Yuvraj Singh returned after energy-sapping chemotherapy treatment in April, began light training in June and two months later found himself fast-tracked into the Indian team for the World T20.
Yuvraj answered his critics in the crunch game against Pakistan on Sunday with two wickets in three overs, a direct hit to effect a run out before partnering Virat Kohli in an unbroken half-century stand to see India home.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was delighted with Yuvraj’s return to form, “Yuvi was already in the team, it wasn’t even a consideration whether he would play or not,” Dhoni said after the eight-wicket win over Pakistan in Colombo.
“It is a good option to have a left-arm spinner, someone who takes the ball away from the right-hand batsman. Everyone knows Yuvraj is a very good fielder, and he effected a good run-out too.
Can’t keep Yuvi out
“If we play with four bowlers, it will be difficult to keep Yuvraj out of the team. And the way he batted today (Sunday), it will give him a lot of confidence.”
Dhoni also emphasised he was not worried about the fitness of Yuvraj, who was diagnosed and treated for a rare germ-cell cancer between his lungs.
“As far as the T20 format is concerned, he looks very fit,” the Indian captain said. “He has done a lot of work in the last few months. I am really not worried about his fitness.
“He will take a lot of positives out of the games he has played here. We all know that once he gets going, he is a terrific batsman to have in the side.” Yuvraj has scored 45 runs in four matches so far, including a best of 19 not out off 16 balls against Pakistan. He has also claimed six wickets, the most by an Indian bowler alongwith seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji.