Indian cricket team director Ravi Shastri hails Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra as they selected for Australia tour for three matches T20 series. Shastri said with a tough tour in Australia ahead and Asia Cup, World T20 knocking at the door, the “experience” of Yuvraj and Nehra played a big role in their selection for the Australia tour.
Shastri, as a team director, has a call in the team selection of both the squads and the playing XI. The former Indian captain said it would to wrong to say that Sandeep Patil-headed five-member selection committee had taken a backward step by bringing back Yuvraj (34) and Nehra (36).
“Both Yuvraj and Nehra have been rewarded for hard work, for the hours put in by them,” Shastri told The Telegraph-Kolkata on Thursday.
Yuvraj last played for India one and half year ago in 2014 World T20 final, where he scored 21 ball 11 which was reason behind his exclusion from the team
Similarly, bowler Nehra has not donned the blue after the 2011 World Cup.
Shastri is not concerned by these facts. He said, “Both are experienced and T20 is such a short format that there’s little time to think… Experience comes into play in a big way.”
Shastri further said, “Of course, Yuvraj is a match-winner and a destroyer of bowling. If Yuvraj gets set, there’s nobody more dangerous than him…
“Yuvraj has had a couple of seasons of domestic cricket since he last played for India (20 months ago) and, of late, has run into form.” Shastri also said he is agreed with World Cup winning legendry allrounder Kapil Dev’s observation on Yuvraj. Kapil compared Yuvraj with flamboyant American Tennis player John McEnroe and prince of football Diego Maradona as the lefthander is a “genuine crowd-puller”.
“Look, all match-winners draw crowds… They entertain… I’ve already made the point to you that Yuvraj falls in that category,” Shastri stated.
Shastri’s special words for Yuvraj proves the lefthander has a strong chance to feature in the World T20 2016 at home starting from March 8.
Yuvraj will have a chance to take preparation for World T20 with three matches in Australia. India will host Sri Lanka for three T20 and that followed Asia Cup Twenty 20 in Bangladesh.
Shastri said, “ there’s enough T20 cricket before the World T20″.
Talking about Nehra, Shastri said, “Experience is a massive plus and I’d probably turn to Nehra if 15 balls remained and the opposition required just 20 runs. In such situations, experience comes to the fore…
“That makes a big difference.”
Yuvraj must feel comfortable after Shastri’s comment. The lefthanded batsman recently said he looking for a support from the “dressing room”.
Yuvraj said, “…The dressing room needs to have belief in me.”