|« Back to article||Print this article|
Emotions probably took precedence over reason as India's team for next month's T20 World Cup was announced on Friday.
At least, as far as Yuvraj Singh was concerned.
The Punjab player, who was the star of the show when Indian won the ICC World Cup -- after a gap of 28 years - on home soil last year, had since been diagnosed with - and successfully battled -- cancer.
Yuvraj hasn't played for the national team since November last year and even though he was in the probables for the upcoming T20 extravaganza, and even procured a fitness certificate from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, there were doubts regarding his fitness. Understardably so.
Having not played competitive cricket for a considerable time there are big question marks whether he can last a full match at this juncture, forget an entire tournament.
However, ahead of the selection committe meeting all these concerns hardly seemed to matter.
"Yuvraj won us the World Cup last year and it will nice if he makes it to the team," said Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, the comment making it certain that the 30-year-old is a certainty.
It is imperative here to mention that besides shining with both bat and ball in India's World Cup triumph last year, and pocketing the player of the series honours in the sport's flagship event, the left-hander was also the star of the show in Team India's victorious campaign in the inaugural World T20 in South Africa back in 2007. His six sixes off successive balls against England -- and a hapless Stuart Broad -- in the said tournament is part of cricketing folklore.
So, ask anyone in the country about his inclusion in side and, sure, the answer, has to be in the affirmative.
Yuvraj's inclusion, therefore, was a foregone conclusion.
But as the clock ticked during the selection committee meeting, it became obvious that there was a difference of opinion regarding the issue, with a couple of members trying to make sense.
On a pragmatic note, despite clearance by the physios at the NCA, Yuvi's fitness remains cause for concern. The player has had fitness issues throughout his career and, in this case, has hardly had time to recover.
However, despite the endless debate, the end result was a predictable one.
Even as Srikkanth came out of the meeting to declare that he and his team had selected the 'best possible squad' the questions that followed pertained to just one player.
An explanation followed.
"Yuvraj is a crucial factor for the team," explained Srikkanth.
"He has the ability to win matches single-handedly," he continued, adding, "Besides, we appreciate the efforts he has put in towards his recovery, to get back to full fitness."
Though the 30-year-old, who played in his first practice game a couple of days back, doesn't have much time to prepare himself for the tournament starting next month, his many fans will be hoping to see him go full throttle in Sri Lanka, just as he did in the World Cup last year.
For the moment though Yuvraj has the Buchi Babu tournament, starting next week, and the two T20 internationals against New Zealand next month to get some much-needed match practice.