Yuvraj Singh‘s return to cricket hit a new high when he scored a double-century for North Zone in the Duleep Trophy final. It may not have been enough to take his team to the final, but his 208 runs will surely make the selectors think about him when they choose the Test team for the England series.
He spent 333 minutes in the middle during the 241-ball knock which included 33 fours and 3 sixes. In Sri Lanka, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had raised questions about Yuvraj’s fitness by saying that while he is fit enough for the T20 format, the longer formats are another story.
But Yuvraj is showing that he is well on his way back. Indeed, in the opinion of cricket expert Ayaz Memon, he’s done enough to show that he has the best credentials for the no.6 slot in India’s current Test team.
“The selectors have now got an option. The number six slot is open. Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara may have firmed their places in the Test team and I don’t think Suresh Raina is a definite call nor is Manoj Tiwary finding favour,” says cricket expert Ayaz Memon before adding, “He needs to score more runs every time he bats because you don’t want skeptics to still be around. He’s got the best credentials for that number six slot.”
Suresh Raina’s struggles in Tests are not a mystery for anyone. In 16 Tests, he averages 33.38 and his troubles against the short ball have bowlers lining up to bowl bouncers. Rohit Sharma needs to get back into good form in the longer format but Ajinkya Rahane might relish a go in Indian conditions. Manoj Tiwary has been among some runs as well. So it’s not like Yuvraj will have a free run — he will need to fight off some pretty stiff competition.
And Yuvraj will also need to prove that his own Test failings are a thing of the past. An average of just 34.80 after 37 Tests, isn’t something to be very proud of. Many of the Raina’s problems are very similar to those that plague Yuvraj too. So he needs to prove not only that he is fit enough but also that his technique has been tightened.
However, Ayaz is of the opinion that it may still be bit early to call him up for the first Test against England, but it’s a long season and his latest innings has cleared the doubts over his fitness.
“It shows that Yuvraj is capable of playing in a longer format. He’s made a double-hundred, he’s lasted the four days, he’s batted quite superbly in a crisis situation and fielded very well.”
On Sports Talk, Ayaz also discusses the recent uproar Down Under over Sachin Tendulkar receiving membership of the Order of Australia.
Check out the video for the full conversation between Pulasta Dhar and Ayaz Memon.