Experienced all-rounder Yuvraj Singh said over the weekend that he is still optimistic about his chances of participating in the ICC World Cup starting in May, and he is hopeful that he will be able to rediscover his old form.
Singh said, “Cricket has given me everything. When I leave the game, I want to be at my best. I do not want to go with any regret.”
Singh was speaking at Punjab’s Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Bengal when he issues his comments. The 2011 World Cup hero is hoping to make his comeback at the summer’s T20 event after being picked by the Mumbai Indians at the Indian Premier League auctions.
Singh’s India side are not the favorites to win the 2019 ICC World Cup. If you are betting on cricket, you’ll see that England are 5/2 favorites to take home the trophy. Singh’s India side is listed at 10/3 to win. Australia is listed at 6/1, with South Africa at 7/1.
The 37-year-old added, “I’m trying my best. This is our final league Ranji Trophy match and let’s see if we can qualify. After this, we have the national T20 tournament, and then we have the IPL. I will give my best shot and hope for the best.”
Singh offered praise for the Indian national team’s recent showing in Australia. He said, “Obviously their experience in batting is not that much what it used to be. But it’s a fantastic effort from the guys. Especially, (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Virat) Kohli, (Jasprit) Bumrah. They really excelled in Tests. It’s great to see Rishabh(Pant) going down the order and scoring big runs. It’s a great sign for Indian cricket for the future.”
Yuvraj has thus far participated in four of Punjab’s seven matches in Ranji thus far, and he is set to play the finale against Bengal. Both teams are in need of a win in order to seal their respective positions at the top of Groups A and B. Punjab are sitting on 20 points, while Bengal has 22.
Singh believes that a key player will be the young opener, Shubman Gill. Singh said of the 19-year-old, “He is a young guy whose batting I like to watch. He is very exciting. He should serve India for a long time but that will also depend on how well he is looked after.”
Thinking back on the tours in 2003-04 and 2007-08, Singh said, “Every time we toured Australia, it’s been a very tough tour. We had the opportunity to win the series, it was a draw…Then next time Australia won 2-1.”
Singh had more praise for Rishabh Pant, who scored a Test hundred twice, once in England and once in Australia, just within a few months of his debut. Yuvraj said, “He came last year, he got picked for India. Everybody said he plays too many shots, he’s rash, he doesn’t have the mind. But after one year of being in and out, having a good IPL, the guy scored two hundred overseas.”
Singh believes Gill will make his debut at the senior level sometime this year. The veteran said, “Definitely he’s someone who can represent India for a long time. He’s a very special talent. After a long time, I have seen a young guy whose batting I would like to watch. After the 2019 World Cup, he should make it to the side.”
Gill has been in a phenomenal form of late, as he has scored a number of runs at bat for Punjab in every domestic tournament, including the Ranji Trophy.