'Yuvi can be India's match-winner at 2015 World Cup'
All praise for Yuvraj Singh after his hurricane match-winning knock against Delhi Daredevils in an IPL match, Royal Challengers Bangalore's veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said the left-hander still has it in him to be India's match-winner in the ODI World Cup next year.
After an indifferent run so far, Yuvraj's 29-ball 68, which was laced with nine sixes and a four, helped RCB notch up a 16-run triumph over Delhi.
Muralitharan, who did his bit with the ball by picking up two wickets, was lavish in his praise for the all-rounder, who has been struggling for some time.
"He is a great limited overs player, but his confidence was low. After the World Twenty20, the whole country put a lot of pressure on him. I know the situation well as I played for 20 years at the highest level. I knew it was just a matter of helping him regain his confidence," Muralitharan told IPL's official website.
"I was sure once he did that, he would be a different player. And after the way he has performed in the last two games, it seems I was right. I honestly think Yuvi has still got it and India should look after him because I feel he will play a big role in the 2015 World Cup. He will be India's match-winner there," he said.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
'I was lucky today'
Talking about his own performance, Muralitharan said he was lucky to strike in the match.
"It's not like before, but I was lucky today. All the boys bowled well too. It is very hard to defend scores on this ground, and I thought we all did very well," he said.
Asked how he manages to make an impact even after his international retirement, Muralitharan said, "I don't know, maybe it's God's gift. I just keep working and trying hard to maintain my game and play whatever little while I still can."
On how it feels to work with a coach who is younger to him, in Daniel Vettori, Muralitharan said it wasn't the first time he was dealing with such an arrangement.
"A few times, actually when I played for a few teams in West Indies, there were many coaches younger to me, and some of the guys I played against at the international level are now coaches. I still love playing the game and want to enjoy it a little more by playing in these T20 leagues," he said.
Image: Mutthiah Muralitharan