer Khan)
Yuvraj, who has not played for India since the 2014 World T20 final, is back in the national squad after a strong performance in the domestic Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“He’s (Yuvraj) an impact player with a proven record. He has got a fabulous record in T20 cricket, he’s explosive and he’s a match-winner. If he fires early for us, nothing like it,” Shastri said at the pre-match press conference.
Return of Death Bowling Specialist
Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra was included in the T20 squad after having a fine Indian Premier League (IPL) record of bowling at the death. (With World T20 In Mind, Ashish Nehra Wants To Do Well In Australia)
The 36-year-old played his last international game in 2011. It is expected his experience will help the young Indian bowlers who were hammered by the Australia batsmen in the ODI series.
Talking about Nehra, Shastri stressed that fitness matters more in T20 cricket and not age.
“It’s also about how fit you are. Between 50 overs and 20 overs, there is a big difference, because there is 30 extra overs of fielding and six extra overs to bowl, and that can take its toll. So it’s a big difference between T20 cricket and 50 overs cricket. At the moment, we’ll wait and see how he goes in the T20 format,” he said.
“He (Nehra) has got a lot of experience. I think he has played two or three World Cups, and he has played a lot of T20 cricket. They’ve just come back from a domestic competition (the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20s), and experience is not bought or sold in the market, so when you get it, use it.”
Besides, Nehra and Yuvraj, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been included in the squad.
The 53-year-old former India batsman said the side is going to try all sorts of combinations ahead of the World T20 at home.
“I think every game form here on till the World T20 will be extremely important. It gives you a chance to try different players and see what combination works best for you,” the former India batsman said.