'Will try to take undue pressure off Yuvraj' - Dhoni
Even a proven match-winner such as Yuvraj Singh feels the stress of making a comeback, according to MS Dhoni, but the India captain has added the team will try to take "undue pressure" off the allrounder. Yuvraj, whose last game for India was against England in January 2013, forced his way back into the side for the home limited-overs series against Australia following a string of big scores in List A cricket.
"We will try to keep it as normal as possible because once you are back in the side and it becomes like a comeback scenario, the kind of pressure on the player [is immense]," Dhoni said on the eve of the solitary Twenty20 international in Rajkot. "It doesn't matter if you are one of the biggest match-winners or you are just making your debut, or are coming back. It is important to take the feeling away from the individual that he is coming back because what is important is for the individual to be expressive on the field, back himself, have belief in his talent, and ultimately that will show on the field. We will try to keep it as normal as possible and take undue pressure off him. Hopefully it will work."
Dhoni, who in the past has said India missed Yuvraj's ability as an effective limited-overs left-arm spinner, said the latter's return gave the side more bowling options. "Yuvraj is a match-winner and we all know that. He has always proved himself whenever questions have risen and also he is a big-match player. In tough series he does well so we are hoping that he will come back strong.
"He is looking good. In the net sessions that we had today he is batting well. It will be good to have him in the side also as a bowling option. Having one more bowler obviously helps. Apart from having five proper bowlers, having a few part-timers who can bowl, especially at this time of the year when dew might be there. We have more bowlers to play with so it is good for the team and also for Yuvraj."
On the other left-arm spinner in the side, Dhoni said while Ravindra Jadeja had performed creditably in ODIs, in the shortest format he tended to get a touch hassled. "It is not like he has done badly. Whatever bowling he has done in international games, especially in the ODI format, he has done well. T20 is one format in which he feels a bit of pressure, but we have to maneuver around it. Many times we have used him in the last few overs which puts a bit of pressure on spinners. We will try to use him in the best possible manner where a bit of pressure is taken off him and the other bowlers, who are in good form, handle the pressure that is there in the slog overs. We will share the responsibility and that will make it easier for him to do well consistently."
Rajkot has been getting unseasonal showers and more rain is forecast on match-day, but Dhoni said India had managed to get in some decent practice. "Considering the amount of rainfall that had happened, the groundsmen have done very good work. We have practiced as much as we could have today. Some water had seeped in under the covers but we have tried to manage it well and done what we could. We have got the most out of the practice session."
While keeping an eye on the weather, Dhoni said the prospect of dew would also have to be considered. "If dew becomes a factor then spinners may not get the same amount of turn that they would have got some other time of the year, so we will have to wait and watch. Dew may be a key factor because at this time of the year we have seen that at most of the venues we will have to fight dew."