India v Australia, only T20, Rajkot October 9, 2013

'Will try to take undue pressure off Yuvraj' - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

'It will be an exciting series' - Dhoni

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on October 11, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    and yea it was the other way around ;-)

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    but the reality tells something different.... what a comeback !!!!!!!!!..what a process to get free from pressure !!! hail Yuvraj singh (77 from 35 balls)!!1

  • Chaitanya on October 10, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    And Yuvraj took the pressure off Dhoni! The sweet Irony

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    I happy that YUVRAJ SINGH is coming back.. I wishes him a great successful series

  • TR on October 10, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    People are having high expectations on yuvraj 'cause his 6x6 comes to their mind. But even at his best, he was ALWAYS poor against bodyline bouncers , outside off uncertain-corridor balls, and most importantly against spin. Like every other Indian batsmen he also failed miserably in foreign pace-conditions. His only preys are minimal-swinging medium pacers (where, agreed, he could be real terminator when he gets going). Just like how the world figured Sehwag's weaknesses, I am guessing Yuvi is also figured out already. I do wish that he proves me wrong though.

  • Naresh on October 10, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @arrow011 - Yuvraj was instrumental in winning us the WC. His game suits the limited overs type and not tests. Some players have the patience and some not. I would not call Yuvi a flash in the pan cause to win the WC there are lots of teams gunning for the prize, the same with the T20 trophy they won in SA. Indian selectors know what they are doing and Dhoni knows which players to back in the various formats.

  • Bhaskar on October 10, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    I would always support Ravinder Jadeja more, he has grabbed all the opportunities in T20s, ODIs & Tests. He is a match winner, he has showed he could bowl so well in tests also, we need to make him play in all tests abroad as 2nd spinner. When Rangana Hereth could take wickets in SAF & AUS it is time we test the talented Ravinder too. Yuvraj is like a flash in the pan, he has gone out & come back so many times never to get established at all. He cannot play test cricket properly, what is the use of carrying extra baggage? Dhoni & Yuvraj are thick friends it is showing in the way Dhoni is supporting him. Had Dhoni had half of this affection for Sachin, he would have played till 2014 world cup also.

  • Naresh on October 10, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Nice words from Dhoni - his ability to recognise situations makes him one of the best captains around. A thinking captain. The pressure will be on Yuvi as there is competition to make the team.Jadeja is rusty from the season break and needs to find form.

  • Rashmi on October 10, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    @ Himanshu Bansal: It is people like you who puts YUVRAJ under pressure... He doesn't need to hit 6 sixes an over to prove his potential...He is match winner irrespective of his form... even with the ball he can win matches...Just let the poor guy play.

  • raj on October 10, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    It's pretty clear that Dhoni has a certain sort of affection for Jadeja, but I just don't get it. He makes a handy spin option in test cricket on dust bowls because of how slow he is through the air and has some decent accuracy. But he is horrendous with the bat across formats. In limited overs he's useless all around. He comes in at 7 or so, and that low, you're only useful if you can clear the fence. He doesn't have the power to muscle the ball over, nor the timing to middle it with traditional shots. His bowling is only marginally more effective in limited overs than Yuvraj....I really don't see the point of selecting Jadeja when Yuvraj is in the squad. Better batter, just about the same usefulness as a bowler. Better off either selecting another bat who can bowl a bit or a seam bowling all rounder or a seamer or a specialist spinner, or....a towel boy. Anything really.