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Home > Cricket > The Cup > PTI > Report

We have to improve our fielding: Yuvraj

February 23, 2007 18:55 IST

India will have to improve its fielding to bring back the World Cup which it won 24 years ago, says talented middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh.

"We are improving our fielding. That is one area we have to improve upon. And, we are working hard in that area," Yuvraj told reporters in Kolkata on Friday.

Asked if the absence of athletic fielders like Suresh Raina and Mohammed Kaif would be felt in the Caribbeans, where the quadrennial mega event kicks off next month, Yuvraj said "it is unfortunate that we do not have them. But at the same time, we have outstanding and wonderful fielders like Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik."

Yuvraj, who returned to the Indian team in the last two one-dayers of the home series against Sri Lanka after recovering from back problem, said he feels confident ahead of the big tournament.

Yuvraj scored 21 at Margao and followed it up with an unbeaten 95 in Visakhapatnam.

The Punjab player had earlier been sidelined following a knee injury sustained while playing kho-kho during a warm-up session before the crucial Champions Trophy match against Australia in late October.

"I played well in the last match. I've got confidence. I'm happy at the way I made progress after the severe [knee] injury," he said.

The left-hander said the two recent home series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka had given the Indian team a lot of confidence.

Referring to India's comprehensive defeat against the West Indies in the Caribbean last year, Yuvraj said "we want to correct the mistakes we made during that tour. We don't want to repeat them."

Yuvraj said he would also like to bowl if given a chance in the West Indies. "If I get a chance, I'll definitely bowl."

He said Sourav Ganguly's comeback is good for the Indian team and hoped the former skipper would "play a crucial role by providing a good start".

Yuvraj said he is confident that paceman Irfan Pathan would be able to deliver the goods overcoming his long lean trot.

"He is young. Such things happen when you are a youngster. It happened to me. I am sure he will come back to form. He is working hard," he said.

Asked to make a comparison between the present Indian team and the one that played in the World Cup in South Africa four years back, Yuvraj said "we had a great team four years ago. Now also we have a good team.

"There has not been many changes from the side which played in 2003," he added.

Yuvraj said it would not be right to under-estimate title holders Australia, who are going through a form slump.

"You can't underestimate them. They did not have their whole team [against New Zealand]," he said.

Rating the chances of other teams, he said: "South Africa is now the number one one-day side. Pakistan is also a deserving team. In fact, each of the top five teams can turn the game on their day."

He said the absence of Aussie tearaway fast bowler Brett Lee would be felt in the World Cup.

"He is a dangerous bowler. His absence is a sad thing from the cricketing point of view.

"But of course, it will make things easier for the opening batsmen of other countries when they take on the Australians," he said.

Yuvraj said after the World Cup, his target would be to improve his showing in Tests.


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