IPL 2017 news April 6, 2017

India comeback has helped me play more freely - Yuvraj

ESPNcricinfo staff

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'This was the Yuvraj of old' - Warner

Yuvraj Singh has said that his return to India's limited-overs sides has helped him express himself more "freely", after he struck a match-winning 62 off 27 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the opening game of IPL 2017 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"I enjoyed my batting tonight. My batting has been up and down over the couple of years, but I am feeling really good at the moment," Yuvraj told iplt20.com. "The comeback into the Indian team has really helped me. I am more free in my mind and I am not worrying anymore about making a comeback. I am just going to play according to the situation and express myself."

Yuvraj was recalled to India's ODI and T20I sides for the home series against England in January, having previously played for the side in the 2016 World T20. Picked on his form in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy, he went on to score 210 runs in the three-match ODI series, including a 127-ball 150 in the second ODI in Cuttack. He scored his fastest IPL fifty on Wednesday, reaching the landmark in 23 balls.

Sunrisers captain David Warner said Yuvraj was given the No. 4 slot so that he could get his eye in before getting in the big hits.

"Look, it's superb to see him play the way he did. That's the Yuvi I used to watch on TV," Warner said. "Superb stroke-play, hitting it clean, and, you know what, he backed himself. And that's the way we want him to keep playing. He's batting at [No.] 4 for a reason and that's to get himself in and play that way. If he can do that another five or six times for us this year, we are going to go a long way to the finals."

Yuvraj said the game-changing moment was Ben Cutting's darting throw from fine-leg to run out a set Kedar Jadhav at a crucial stage in Royal Challengers' chase of 208. Shane Watson, standing in as captain of Royal Challengers, also agreed that Jadhav's run-out turned the game in Sunrisers' favour, ending a promising 56-run partnership for the third wicket. Watson also pointed to the side's sloppy fielding, particularly a dropped catch when Yuvraj was on 26, as a factor in their loss.

Yuvraj Singh's 27-ball 62 was his fastest fifty in ten seasons of IPL © BCCI

"That run-out of Kedar was the turning point, really," Watson said. "We were neck and neck with Sunrisers and then we lost a couple of wickets especially through the middle period. He is batting beautifully at the moment, so Ben Cutting's amazing piece of work changed the game. Especially with someone like Yuvi, if he is able to get some momentum, with the dropped catches, he hits the ball so sweet. If you drop someone of his caliber, he can hurt you like he did tonight.

"There's no doubt that [Yuzvendra Chahal] bowled beautifully. More than anything, Sunrisers took the game on in certain parts. A little bit of sloppy fielding, some good batting [from Sunrisers] and some not great execution at times meant they could get away. Unfortunately I didn't execute what I wanted to do against Ashish Nehra's left-arm pace. We certainly didn't click as a bowling unit, and that comes down partly to me. I take full blame for that. Still a big learning curve for me to know how to take to them [bowlers], what fields to set and we will certainly be a lot better from what happened tonight."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketMaan on April 6, 2017, 21:19 GMT

    A player like Ben Cutting has to wait while Mitch Marsh and Cartwright gets picked. If im right Cutting has had some decent games in big bash too. Its hard to understand Aussie selectors.

  • rajuramki on April 6, 2017, 12:36 GMT

    In the absence of Rahul , Kohli and ABD , RCB had absolutely no fire power in batting. Till Kohli and ABD join the team , RCB will continue to lose games . Without Stark , the bowling is equally weak . Has Binny ever contributed to the team with bat or ball ? A wasted slot , really .

  • cricfan81470845 on April 6, 2017, 11:46 GMT

    yuvi is a kind of player you enjoy see him bat when he is in grove, such an amazing stroke player!

  • anver777 on April 6, 2017, 10:27 GMT

    Yuvi showed his class with some lusty hitting in the IPL opener !! If he continues this solid form together with this strong balance Sunrisers unit under attacking captain like Warner they have good chances of defending the title again in 2017.

  • cricfan8401315481 on April 6, 2017, 10:01 GMT

    Go Yuvi go!!! Express at your best before the Champions Trophy commences...

  •   Sourabh Rai on April 6, 2017, 9:13 GMT

    one of the best knock of yuvi in ipl #rareyuvifire

  • Naresh28 on April 6, 2017, 8:57 GMT

    India is fortunate to have Yuvi in short formats. His time ahead is now drawing to a close. We need to find someone of similar striking skills - a good six hitter. He can be proud with his achievements with team India. The cups we have won have his mark left there. It is no wonder that he is still part of the short version and the selectors are going back to him. The Champions trophy may be his last at 35yrs. He needs to groom his successor to leave his mark behind. Raina, Dhoni have been the supporting cast. India has some new ones coming up for that role but Yuvi's waits.

  • cricfan37269878 on April 6, 2017, 7:29 GMT

    RCB s biggest worry is fielding .. Pathetic to see those catches dropped.. Great to see Yuvi back in action though..

  • Rakeshmb on April 6, 2017, 7:06 GMT

    What's all the hype around SRH? No doubt that they played well, but RCB were really poor last night in the absence of two best batsmen in the world. Too many loose deliveries from the men in red. Needless to talk about their sloppy and lethargic fielding. Too early to shower praises over orange army. Wondering how SRH would fare against a top quality side like MI and GL.

  • Rajag89 on April 6, 2017, 5:04 GMT

    Sunrisers team looks solid now. If Henriques, Cutting, Yuvi, Dhawan and Warner maintains the form... and Mustafiz returns, it is gonna be difficult to beat them this year.

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