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Yuvraj looking to make Test side

Harish Kotian | September 16, 2003 20:41 IST

Left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh is looking forward to a good showing in the upcoming Irani Trophy match to stake a claim in the Indian Test side for the home series against New Zealand.

Yuvraj SinghThe dashing India middle-order batsman, who was adjudged man of the series in the just-concluded Challenger series on Sunday, was in Mumbai on Tuesday for the launch of Set India Pvt Ltd.'s cricket series 'India's Road to the finals!', to be aired on Set Max.

The series, starting September 27, every Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm, will recapture all the excitement and magical moments of the Indian team's journey to the final of the 2003 World Cup.

To be hosted by Charu Sharma and Mandira Bedi, the series will have personal conversations with Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Kaif, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Sanjay Bangar and Parthiv Patel. It will relive the pre-tournament hype, the expectations of the public before the start of the World Cup, the team's disastrous start, the players' reaction to the backlash from cricket fans back home, the story of the famous 'huddle', the famous win over arch-rivals Pakistan, and the long and spirited road to the final and then the last blemish against the Aussies.

Speaking about the upcoming Irani Trophy match, between Rest of India and Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai, which will be played between September 18 to 22 at Chennai, Yuvraj said, "The Irani Trophy is going to be a good match; I hope to do well. It will be a tough game over five days; let's see how it goes."

Asked about his goals for the season ahead, he said, "I am taking every match as it comes. We hope to do well against New Zealand."

Despite having a not-too-good outing in the English county league, Yuvraj said he is not working on anything special to improve his batting.

"I will continue playing the same way and try to score runs. I hope to get back to county cricket one day and do well."

He had a special praise for India captain Sourav Ganguly, saying "he's the best in the business".

He also stated that if given the option, he would not mind opening the batting in Test matches, but was quick to add that he is not worried about not making the Test side and will concentrate on one-day cricket for the moment.

"I would love to get the India Test cap some day. ODIs [one-day internationals] get more attention from the public, but Test cricket is the real thing," he said.

Recollecting his World Cup moments, Yuvraj said his best memory of the tournament was beating Pakistan. "What happened in India after the match was something special. However, in the final against Australia things didn't go well and the score was very big to chase," he said.

A charming Mandira Bedi also recollected some of her World Cup memories as a television presenter for Set Max.

"I was very nervous during the first four days. It was something that I had never done before, live programming of a sport.

"I was thinking this is a game which is a religion for millions back home, the whole world is watching and what if I make any mistakes.

"But, gradually, I got through the initial period and started to enjoy my work and also the Indian team's brilliant performance," she said.

Praising the Indian team's performance, she said reaching the final was "fantastic".

"Yes, they lost in the final, but on the positive side, they managed to reach the final and finished second."

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