Yuvraj to go all out in World T20 opener vs Afghanistan

Yuvraj Singh, who will make a comeback for India in next month’s World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, revealed he had doubts whether he would play international cricket again after being diagnosed with cancer.

“It feels good to be back. It has been a tough two months of training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.

Yuvraj Singh has a big laugh during the launch of Team India’s new T20 jersey at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

I never thought I would get a chance again (to play international cricket),” Yuvraj said during the unveiling of India’s new T20 attire at a five-star hotel in Mumbai yesterday.

The southpaw underwent chemotherapy in the United States before returning to India in April. Yuvraj last played international cricket in November 2011 during the Test series against West Indies at home. He was one of the architects of India’s maiden World T20 victory in 2007 and Player of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup.

Yuvraj vowed to go all out in his comeback game against minnows Afghanistan in the World Twenty20 opener on September 19.

“I am a bit nervous. I don’t know how I will do on that day. I want to go all out in my first game,” he said.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be gunning for his second World T20 crown as captain, said Yuvraj’s comeback was important for the team and also for the dressing room. “Yuvi is an important character. Without him, the dressing room is quite boring. Virat (Kohli) was doing his bit, but it is good to have him again. They (Yuvraj and Kohli) may be so-called raggers, but it helps youngsters get comfortable faster in the team,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni also said that the one-and-a-half-month break has rejuvenated players. “The break was really nice. We are ready for the new season, both mentally and physically. There’s a lot of cricket, but it is important to focus on what we will be doing every 15 days,” he said.

Meanwhile, dashing opener Virender Sehwag was effusive in praise of the new jersey that has the Indian flag close to the cricketers’ heart. “I am very happy that the national flag is close to our hearts. It will make us more patriotic,” said Sehwag. 

On the stage

Dhoni in high spirits. Pic/ Suresh KK

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