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Yuvi targets WI series and Aus tour

Comeback man Yuvraj Singh is on a mission � his eyes firmly on the West Indies series and the Australia tour

Yuvraj Singh will make a 10th comeback to the longer format (since his debut in 2003-04 against New Zealand at Mohali) if he plays the Delhi Test against West Indies starting Sunday.


Yuvraj Singh during a promotional event in Mumbai yesterday.
Pic/Pradeep Dhivar


Before heading to join his teammates in the Capital, he appeared cheerful during the unveiling of a sports apparel campaign in Mumbai yesterday.  "When I was young, I heard that Sachin (Tendulkar) always wore his left pad first. I tried to copy that. Otherwise, I am not superstitious," he told a group of fans.

Then came another question: "What's the biggest compliment you have received." Yuvraj replied: "After the World Cup victory, Farhan Akhtar (movie director) showed me a picture on his mobile phone.

He told me that my passion from the picture (from my face) reminded him of Cassius Clay. I had no idea what Muhammad Ali's real name was. But, that was definitely the greatest compliment ever." After dealing with Mandira's googlies, Yuvraj spoke to MiD DAY:

Excerpts:

You were batting beautifully in tough conditions at Nottingham alongside Dravid before getting injured.. Would you say that was one of your most unfortunate injuries?
Yes, it was. I really wanted to do well in England.
It was important for me, and for the team. Now, I can't do much to change that past. I have recovered and have been pushing myself very hard. I have to look forward to West Indies (at home) and Australia.

The premise of the World Cup victory was "We did it for Sachin." We have never won in Australia. If that happens this winter, would it also be for Sachin?
I take his motivation and turn that it into content (results). He is the inspiration for most of us. The World Cup victory was different. This time, hopefully we can do it for guys like Rahul (Dravid), Sachin (Tendulkar) and (VVS) Laxman. They have done the country proud for so many years.

There is certain calmness about your demeanor of late. Even during the IPL, you rarely got agitated even while your team was losing. Would you attribute that to feeling secured about who you are today � a World Cup winner?
You always learn from your mistakes. I am not 21 anymore. I have grown older. I take things in my stride and believe the results will come. It's important for a captain to be cool and calm, and that's the attitude I had while captaining Pune Warriors.

How important is it for you to get your Test career on track?
It's the biggest challenge and driving force right now. I always try my best. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't. Sometimes there are sudden injuries. Till it doesn't happen, I am going to keep trying. Hopefully, I can score some runs against West Indies and take that confidence to Australia.

You've always maintained that the pull is your favourite stroke. But there is criticism that you are unable to cope with short-pitched bowling...
I have always enjoyed the pull shot and won't stop playing it. People will have always have a lot to say, make statements.

Finally, your thoughts on Harbhajan Singh's ouster....
He's a champion cricketer. I can't give him any advice. He's a very strong person mentally. I am sure he'll be back with a bang.

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