Duleep Trophy, semi-finals, 1st day

Yuvraj hits ton on first-class return

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 14, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

North Zone 346 for 4 (Yuvraj 133*, Dhawan 121) v Central Zone

Yuvraj Singh looks on as India prepare to complete a 5-0 sweep, Chennai, December 9, 2010
Yuvraj Singh slammed an unbeaten 133 off 152 deliveries © AFP

In his first first-class innings since being treated for cancer, Yuvraj Singh smashed an unbeaten 133 as he set about showing he still had the fitness to play the long form of the game. His century and a 121 from opener Shikhar Dhawan pushed North Zone to a strong 346 for 4 against Central Zone in Hyderabad.

On the eve of the match he had been unsure whether he could handle the rigour of the first-class game. "This is my first duration game (after the illness), so I don't know how my body will behave," Yuvraj had said. "I know my body will get tired, but I need to get through the four days."

Yuvraj hasn't played a first-class match since the Kolkata Test against West Indies last November. While recovering from cancer, he had said he initially wanted to play T20 cricket, before testing himself in one-dayers and first-class matches as they were tougher on his body. His comeback began with the T20s against New Zealand last month, before he played the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Yuvraj's performance overshadowed Dhawan, who hit his sixth successive 50-plus score - including three centuries. The pair scored at a T20 rate, putting on 160 for the third wicket in 122 deliveries against an attack that included the experienced left-arm spinner Murali Kartik and India medium-pacer Praveen Kumar.

After a sedate start, seamer Rituraj Singh dismissed opener Rahul Dewan for 17, but wicketkeeper Nitin Saini stuck with Dhawan for a stand of 75. After Saini was dismissed in the 53rd over, Yuvraj arrived to boost the scoring rate. At tea, the pair had put on 111 runs off 62 deliveries. The partnership ended when Dhawan was caught and bowled by Kartik in the 73rd over. Mandeep Singh was dismissed soon after but Dogra stuck with Yuvraj for 16.2 overs to prevent any further damage till stumps.

Yuvraj, who played only 152 deliveries for his unbeaten knock, smashed 20 fours and two sixes, both over deep mid-wicket and off Kartik. The second six brought up his century.

Kartik was happy for Yuvraj after the match. He tweeted: "Fabulous knock by [Yuvraj] so happy to see him in such imperious form..:hope all the detractors are happy now."

East Zone 187 for 6 (Saurabh Tiwary 84*, Basant Mohanty 51*) v South Zone

At Visakhapatnam, East Zone had a completely different start to their semi-final, collapsing to 66 for 6 against South Zone before Saurabh Tiwary and Basant Mohanty put on an unbroken 121-run stand to prevent more embarrassment.

After a delay of 45 minutes due to rain, South Zone took charge grabbing their first wicket in the third over. Within the 13th over, East Zone had lost their first four batsmen for 21. Tiwary, playing his first major match since the IPL, then resisted for 67.2 overs, and kept the attack at bay with the help of No. 8 Mohanty. No other East Zone batsman made more than 11 runs.

Seamers Abhimanyu Mithun and Stuart Binny took two wickets apiece. Binny took both his wickets in one over when East Zone captain Nataraj Behera and Anustup Majumdar were both dismissed in the 13th over.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Exit queue: Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer, Gambhir, (Bhajji & Piyush... if they are still under reckoning) Vinay Kr, Dinda, Rohit(?).... No, let me not add question mark. Then, the list will be too long... may also include the incumbent WK(?)! Nice to see Raina, Tiwari, Yuvi, Irfan et al hitting some form. Chand, pl don't copy Viru's recklessness; otherwise you have a chance to get in, though a bit prematurely. By the way, Irfan seems to be the ideal replacement for Zaheer. And, Ashwin... can you pl get rid of two things? One: a mandatory bad ball -- usually a long hop--in EVERY over along with five good ones. And, Two: a little bit of 'baby' fat!

Posted by   on (October 15, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Can BCCI please order Murali Karthik (MK) to get rid of 10 years from his age of 36 plus to 26 plus? They can do almost anything, no? Ordering MK should be easier than trying a hoopla, for the corpulent (or is it corporate -- my English is quite lousy) Board President and/or the still trim brand new Chief Selector! MK still seems to be India's best left arm spinner. But 36 plus is an issue for building a team for the future (except for some one who says --" I'll decide... no one else can...'". Just joking. With Ashwin, Yuvi and a few batsmen who can roll their arm over for a few overs of fairly effective spin...., sorry MK, we don't need you. Just enjoy yourself in county criicket. As long as they don't bring back Bhajji or Piyush, as the last bunch of selectors, jocularly -- to prove jimmy Amranath's description of them right -- did!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 15, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Whether the selectors pick Rahane, Dhawan, Mandeep, or Yuvraj, we all agree that it's time to get rid of non-performers like Gambhir, Sehwag, and 10dulkar from the Indian team. Srikanth didn't have the guts to do so, maybe Patil will.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 15, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

India XI for the first tour game against Eng - Vijay, Dhawan, Rahane, Bist, Yuvraj, Menaria/Kaif/Badri, Saha/DK, Harmeet?, Yadav, Awana, Shammi Ahmed and other probables include Mukund, Menaria, Vinay, PK, Binny, Mishra, Rahul?? If we want to be defensive then dont give spinning wickets and starve Eng to practise against quality spin, but if we are agressive and proactive play spinning tracks, put your best spinners and get Eng to commit mistakes and take no confidence into the Tests. My guess its will be flat tracks.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 15, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@SamRoy, some good arguments there, but its biased. you say Mukund failed overseas, did you take note of what Dhawan and Rahane did overseas when they played Windies A. Mukund did okay against NZ A. By your argument even Vijay has scored bulk this season while Rahane has continued his poor form. Though i agree Rahane is better equiped over Vijay but if you go on form then both Vijay and Mukund are ahead of Rahane. Lastly, Mukund was not an outright failure agianst Windies and England. He made some decent runs, though did not score BIG Daddy runs. but then who did apart form Dravid? Dhawan is in prime form and right time to expose him agianst Eng in those tour games. So should the likes of Vijay, Mukund, Rahane and Bist, Mandeep.

Posted by AravindhanD on (October 15, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Everyone s been talking about Yuvraj Singh's Technique in Test Cricket. I dont know how well he could play the test matches for India. But he s showed that he s a real fighter. He must have gone through a really tough time when he was diagnosed with cancer. But its really inspiring that he s comeback and it has been a satisfying performance from him so far. One of the most inspiring stories in World Cricket History. #YuvStrong

Posted by   on (October 15, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

Congrats UV. But IMO, he is not made for Test Matches especially after what happened to him recently. About this knock - Out of 208 runs he scored, 150 runs came in boundaries. Even in WC T-20, his running between the wickets was too slow. I'm still not sure how FIT he is. We don't want that he plays a test match or two and gets injured again. He should concentrate on ODIs and T-20s only. His aim should be to win 2015 WC for India and of course T-20WC too. I hope, Selectors don't pick him for Tests. (Sounds rude but we want Fully Fit UV for shorter formats). - UV's Well Wisher !

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (October 15, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

We must not engulfed with emotions and ask for Yuvi's inclusion just because he's a cancer survivor and has done a remarkable recovery to play so soon.

Yuvraj has had enough chances since2006 when Dada was chucked from the team and he was played.

Even subsequent to Dada's retirement, he was not able to cement his place. Yuvi has outrageous talent but not the temperament to be a test player.

Poor Rahane has scored 5000 runs at 64 avg is still carrying drinks.

Posted by kash2011 on (October 15, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

congrats yuvi for the double ton...you are a true hero and inspiration...god bless you

Posted by SamRoy on (October 15, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

@Nampally You have been commenting on Indian cricketers for a very long time. Most of it makes sense. Though this one certainly doesn't. Yuvraj isn't cut out for test cricket and it would have been better for his body if he had skipped domestic first class matches this season. I agree with you on Dhawan though. Gambhir has been out of form for a very long time and Mukund has been failing on every overseas tour(with A team). But still I would prefer Mandeep Singh over Dhawan; better talent, younger and better defense. Sehwag must bat in middle order and Rahane and Mandeep can open. I know it is a bit of a gamble but outrageous short sightedness from the great Kris Srikanth leaves us with no choice.

Posted by oneupnowuv on (October 15, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

yuvi deserves to be batting at 6..more than raina or rohit, hes putting lot of effort unlike sehwag and he shld be rewarded for that.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

To be frank with you guys yuvraj does not have the temperament to belong at international level when it comes to test matches however outstanding innings he plays in domestic circuit. To add to that his technique is also questionable when he plays spinners. India should look beyond him and must include rahane in team not on bench who is a terrific player. Having said that INDIA wont win overseas, there has to a bowler of caliber as great wasim and waqar were to produce overseas win. INDIA have not produced a genuine fast bowler who runs day in and out like dale steyn. This is haunting them since there inception in to international cricket!!

Posted by Meety on (October 14, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

Well done Yuvraj - wonder how likely he would be for a Test recall?

Posted by Nampally on (October 14, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

Great knock, Yuvraj - You amazed everyone with a brilliant century. If Yuvraj is up to it healthwise, he is guaranteed a spot in the Tests vs. England. Dhawan has been on fire. He should replace Gambhir as the Indian team opening batsman for the tests vs.England. It is better to take a guy who has scored 4 centuries during the past 6 weeks than some one who is out of form. It would be great to have Chand as Dhawan's opening partner as well & Sehwag can bat lower down after Pujara & Kohli. I hope the new Selectors take this bold step. Yuvraj ( only if fit) should play #6 followed by Dhoni/Saha, Irfan & Ashwin. If Yuvraj is not up to a 5 day match, Raina should take his spot. I like to see some bold decisions from the New Selection Panel. Rohit Sharma's experimant has failed. Let us move on & get a guy who can score rathern than gets in under the label of "Talent". I also like to see Pujara leading the Indian team in Tests. Can the Selectors be Gutsy?

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

i dont know why shikhar dhawan, rahane, parvinder awana, badrinath arent given a chance i think yuvraj deserves more chances look at rohit sharma who has n ever performed and hes still in the team

Posted by perl57 on (October 14, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

xylo, you seem to be from Mars. Hyderabad stadium is not as flat mohai and Chennai. It is one of the good pitches. But I do agree that this should not be judged for performance.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 14, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

Another century scored on a flat Indian national highway. Tell me why I should be surprised. With all respect to Yuvi, I feel he should stay away from India's test side. He's built for limited overs cricket.

Posted by busybrats on (October 14, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

The score may not mean much - after a 266 in the Irani, Vijay made a 5 ball 1 in the CLT20. Like Yuvi has said, it is more important that he is able to stay out there and contribute.

Posted by usernames on (October 14, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

I think he should get another 10-15 first class matches, and maybe a county season the next year, before he gets back to the Test team. Even for the one day team, he's still a few matches away.

Posted by Haleos on (October 14, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

best thing was Kartik's tweet. A true indian. When will selectors give him a much deserved oppurtunity.

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

Let's not get carried away. Yuvraj does not have the technique, temperament and fitness at Test level. His weakness against the short ball and the moving ball outside the off is well known; and will be exploited by England. I saw him last year against Eng at Trent Bridge; and it was embarrassment to see him hop and repeatedly get beaten. He looked clueless against pace; and most of his runs in his 50+ were against Swann and Peiterson. I have been a Yuvi fan; but the sad truth is that he is not cut out for Test cricket.

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@nair_saab what tried and failed we give him just 1 or 2 test to prove his worth ,give him a a good run atleast

Posted by xylo on (October 14, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

Let us not get carried away here. This comes with not just a pinch, but a ladle of salt given that the match was played in one of the flattest pitches mankind has ever seen - Uppal Stadium.

Posted by Nair_saab on (October 14, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

i rate this innings as 4/10. I hope the selectors ignore this performance and dont select him to the test team against England. This track is a realflat track besides yuvraaj is a tried & failed cricketer (in tests).

Posted by raghavan88 on (October 14, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

Well played Yuvraj,Waiting to see you at no.6 in Tests

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (October 14, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

good to hear yuvraj back amongst the runs. this will do his confidence good and hopefully this is a sign of the things to come in this second half of his career. if he can sustains consistent form and prove his fitness he will justify his place in the international t20 and odi squads. looking forward to hearing good things again from yuvraj in the first class matches

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Tournament Results
Central Zone v East Zone at Chennai - Oct 21-25, 2012
Match drawn (East Zone won on 1st innings)
Central Zone v North Zone at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Oct 14-17, 2012
Match drawn (Central Zone won on 1st innings)
East Zone v South Zone at Visakhapatnam - Oct 14-17, 2012
Match drawn (East Zone won on 1st innings)
North Zone v West Zone at Chennai - Oct 6-9, 2012
Match drawn (North Zone won on 1st innings)
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