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We need big partnerships: Yuvraj

By Harish Kotian in Nottingham
July 25, 2007 19:21 IST
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It was a day when not everything went right. First, heavy overnight rain destroyed Team India's chances of net practice at the Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottinghamshire, the venue for the second Test, on Wednesday.

The practice session had to be shifted to the England and Wales Cricket Board's National Cricket Academy at Loughborough University, the only national training and rehabilitation centre in the country.

Journalists then travelled around 20 miles to the practice venue only to find that Yuvraj Singh would be available to the media. Yes, Yuvraj, who did not take any part in the drawn first Test at Lord's and could also miss out on the second Test, starting Friday.

The press conference was held in the practice area itself, as the Indian team's administrative manager, Rocky Rufus, explained: "You have to do the press conference here itself. I can't help it, since the ECB has not given us any other option."

Yuvraj, for his part, dwelled on expected lines… that the team was not happy with the batting in the first Test and is looking to improve.

"Obviously, we are disappointed that we didn't get much runs on the board, but a draw is a draw. The bowling has been good, generally. For batting we need to have some big partnerships and we are looking forward to it," he said.

The left-hander said the nature of the Lord's wicket changed drastically after the first day.

"It was a strange Lord's wicket. First day it was quite a good pitch to bat on, and after the rain it suddenly changed. We have played here before and know things like these can happen. It's been raining over here so we are well-prepared for it. All our batters are obviously geared up and we know that we need to get a big score on the board.

"The last time we toured here all our batsmen got big runs; we know what to do. We are hopefully prepared; we just need to go out and perform," he said.

The 25-year-old gave a clear hint that chances of him playing in the second Test are remote.

Asked whether he would be drafted in the team, he replied: "It is not in my hands. I would love to play, but it is not in my hands whether I play or not. We will see how it goes in the next two days."

He also lauded the facilities at the Cricket Centre, saying they are one of the best in the world.

"I mean you will hardly get such facilities in India. There are six strips to bat on, plus you can field as well. So we are very happy with the facilities," Yuvraj said.

He rebuffed talk that seniors are taking their places in the side for granted, saying: "No one takes their game lightly whether it is a junior or senior player."

The Punjab batsman said the drawn match is behind now and the team is looking forward to the second Test with a fresh approach.

"We can't say much about the weather, but it is a fresh start. The first Test match is already gone, it is a new day and a new Test match and anything can happen. We are looking forward to it, looking to get runs on the board and looking to take some early wickets."

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