The highlight of India's five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday was not the team's third consecutive, comfortable win in Asia Cup, it wasn't Virat Kohli's Man of the Match-winning half-century, it was not even making the finals, it was Yuvraj Singh turning back the clock.
Yuvraj produced a power-packed innings, hitting 35 runs off 18 balls with three classic, clean-cut sixes and an equal number of boundaries. He showed glimpses of his vintage self during the cameo and lived up to the old adage that class is permanent, as he effortlessly shifted gears from the last match, where he just wanted to build a partnership with Kohli.
Yuvraj came in at 70 for 3 with the team still needing another 69 runs. By the time, he was gone trying to hook Thisara Perera, he added 51 runs in 5.4 overs with Kohli and more so ended whatever little chances that Sri Lanka harboured in the match.
And it is not only the fans who believe that this performance marks the return of vintage Yuvi. The stylish southpaw himself admitted that he feels like he is back.
“Today was one of those days where I felt my flow was back. I needed a bit of a flow out there to feel good. I felt being positive out there when I got a few hits off my bat. I felt that my game is back. I just needed some time in the middle. I have been trying to get as much batting time as possible and I believe I have been picking up slowly,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by BCCI.TV.
He added that he was assessing which Lankan bowlers to attack and wanted to hit the ball straight away and deliver for the team.
Asked about his relatively contrasting innings in the last match against Pakistan, he explained about it was important to spend time in the middle.
“Last game, it was a different situation where we needed to take a spell out and get a partnership going. I took my time out there where I could leave a lot of balls and get a partnership going along with Virat Kohli. It was a small total so I could take a lot of time. This game we needed more than seven runs an over so it was important for me to be positive tonight. I just wanted to go and get my flow back. Once my flow is back, I feel that I belong here. I take a lot of confidence from this innings because I needed a few big hits and when you are striking the ball like I was today, it gives you a lot of confidence going into the next games," toldBCCI.TV.
Yuvraj return to form was welcomed by captain MS Dhoni who has repeatedly expressed support for the player. "As far as Yuvi's batting is concerned, I have already told that the more time he gets out there in the middle, the better it is for him. I felt that his approach has always been very good. He gave himself two or three balls before playing the big shot. And you saw today, he is someone who can hit sixes at will. So if the same thing continues gradually, he will be in a very good position before the World Cup," Dhoni said after the match.
With inputs from agencies
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