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Yuvraj on why Dhoni will play an important role in 2019 World Cup

February 08, 2019 18:17 IST

'I feel his presence is very important in decision-making. He had a fantastic tournament in Australia and it is good to see him hit the ball how he used to do.'

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni captained India to two World Cup titles -- World T20 in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2011. Photograph: BCCI

Veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh said Mahendra Singh Dhoni's presence is crucial for India's World Cup chances as he is a guiding force for current captain Virat Kohli and also plays an important role in decision-making.

Dhoni's place in the side has been a subject of debate owing to his inconsistent form but many, including former captain Sunil Gavaskar, have said that his tremendous grasp of match situations makes him invaluable.

Yuvraj, the 2011 World Cup's player of the tournament, echoed the sentiment when asked about the Dhoni factor.

 

"I think Mahi (Dhoni) has a great cricket brain. And as a wicketkeeper, you are in the best position to monitor the game and he has done that fantastically over the years. He has been a great captain with the young players and guiding Virat all the time," Yuvraj said in Mumbai on Friday.

"So, I feel his presence is very important in decision-making. He had a fantastic tournament in Australia and it is good to see him hit the ball how he used to do, and I wish him all the best," added the batsman, who was part of two World Cup winning teams -- World T20 in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2011.

But Yuvraj steered clear of queries on which batting position Dhoni should come in.

"That you have to ask Dhoni, which number he has to bat," he said.

Yuvraj, who will be seen in action for Mumbai Indians in the upcoming 12th edition of the Indian Premier League, said he will look to ease the pressure on captain Rohit Sharma.

"I think, if I can contribute in the middle-order, it will just take some weight off him (Rohit) and he can just go and play his natural game, while opening. (We will) see how the combinations (go)," Yuvraj said.

The 37-year-old left-hander found a buyer quite late at the IPL players' auction held in Jaipur last December for his base price of Rs one crore after going unsold initially.

"I am very fired up boss, I have been training in the nets everyday," said the left-hander.

He also lauded fellow Punjab player Shubman Gill, who recently made his India One Day debut in New Zealand, saying his progress over the last one year has been amazing.

"I was excited to see him (Shubman) play for India. It is amazing, how he has improved so much. He came back from the (India) A tour, scored lot of runs in domestic cricket, straightaway got an opportunity," said Yuvraj.

He was also was pleased with rise of teams like Vidarbha, who won this year's Ranji Trophy, along with teams like Gujarat and Saurashtra in the domestic circuit.

"Very impressed with Vidarbha, they have got some great players. They have got an outstanding coach -- Chandrakant Pandit -- who's definitely got the best out of the team.

"Also impressed with how domestic cricket is improving, the other teams are improving...Saurashtra are playing well, Gujarat has also been playing very well, so it is good to see that in domestic cricket," he said.

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