Must assess if Yuvraj can field for two days - Dhoni
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.