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April 17, 2014
Hard to get over World T20 defeat - Yuvraj
Just shy of two weeks ago, India lost the World T20 final to Sri Lanka in Mirpur. Yuvraj Singh, who struggled to 11 in 21 balls in that final, came in for sharp criticism in the aftermath. Writing in the Times of India ahead of the IPL, Yuvraj said that was a "really tough" time for him. "The last one week was really tough. It was rather hard to get over the defeat in the World T20 final against Sri Lanka," he said. "As a team we had a fantastic tournament and played emphatic cricket. But in the final, things didn't go the way we planned and it's never easy to overcome such disappointment." However, Yuvraj, who is with a new T20 team - Bangalore - in the UAE, said he has accepted it's time to move on. "It takes me to my oldest cricketing memories where in my younger days, I was told by one of my coaches that as a sportsperson one should be able to tolerate one's success and handle one's defeats. So I am ready to face the next challenge and am really looking forward to it." Bangalore open their campaign against Delhi in Sharjah on Thursday.
Focus on reaching last four for now - Dhoni
Chennai captain MS Dhoni, in the lead up to his team's opening match, which is against Punjab on Friday, has said the team is primarily focused on making it to the playoffs. Despite the team's good shows in the past, he said, one could not say it is the favourite to win the league. "Consistency at playing well and reaching the semi-finals is our goal firstly. We can't say we will win because all it takes is one individual [from the opposition] to have a good day [for us to lose]," Dhoni said. "The important thing is to reach the semi-finals. Then you up your game a bit. In knockout stages, you play to the best of your potential. That becomes crucial."
Rohit one of most natural captains I've met - Wright
Mumbai might not have got off to a winning start in their 2014 campaign under Rohit Sharma, but they did win the title under him last year. Rohit's leadership skills, according to coach John Wright, are very strong. In 2013, he took over at Mumbai from a struggling Ricky Ponting, and "fit into the role like a glove", Wright told the league's website. "His tactical decisions have been great, which is very important on the field. But leadership is all about performance, and Rohit has led the team from the front. He has done an outstanding job and I don't think he should be underestimated." This year, Rohit should be up for a bigger challenge, Wright said. "This time, he comes in as the defending captain, which is not easy. But … in some of the big games last season, I don't think he put a foot wrong. I think he's one of the most natural captains I have ever met."
Kirsten gives T20-franchise coaching a thumbs up
Gary Kirsten, the Delhi coach, has said tournaments such as this T20 league provide ideal coaching opportunities, as they are not as demanding as international stints. "From the perspective of being away from home it works really well. It's intense for eight weeks and then you're at home doing what you need to do. I have enjoyed the melting pot of cultures and it is fantastic working with all the different cultures." Kirsten told BBC Radio. "Coaching has become a young man's game and everyone is going to have family difficulties, which is why we are seeing a lot of split coaching."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala