England in India 2012-13 October 31, 2012

Must assess if Yuvraj can field for two days - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni believes Yuvraj Singh's chances of being selected in India's Test team against England will depend on whether his fitness can withstand grueling challenges, such as fielding for two consecutive days. Yuvraj is a contender for the No. 6 slot in India's batting order, having scored a double-century for North Zone in the Duleep Trophy and a half-century for India A in the ongoing tour game against an England XI in Mumbai, after returning from cancer treatment.

"It is very difficult for me to comment on his [Yuvraj's] fitness sitting over here," Dhoni said in Delhi. "We have to understand that the five-day format has its own uncertainties, unlike ODIs or T20s. In ODIs, you know that you have to field for 50 overs only, while in Test cricket there may be a situation that a team might bat for one-and-a-half to two days. We have to assess whether Yuvraj is ready to field for two days."

During the Duleep Trophy match against East Zone, Yuvraj scored 208 off 241 balls with 33 fours and three sixes, an innings that lasted five-and-a-half hours spread over two days. Until then, he had only played Twenty20 matches since his break from the game from November 2011, during which he was treated for a germ-cell cancer.

"Having said that, it is Yuvraj who is the best judge about how he is feeling," Dhoni said. "He has played quite a few domestic games now and it is up to him to reflect on his game."

The first Test against England begins on November 15 in Ahmedabad, and Dhoni said he was in favour of a Motera pitch that would turn. "I still believe that the groundsmen know what really is good for us. A sporting track doesn't always mean that it will only have grass on it. In the subcontinent it has always been turning tracks, which is for the spinners.

"I haven't seen an offbreak bowler for a long time who is able to hit the rib cage of a batsman with a delivery that has turn and bounce. It's really painful but you enjoy the challenge."

The previous Test series between these sides was in the summer of 2011 in England, where India were blanked 4-0 and lost their No. 1 Test ranking.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matrix on November 2, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Yuvraj is a gamble in test format. No need to fiddle around with the existing team to fit in Yuvraj just because he showed some form in shorted forms of the game and in1st class cricket. England can be a touch proposition starting 2nd test match (1st match would be a practice match for both teams). I dont think Yuvi has the patience and stamina for Test cricket. Dhoni is correct in his doubts.

  • TR on November 2, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Will the selectors pick the guy who scored 56 in his first innings against Styn & MMorkel when most every one else in the team failed? (and who was dropped after just 3 innings and never to give another chance in Tests). Forget who that player is. Touch your heart and say will you give him more chance or not? One clue. He captained TN and SouthZone for years, scored centuries after centuries leading in the 1st class scores many years, waiting for one of the big 3 to exit. And when they exited one by one, he was ignored and others were given many & many chances.

  • Srikanth on November 2, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Dhoni himself cannot fit into India's test team. He is commenting on others

  • Dummy4 on November 2, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Yuvi will be picked for sure, if anyone who deserves to be dropped for this series is sachin tendulkar, no offence to sachin fans he is a legend but he has achieved everything in cricket, he should retire now so that young talent who are craving to play tests can step in.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    it will be utter foolish if yuvaraj is not in the playing 11having seen his performances in the duleep trophy and in the match vs england in which he has proved his allround ability. dhomi's statement is rubbish. without proper health yuvi could not have played such wonderful cricket. if tedulkars despite continuuous failure could be in the team why not yuvaraj who has proved that he is ready for the challenge.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - England just batted nearly 5 sessions, so Yuvraj has had his workout. I wouldn't read much into the 5 wickets. Handy bowler yes but England still got 420 odd and somebody has to take the wickets. I think it's more a reflection on the rest of the bowlers. Yuvraj seems to be scoring runs and no flintoff to bully him in the tests, then again I'm sure Broad or Bresnan won't mind testing the rib cage.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Both these guys -Dhoni & Yuvraj are extremely talented and good for ODI's but both are not good for test cricket. Technically Dhoni is below Yuvraj and test cricket doesn't suits him. I don't see a good future for Indian team in test cricket as there is no Dravid, Laxman and ST also will retire in near future. Only Kohli and Pujara has temperament and techniques among the current batmen to play test cricket. Anyways All the Best Team India and give a 4-0 back to them, even though its not easy.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    @rahulcricket007,,, well said bro u r right, yuvi solud play head of rain in first test, i think he in back on track, so dhoni stop talking abt yuvi, play him in the first test & see his performance, he is alway better then u,, yuvi rocksssss

  • Sriram on November 1, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Guys, just dont get emotional and start bashing Dhoni, while i agree that its Yuvi who needs to be honest and let the mangaement know where he stands, Dhoni is right not to rush Yuvi into Tests. Remember Yuvi has not played ODIs or at least 1 5 day game. You dont want him to break down half way and open the discussion of No.6 again. its a 4 test series and if he is the chosen No.6 then he needs to play all 4 no matter how many he scores. and that is a lot of asking given that he is playing competitive cricket only for past 2 months. All of us want a full fit and firing Yuvi and there is nothing wrong in waitng for him to play one or two ranji and come out on top after 8 days of cricket. Yes Viru, SRT and Zak are equally vulnerable with fitness, but they wont be there for 2015 WC down under, Yuvi certainly will be there and you too want him to be there dont you?

  • ramachandra on November 1, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Dhoni, I feel, is nearing the end of his test captaincy career. He just has no ideas when a team is batting well. Waits for things to happen, when they wont. Even his team selection is sort of 'default'. He is very shy of experimenting with the team or trying out new guys having faith in them.

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