India in England 2011 July 6, 2011

Yuvraj looking forward to England challenge

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh has said the tour of England will be one of the biggest challenges of his career and that he is determined to establish himself as an automatic member of the Test side. Yuvraj has not been part of the Test XI since he was replaced by Suresh Raina on India's tour of Sri Lanka last year, and missed out on the home series against Australia and New Zealand and the tour of South Africa.

"Test cricket is one area I would like to improve and do well," Yuvraj told the Indian Express. "I want to be a permanent member of the Test side and I know that won't be easy. I will do whatever I can do to strengthen my Test records. The England tour will be one of the biggest challenges in my career, but in every challenge there is an opportunity and that's how I would like to see things from here."

Yuvraj enjoyed a triumphant World Cup, where he was named Man of the Tournament, and was expected to be part of the Test squad for the West Indies tour in the absence of some of the regulars. Unfortunately for him, he was diagnosed with a lung infection after the IPL and was forced to miss the tour in order to recuperate, but said he is now fully fit and raring to go.

"During the World Cup I was coughing a little. I thought it was due to stress but by the end of IPL 4, it worsened. When I got a medical test done, doctors found that I was suffering from upper respiratory infection with a small patch of pneumonitis in the left lung. I was advised three weeks of rest and medication.

"The Caribbean tour would have provided me with an ideal opportunity to re-claim my place in the Test team. But few things are beyond your control and my lung infection was one of them. I'm fine now and have started to train intensely at the National Cricket Academy in order to be well prepared, both mentally and physically for the England tour."

England's Test team will be full of confidence having beaten Australia in Australia to retain the Ashes before the World Cup. In home conditions, they will be difficult to beat but Yuvraj said India have the talent and experience to repeat their 2007 series triumph. Yuvraj enjoys a good record against England: he averages 46 compared to his career average of 35.63.

"I don't think past records help you much when you are facing the first ball of an innings. Your score is zero and you have to start from scratch. But England have been one of my favourite opponents, I like playing against them. Keeping fingers crossed."

Yuvraj doesn't think the swing-friendly conditions, while being difficult, will pose too much of a problem for India. "I was part of the team that won the Test series under Rahul Dravid, and the legends in the team - Rahul, Sachin [Tendulkar[, [VVS] Laxman - are always around to help. The swinging conditions are bound to be quite difficult and challenging but at the same time we are aware of those conditions. Most of our batsmen have played in England and are fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead, as do I.

"I think the idea would be to negate the new ball well and build on partnerships. We, as a team, will have to bank on partnerships, and the basics of the game don't change anywhere in the world, in any conditions."

Yuvraj is also looking forward to resuming his rivalry with Kevin Pietersen, who famously called him a "pie-chucker". "[I] Know that guy well and I am really keen to throw some more pies at him and others around him. And if my pies can contribute and get Kevin Pietersen's and some other valuable wickets, I would be really delighted."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • blitzNM on July 7, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    @ wolver - just spank ur head to recover the 2007 series in ur mind! India had a funny side (D Karthik, jaffer, RP singh etc), n still won the series!eng had probably der best side n still were handed eggs!If u cn say jamie is improved, den i can also say zak is also improved!If ur batsmen arent even "flat track bulies", den shame on them! Till d series begins, weather will probably improve and with batting tracks, so no chance for eng "seamers" to stop our big guns! n dis is proved in the current odi series wer eng lost 2nd n 3rd match due 2 poor batting and even bowling which had good batting tracks!dis wud harsh 4 u but its a fact eng is no better den SA! If india can handle SA in SA in recent series which has the wrst cnditions in d world, den WAT IS ENG?

  • dummy4fb on July 7, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    @Wolvr- You seriously think Zaheer is no match for Anderson?? Did you see the world cup, Zaheer took 21 wickets on the same "flat tracks" that you are talking about while Anderson was struggling to get his swing right. It was these english conditions that rejuvenated Zaheer's career. He is a shrewd bowler who can plan a batsman's wicket. Anderson is going to be no match for Zak! And i want to see Swann bowl to Indians and compare it with Harbhajan's bowling. It will be a true test for Swann to bowl against the mighty Indians who are one of the best at playing spin. Then we'll see who is a better team mate!!

  • daretobwise on July 7, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    being a srilankan i m sure that yuvraj is much better batsman than any player in current player in pakistan team common guys he is mot of world cup give him some chances now murali has retired so he can score runs without worrying about muralias their are no better bowlers left in world cricket

  • dummy4fb on July 7, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    @US_Indian - Thank god you are not a selector otherwise India would be making a plunge downwards in all the rankings. Stick to baseball man.

  • Proteas123 on July 7, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    @ blitzNM - Your team is going to play in England not India. The fact that you have so many players averaging over 50 is because they are flat track bullies, especially Sehwag who fortunately for India is out of the first test. If Laxman and Tendulkar don't carry the team like they did in SA then India won't have a chance. Anderson is a much improved bowler and more than a match for Zaheer who probably won't be fit for all the games. At least Sharma is looking good. Broad is out of form but when he does perform Eng wins.

  • dvln on July 7, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    If Yuvraj looks like a tailender, then the ICC should change the designation of batsmen as tailenders.

  • dummy4fb on July 7, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    UV, he showed his real talent to everyone in WORLD CUP 2011 and now no need to prove it again.

    UV Rocks

    India 11 : Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Bhajji, Praveen, Zaheer, Ishant

  • TrexTrainer on July 7, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Yuvraj is not test material. He does not know how to move his feet well in the crease, he doesn't have a proper defense, doesn't have the right technique to know which balls to leave and which ones to play. If you watch all of his test innings he's just jumping around for every swinging ball from a fast bowler or a spinning ball from a slow bowler. He is a great one day batsman but as far as tests are concerned he just doesn't have what it takes to be a proper player. All of that hand eye coordination doesn't mean much in tests if don't have the right technique.

  • ramsharat on July 7, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    @Just Out: Who said that that Ranji records are not taken into consideration. Then why did pathiv, badrinath find a place in the side. reminding u that Pujara is out due to injury. If u say IPL kills indian cricket then why is Raina playing well in the current test series. kohli, badrinath are new to test cricket, u can't expect them to come out blazing and score centuries. Stop criticizing the team. They have acheived almost everything that a team could do!!!!!

  • US_Indian on July 6, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    I guess still Harbhajan and Praveen are wrong choices for the england tour, instead Mithun or any other upcoming fast bowler should have been given an exposure . From the pool of spinners like Mishra, Chawla,Ojha, Ashwin, Murtuza and Abdulla and to a certain extent Rahul sharma.. please expose this guys and give them more chances at international level , even if they fail they are not going to be worse than Harbhajan so instead of persisting with the old war horse who has lost tooth these young guns could learn and become more consistent and effective provided they are given more opportunities and get enough exposure at international levels, atleast on a rotation basis so that there is good back up plans which didnt happen in the past once Kumble retired, our spin department is not effective at all because more players were not groomed and Harbhajan has taken his place for granted,and thinks he is indispensable so selectors have to teach him a lesson because no one is above the game.

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