Even as Indian Premier League, commissioner Rajeev Shukla hailed the comeback of Yuvraj Singh into the national side for the upcoming World Twenty20 championship in Sri Lanka, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has expressed surprise at the batsman’s inclusion in the team.
Yuvraj has not played competitive cricket since India’s World Cup triumph in April last year after he was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer.
“I am a bit surprised. I just wish he physically stays well because you know he has come out of a…what can I say, a big disappointment. He has recovered, which is the best thing that can happen, but it has not been a long time and I wish and pray he sustains,” an apprehensive Ganguly told reporters during the sidelines of a function.
The former skipper, however, welcomed the decision of selectors to pick off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for the T20 competition.
“He is a class act. When you play for a long time you have hiccups. But I am happy that he has made a comeback,” Ganguly said.
Shukla while welcoming the decision of the selectors to consider Yuvraj for the World T20 said that his inclusion will be a big boost for the Indian players.
“It is a very courageous effort on part of Yuvraj Singh and everybody should welcome it. It would lift the morale of other players in the team,” Shukla said.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin expressed his happiness over Yuvraj’s inclusion into the team and expected the left-hander to announce his comeback with a big bang “What I am today is partly because of of Yuvi. The first time I broke into some kind of great cricket it was when yuvi was the captain of Challenger side and he actually encouraged me and motivated me a lot to move ahead in my career.
“I am very pleased that he is back and I will be very very happy if he comes back with a bang getting some runs for the team,” Ashwin said.
Ganguly, meanwhile, was disappointed with the selection of the Test squad and said the only criterion for making it to the team should be the form and nothing else. The veteran cricketer in particular was the manner the selectors have retained the same team which received a 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Australia earlier this year.
“Looking at the Test team, I am a bit disappointed. My only point is that it is the same team which lost 4-0 to Australia. There has been no change, the only person missing is Rahul Dravid, who has retired. So you lost that series 4-0 and if you have to believe that everything is fine, I am not sure,” the batsman said.
Asked about VVS Laxman’s inclusion in the Test team, Ganguly said, “Selection has to on the basis of form, it should not be on the basis of age. And for someone like VVS Laxman what I feel is important is to have a clear picture.”
“After playing so much it should not be one series, this series or the next series. It should be very clear with Laxman or any other Indian player like Dravid or (Sachin) Tendulkar, because they have been great players and it should not be like you are picked for this tour and you may not play the next, it should not be like that,” Ganguly pointed. The left-hander was also happy about Lakshmipathy Balaji’s return to the national team.
“Balaji has done very well in IPL and he is a very-very good bowler. I am happy to see him. He had injury problems and I am happy to see him get back into the team. He is a quality bowler and I have seen that in Pakistan in 2003. He will be a handy bowler,” he said.
Asked about Rohit Sharma’s future, particularly in the longer format of the game, the 40-year-old said, “He has got time. If he gets his head right he will get his form back.”