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Gavaskar backs Yuvraj to make it to Test team

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: November 03, 2012 18:19 IST
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Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday backed Yuvraj Singh to make his comeback to the Indian Test team after his good all-round show for India 'A' against England in the warm-up match last week.

- Why the selectors must give Yuvraj the nod

"After Yuvraj's performance [for India A] not just with the bat but also his five wickets I think he would be leading the race," Gavaskar said in Mumbai.

Yuvraj, who was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year, made a great recovery and was selected in the Indian team for the World T20, where he impressed many with his good showing with both bat and ball.

- Why Gavaskar is unhappy with Pakistan's tour of India

Yuvraj SinghHe followed that up with a quickfire double century (200 from 241 balls) in the Duleep Trophy for North Zone and then shone with both bat and ball in the three-day tour match against England in Mumbai.

The left-hander made 59 in the first innings before claiming five for 54 with the ball, including the prized wicket of Kevin Pietersen.

India are looking for a player for the No. 6 position and Gavaskar believes Yuvraj fits that bill perfectly with his ability to make a contribution with both bat and ball.

"I think he has made a case for himself certainly. The way he has bowled and the way he has batted what he does is he brings another option, gives a little more flexibility to the captain in terms of the bowling attack, not just in terms of the batting.

"He gives the extra flexibility to the skipper bowling his left-arm spin. He might bowl a dozen or half a dozen overs or not even that but certainly he brings in a different angle of attack. And down the order at no. 6 if he gets going then he could smash any attack," he added.

The former India opener feels that Yuvraj's good bowling record against Pietersen, whom he has scalped six times now, should tilt the scales in his favour.

"The fact that one of England's leading players, one of England's most dangerous batsmen -- Kevin Pietersen has been susceptible to the left-hand spinners does certainly make Yuvraj's case stronger," he said.

India's squad for the first Test against England (November 15-19) will be selected in Mumbai on Monday.

Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Harish Kotian