India v New Zealand, 2nd T20, Chennai September 11, 2012

Yuvraj makes 'emotional' return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh has said his first game for India after his battle with cancer was "a big emotional moment." He bowled two overs for 14 runs, took a catch, and scored 34 runs off 26 balls in the second Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Chennai. However, Yuvraj was dismissed in the final over of the chase and India lost by one run.

"There are mixed emotions," Yuvraj said after the game. "We lost a game that we should have won, but for me personally it was a big emotional moment to get on the field. I had tears in my eyes when we were fielding, luckily the cameras did not catch it. I think I am timing the ball well and it can only get better from here."

Yuvraj's return was much awaited and he got a standing ovation from the spectators when he came in to bat at No. 4. "It was good to see Yuvraj come back and score some runs. It was a big game for him," MS Dhoni said. "I personally feel that he gives us the right kind of balance we need. He is not someone who will bowl all four overs in a T20 game, but he is a variation that I can use especially since we have to play with four specialist bowlers."

India managed 24 runs between overs 14 and 18, making a chase that appeared in control slip out of hand in the last two overs. Dhoni said the slowness of the pitch in the second half of the chase made it tough for the batsmen to score.

"The wicket slowed down and it was difficult to hit," Dhoni said. "It's among the bigger grounds. It was holding up and not all the balls had same bounce. In the end it became quite difficult. But we should have won this game."

Chasing New Zealand's 167, India were boosted by a quick start from Virat Kohli, who opened in Virender Sehwag's absence. Kohli's 41-ball 70 included seven fours and a six, and he was well supported by Suresh Raina and Yuvraj. Sixteen runs came off the 13th over, but Kohli's wicket in the next dried up the boundaries for India.

Dhoni, who scored 22 off 23 balls, said the team was worried about the nature of the wicket towards the end of the match. "After the 10th or 12th over, it got tough. Had it remained the way it was in the first half, we would have fancied our chances."

However, Dhoni expressed satisfaction with the form of India's top-order batsmen and said it bode well ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. "Virat gave us a very good start. After that, Raina and Yuvraj also batted really well. It is a positive for us before the start of the World Cup. To play a few games before getting into the World Cup is very important. Two more games in Sri Lanka ... that means we will get into the groove."

India are scheduled to play two warm-up matches - against Sri Lanka and Pakistan - before their first Group A match against Afghanistan on September 19.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    He's a good player and all that but pulled on a lot of weight though.

  • mohamed on September 14, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Dhoni wat r u doing in T20 game...!!

  • Andrew on September 13, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    Really happy for Yuvraj, it was a successful comeback, however I would not of selected him without some List A/FC ot T20 exposure prior.

  • Krishna on September 12, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    i really feel the true test for Yuvraj will be in coming up matches(Especially practice matches).Because i feel the comeback was not completely satisfactory(he did look a bit rusty).

  • DaGame on September 12, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    I totally agree with Ashish Gupta. Its great to see what Dhoni has brought to India. I am also big fan of Dhoni but He totally miscalculated this one. With 6 wickets in hand, he should have attacked much more earlier especially knowing Franklin has to bowl later on. The only possible explanation for him can be he wanted Yuvraj to take over the chase.

  • Ashok on September 12, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    @SuperSelector.WC: I agree it is wrong to blame Dhoni entirely for a match which could have gone either way. It swayed on both the sides. But Dhoni's tactics misfired. When Kohli was out, 48 runs were needed off 42 balls. Dhoni should have gone all out for the kill at that stage with 7 overs to the finish line. I personally felt that Dhoni who decided to come in place of Rohit should not have altered the batting order. Rohit is the guy who can hit most bowling because of his footwork being superior to Dhoni. It was just unfortunate that Franklin was bowling very intelligently changing pace & direction with accuracy. Dhoni could not force the pace & kept on mishitting. Rohit would have got his huge 6's because he hits them all over the field. Batsmen-Bowler fit is also a big factor which luckily went the NZ way. Nevertheless it was very good game- Good to the last Ball!. We can't win them all. Lot of luck goes into T-20, which is partly a lottery.

  • Nadeem on September 12, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    good game of cricket. and i cannot understand that india lost only 4 wickets and still lost the match. surprising but it's ok to lose.

  • Mohanan on September 12, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    I don't think that the pitch slowed down all of a sudden when Dhoni came into bat. I think it is rather the bowling of Franklin and Oram, changing pace and bowling a lot of slower deliveries that undone India. Dhoni and yuvi should have looked for more ones and twos, when boundaries were harder to score. Two more runs and India would have been on the winning side.

  • Hawks on September 12, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    The real giants to watch in semi-finals are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia. The rest of the teams will be like this according to their points at the table S.A,N.Z, B.D,Eng, Ireland, Afghanistan, Zim and India.

  • mythily on September 12, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Posted by SimplySoms on (September 12 2012, 13:19 PM GMT), India lost 2003 world cup,even though they had a impressive record during the league stage with tendulkar being the top scorer.Even in 2011 world cup,India reached final but if they failed to win,will you remember the league matches and the runners up stories?NO. During the final,the performance matters ,whatever you do in the league stage will go waste if you slip up the chance in final.When India was 32/2 sehwag 0 and tendulkar early exit,with the help of gambhir ,kohli ,dhoni promoted himself up the order and played a sensible innings.Yesterday he did some mistakes,but last over changed the entire scenario,yuvraj avoided to take twos and got bowled out then dhoni was not on strike .sometimes situation like this creates more chances but it's a good lesson for the team in coming t20 tournament.

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