Yuvi Dropped Out, Pujara Pops In




Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

Calcutta: The Galle Test, 2 months ago, will forever be remembered as Muttiah Muralitharan’s last. It may also just turn out to be Yuvi’s last, for the time being, at least for this season. Everything points to Yuvraj only being considered for ODIs and T20 Internationals. For that to change, something great has to happen.

Having lost his No.6 spot to Suresh Raina, on the Sri Lankan tour, it was taken for granted that Yuvi would find it very tough to retain his place even in the squad, for the two-Test series against the Aussies, which begins in Mohali on the 1st of the next month.

Yuvraj’s worst fears one can say on authority that did have come true, when the selectors ignored him while choosing the 15 member squad for Mohali and Bengaluru. The second Test is from October 9. “Of course it is a disappointment, but disappointments have become a part of my life,” Yuvraj told the media in Patiala.

It’s not the first time that Yuvraj has been dumped, but never before did he react within hours of being unwanted. Just goes to show that, this time, he’s deeply hurt. Instead of Yuvraj, the selectors have shown faith in rookie Cheteshwar Pujara.

Skipper MS Dhoni and Coach Gary Kirsten weren’t present at the meeting in Chennai as both are in South Africa. Kirsten’s views, it seems, were “ascertained” by the chief selector. Pujara, a 22-year-old Saurashtra right-hander, was a strong contender had been reported in these columns. Incidentally, he’s served as one of SRK’s Knights in the IPL.

More like a consolation prize, Yuvraj has been named the Rest of India captain for the Irani Trophy. Raina got his chance when Yuvraj became ill, on the eve of the second Test on the Sri Lankan tour and made the most of that break. He hit a hundred on debut and followed it up with impressive scores in the decider, at the P.Sara Oval, in Colombo again.

Such were Raina’s runs in the series that he topped the averages (111.50).Actually, not being picked for the final Test was message enough for Yuvraj. If injuries and illnesses weren’t enough, Raina’s spectacular start in Test cricket made it worse for Yuvraj. That he’s seen as somebody who doesn’t work hard enough has been a negative in his balance sheet throughout.

Sadly, no matter how much Yuvraj sweats it out, the strong impression that he’s a playboy first and, only then, a cricketer remains. For years, Yuvraj was in the shadow of his one-time mentor, Saurav Ganguly. Now, he has to contend with Raina and Pujara.It probably feels that Yuvraj has been spared the agony of “water-boy” taunts.

3rd October, is infact the day when Yuvraj completes 10 years wearing the Indian cap. He won’t be in the mood to celebrate, though.

Given his class, if Yuvraj gets a hold on himself, the selectors could eventually have to eat humble pie.

As expected, Zaheer Khan has made a comeback. He missed the Sri Lanka tour owing to an injury. In the squad too, is Sreesanth another injury-prone medium pacer? “Abhimanyu Mithun is to consider himself unlucky, but if you look at the bigger picture, and the tour to South Africa later this season, then you’ll appreciate why Sreesanth had to be brought back. If he breaks down, yet again, then his claims are going to be set aside.”

By: Devesh D. Bhuwad

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