India v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo October 1, 2012

Yuvraj's place in XI was not in doubt - Dhoni


A day after some former India players questioned Yuvraj Singh's fitness and asked for him to be dropped, MS Dhoni has reiterated that Yuvraj is in shape for Twenty20 cricket and that his place in the India XI is not in doubt. Yuvraj took 2 for 16 in three overs and made an unbeaten 19 in India's win against Pakistan.

"When it comes to fitness, as far as this format is concerned, he looks very fit for this format," Dhoni said. "I think he has done a lot [of work] in the last few months. It is not like he has played cricket straight in the World Twenty20. Before this he has spent a lot of time at the National Cricket Academy and after that he played a bit of active domestic cricket. He looks good. I am not really concerned about his fitness."

Yuvraj was quite sharp in the field on Sunday, stopping a possible boundary off the first legal delivery of the match with a dive at point. He also ran out Yasir Arafat later with a direct hit from point. He did take some time, though, to catch his breath while batting after running sharp singles or a couple.

Dhoni has repeatedly said he missed Yuvraj the part-time bowler while he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Given how vulnerable India's attack has looked of late, the package of skills Yuvraj offers Dhoni makes him too valuable to be left out. He got the important wickets of Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal, to leave Pakistan struggling at 49 for 4.

"Yuvi was already in the team, the fact whether Yuvi should play or not was not even considered," Dhoni said. "Especially when we play with seven batsmen, the role of the part-timers is very important. Virat [Kohli] is one option but a left-arm away-going option is good to have. Here Yuvi's role is important. We all know that he is a good fielder as well. Today he effected a good run-out as well. If we are playing with four specialist bowlers then it is difficult to leave out Yuvraj.

"And his batting today will give him a lot of confidence, because even if you play in the domestic circuit you don't get bowlers who bowl at the international level. He will take a lot of positives from all these matches. We all know once he gets going he is a terrific batsman to have in the side."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nachiket on October 2, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    people who question on yuvraj are total idiots.....yuvraj is the top wicket taker for india along with balaji in this tournament....and has fared better than any of the specialist bowlers....we should stick with the 4 bowler plan and probably let yuvraj play down the his strike rate isnt showing up....rohit has the highest strike rate(for india) in this tournament and he should be considered for the 2 down spot....and with yuvraj in team its never 4 bowlers...its 5 bowlers and 7 batsman!..

  • Anil on October 2, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    @AnilkumarK-This T20 world cup the super8 grouping was on the basis of T20 world ranking regardless of their group performance. Obviously it is ridiculous and hardly made any sense at all. Now this was the case then why they palyed in group matches? revenue?? or??????

  • Feroz on October 1, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    Yuvraj adds a lot of value to this Indian side and whatever little we have seen since his comeback they have been some excellent match winning performances and considering what he has been through in recent times it's absolutely incredible. And remeber he won India the world cup in 2011. It's just disrespectful to someone who is a match winner for India and I totally disagree with Sanjay Manjrekar and Ravi Shastri's opinion about how fit Yuvraj is. Maybe he is not 100% fit in terms of his energy levels for Test Cricket but for T20 he is absolutely fit. I just don't understand why on Earth these two Ex cricketers are just behind Yuvraj for no reason b'coz obviously he is performing be it Batting, Bowlind or fielding and we can all see that. What matters most is he has got the support of his Captain which is what matters.

  • Sanjay on October 1, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Lets just celebrate the INDIA win.. the guys who make comments about the make up of the Indian side don't understand what each individual brings to the team.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    People talking about Zaheer are jealous of India. Zaheer, mark my words, is not going out of the team yet, even though he achieved more than what he would have wanted in this team. He was not only a part but the most important part of all the Indian wins during his tenure.

  • Alex on October 1, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Dhoni is ODD man out of indian team. Because his t20 strike rate is abysmal. His wicket keeping is shoddy. If there is alternative for leadership , he should be gone. But now kohli growing leaps and bounds. I would put raina as captain and kohli as Vice captain and dump DHONI from t20 team if india loses. For me india may sneak through but will lose to australia

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    yuvi is really talented guy without him we cant think about the WC 2011.he already proved it many times. now the man is just recovered from cancer please dont criticise him any more and allow him to feel free to play his natural game.

  • Alex on October 1, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    There are two x factor players in indian team. Sehwag and yuvi. If they shine india will win all matches. Now kohli with his consistent performance overtook sehwag as primary batsman. Kohli is more dravid and sachin combined but better with his leadership skills. Kohli wants to win unlike sachin was. I hope people do not hype kohli too much. He is flying under the radar. if he becomes the focus of opposition plan he will suffer. There are ways to silence kohli. Just keep bowling at his chest. he will pop one. Everyone have weakness. Yuvi against slow left arm spin. Gambhir pokes and gets out. Dhoni outside off fast swinging ball , he pokes to wicket keeper. Rohit sharma just slow for international batsman. He has god father in BCCI circles to get selected this many times and not producing anything that anyone can remember. Yuvi is best T20 player in the team. Only fool will drop him on fitness when he is only one taking wickets and producing. He ran out and dived better than anyone.

  • Romanch on October 1, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    we shud remove dhoni from our team, Raina will do keeping

  • rahul on October 1, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Yuvraj is playing well enough, India would do well to support him right now. Dhoni is doing the smart think and backing Yuvraj at this point. I agree with the other folks that R sharma is the dead weight in this sqaud, he can only play well at first class level. The repeated chances given to Sharma have proved beyond any doubt that he is not good enough at International level. He is still young and should go back to domestic cricket and develop his game.

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