The excruciating demands of international cricket have ensured that MS Dhoni & Co are back to the arena days after the conclusion of the Champions League T20. But as the Indian skipper has reiterated so often, a hectic schedule is not something they can complain about these days.
Dhoni was rather more eager to see Yuvraj Singh make the most of his opportunities, now that he has fought his way into the side, at least for the lone T20 and the first three ODIs against Australia.
He conceded that Yuvraj will be under some pressure, but said the team would insulate him from any “undue” stress by keeping things “normal” in the dressing room. Yuvraj would be eager to prove a point after being recalled to the squad following a string of good scores for India ‘A’ against the West Indies ‘A’ and a solid display for India Blue in the ChallengerSeries.
Dhoni said the 31-year-old, who beat a rare germ cell cancer last year, will perform well if he manages to keep his mind off pressure and expectations. “We are trying to keep it as normal as possible...if it becomes like a comeback scenario, I think there is a kind of pressure on the player. It doesn’t matter if you are one of the biggest match-winners. It is very important to take that feeling away from the individual that he is making his comeback,” Dhoni was quoted as saying by PTI ahead of the only Twenty20 match against Australian to be played here today.
“Because what’s important is for the individual to be expressive on field, back himself, have belief in his talent, the kind of talent that he has got. Ultimately that will show on the field. We will try to keep it as normal as possible and try to take the undue pressure off him. Hopefully, that will work,” he added.
He backed the the left-hander, who has been recalled after playing his last ODI in January. “Yuvraj, of course is a match winner and we all know that. He is a big player and has been proving himself whenever questions have been raised. The fact is that he is a big-match player. He performs well in big matches. He does well in tough series. We are hoping that he will come back strong,” he said.
Despite BCCI advancing the start of the ODI matches by an hour, Dhoni said dew would be a key factor and a lot would depend on it, especially the use of spinners. “We will have to see exactly how much it turns, whether the dew will be a factor because if that becomes a factor then the spinners may not get the same amount of turn that they would have got at some other time of the year,” Dhoni explained.