'WC was a very emotional tournament'
World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh on Saturday agreed with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's comments that hectic schedule drained the players mentally and said they could not even get enough time to celebrate the historic triumph.
"Very much of what Dhoni said was right. The World Cup was a very emotional tournament for not only the team, but also the whole of India. It has taken a lot of emotions and mental stress out of us. We had little time to celebrate and regale (after) that (triumph)," said Pune Warriors captain Yuvraj ahead of his side's opening IPL match against Kings XI Punjab in Mumbai on Sunday.
Dhoni had said before the IPL opener in Chennai that because of the hectic schedule, the Indian cricketers found themselves drained emotionally.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
'I had been training hard for a while'
Yuvraj, however, saw the positives, which the players involved in the World Cup victory can take into the Indian Premier League.
"The good thing is we have had a lot of training and practice in the World Cup which will definitely help us in the IPL games," he said.
Asked about Gary Kirsten's observations that he wanted to be the best fielder in the World Cup, Yuvraj said he wanted to field at point as he felt that was his best position.
"I had been training hard for a while. On the World Cup, was focusing on a few things. (I) did that with Gary. Wanted to save lot of runs fielding at point because I feel whenever I come at point I am at my best.
"If I save 10-15 runs for the team it helps my batting. That was my goal of the tournament," said Yuvraj.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
'Excited to play for Pune Warriors'
Looking ahead to the IPL, Yuvraj said it was important for his new team to start on a sound note and gain some early momentum.
"(I'm) pretty excited to play for Pune Warriors. Sahara have always been our (Indian team's) main sponsors, always like family to us. (I) look forward to the first game versus Punjab. It's the fist IPL game for us and we need to get momentum going. It's important we do well tomorrow," he said.
Yuvraj felt the key for his team is to gell as fast as possible by getting to know each other.
"We have not played together. It will take some time to get to know everyone. These things will happen with time. Hopefully our unity will get going as soon as possible. We need to get to know each other quickly, that's very important," he said.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
'Our side is ready to go on the field'
Coach Geoff Marsh said the team members, barring Yuvraj and a few others who were busy in the World Cup, had two good camps and it has a good mix of young and experienced, similar to Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals in IPL-I.
"Our squad has had two camps, first in Lucknow. We have been here for a week with all our overseas players. Yuvi has been busy with winning the World Cup, and man of the series. Everybody knows the quality as a person and player he is. We believe our side is ready to go on the field," he said.
"We got some experience all-rounders, people like Yuvi bring along a lot of experience to the table. We believe we can blend that with the youth and I believe they will do very well.
"Led by our senior players the younger players would be out there giving a 100 per cent. If you look at the first IPL with Shane Warne, he had a real mixture of experienced and young players in the team that won it," the former Australian opener added.
Image: Geoff Marsh
'We are missing two key players'
The team will have to do without two key players, India fast bowler Ashish Nehra and Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews and Yuvraj said his team's strength was in its batting.
"We are missing two key players Ashish and Angelo. Hopefully our players will get fit soon. There is good balance in the team our batting is quite strong. Good all-rounders. If the domestic players in the team do well, along with seniors we can have a good tournament," he said.
Asked about the presence of another experienced left-arm slow bowler Murali Kartik apart from himself in the squad, Yuvraj said he would try and use the former India cricketer in power plays to get crucial wickets.
"Murali is a very experienced campaigner for India and has done well. He's got a very good domestic record. I want to use him where I need to get wickets or need to get Power Plays. He's got to be one of my main spinners. I'm looking forward for him to take some crucial wickets," he said.
Image: Ashish Nehra