David Warner appreciates Yuvraj Singh’s fearless approach
Yuvraj Singh made his IPL return with a slam-bang 24 ball 42 that helped Sunrisers Hyderabad chase down 180 against Kings XI Punjab with two balls to spare in an Indian Premier League 2016 game. The seven-wicket win took Hyderabad to the top of the table with 16 points from 12 matches that guaranteed the a playoff spot.
Yuvraj’s last appearance at his home ground was during the World T20 against Australia when he limped off the batting crease with an ankle injury. He subsequently missed the semifinal berth which India lost to West Indies and the first seven games of the IPL before making a comeback on May 6.
He had shown a glimpse of his old charm in two previous knocks but the way he established his authority during the chase against Punjab was different. Hyderabad had just lost David Warner and still needed 83 runs off 47 balls when Yuvraj took strike. He did not take much time to get going and was dominant in nature during his partnership with Deepak Hooda and Ben Cutting.
Yuvraj hit three boundaries and two sixes, the most significant ones were the two hits off the first two balls of the 18the over by Mohit Sharma that reduced the equation to 29 off 16 balls and allowed Cutting to swing his bat without much pressure.
Surisers Hyderabad captain Warners appreciated Yuvraj for his innings “It is the belief in the player to back his ability. Yuvraj has so much talent and experience that if the ball is going to be in his zone, the ball is going to be dispatched over the fence,” Warner said. “The quality he brings to this team in the middle period; he has always spoken about giving himself enough time to get in and play a few balls. He played with a clear mind. He had the intention of backing ourselves to get to the end and leave ourselves with the total that we did to achieve the target.
“It obviously helps when a guy like Ben Cutting, playing his first game, comes in and plays the way he did. Deepak Hooda, to come out and play the role with me,” the Hyderabad skipper added. “As a batting group, when you start out the way we did and have belief and back yourself to bat deep as MS Dhoni leads the Indian team; he always says to bat deep, something today the guys did well.
“We have allowed ourselves to the last couple of games to have time while we are batting. Sometimes when we get behind, we rush things. I felt today the batters went out there and assessed the conditions,” he continued. “We felt we were always ahead of the game. Even though we were behind, we always got the impression that we were ahead. We took the scoreboard out of it and batted till the last over. I didn’t feel any player felt the pressure. The way they came and executed their skills, they had belief in themselves.”
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Hyderabad bought Yuvraj for Rs 7 crore in the 2016 IPL auctions, as the left-hand batsman had not been consistent over the last few years. But Warner credited the support staff for choosing the right resources and making Hyderabad a strong outfit this season.
“Before the auction, our guys had a plan to target certain players. When you look at the experience of Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra, and then a guy like Mustafizur Rahman, who can come in and bowl the way he does, it adds a lot of gain to our team,” Warner, who made his sixth half-century of the season and currently sits second on the batting charts, said. “For us, it is about having experience and having change-ups. We have really worked hard this year, we have stayed hungry and we have had belief in ourselves to go out there and play the perfect game. The first couple of games didn’t go as per plan. Then, we got into a streak, had a bad game and then we won again and then a bad game. At the moment, we have to go trying to play our best games.”
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