The last time Yuvraj Singh donned the Indian jersey, he was limping along, bat in hand, his hometown pitch in Mohali in a T20 World Cup match against Australia. And a day after the cast was taken off his left ankle, the 34-year-old still hopes of making another comeback to the national side.
Having missed out on the start of this year’s Indian Premier League, the left-hand all-rounder is looking to make his comeback to the marquee league on May 6, when his Sunrisers Hyderabad team play the Gujarat Lions. In turn, through the tournament, he aims to get a call up back into the India team.
“If I have a good IPL, then I might get an opportunity ahead. I don’t want to sit one day and think that I should have played a few more years. I want to end when I feel like this is it, this is how much I could have played. I still feel I have a few years in me in which I can excel if given the opportunity. I assess my cricket ever year and see how I’m progressing. If I’m progressing I definitely will play, and in a few years if I feel that I’m not getting better, then I’ll think about it,” he says. “If the opportunity comes, I’m sure I can deliver again, but in the T20 format, it’s difficult when you’re batting at number five or six,” he adds.
Along with a return to the shortest format of the game, he is also looking for the chance to improve his record in Test cricket as well. In the 40 matches he’s played for India in the longest format, he’s managed to notch up an average of a mere 33.92 with the bat, and picked up just nine wickets while bowling.
“I am a big underachiever in Test cricket. But I can’t really take out anything because I didn’t get much opportunity because we had a lot of great seniors in the team. For seven years in my career I was mostly the 12th man in Tests. When I finally got the spot I was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to play again. There are 15 Tests coming up in the next year, year-and-a-half. And if I get an opportunity at that, then good,” he says.
‘Show must go on’
Yuvraj is also of the opinion that IPL should not be blamed for the prevailing water crisis in the drought-hit Maharashtra and added the tournament must go on. “I don’t think IPL has got to do anything with what the situations are in India. We play in a sport and try to excel in that. I don’t think there is any reason that IPL should not go on,” the left-hander opines.
“(That said) my job as a cricketer is to play cricket. Whatever venue I go to play, whatever venue we are told to go to play, we will just go out and play.”