Back in a ‘good space’, Yuvraj Singh eyes 2019 ICC World Cup participation

The all-rounder has been out of international cricket for more than a year now.

Yuvraj Singh News
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who has been away from international cricket for over a year, is looking to bat for his country in the 2019 ICC World Cup. He looked in good nick during the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Monday, playing for Punjab. Very few supporters were at the stadium to watch the match against Karnataka, but were vocal when they saw Yuvraj walked out to bat, cheering for the veteran batsman.

After a cautious start, the left-hander exploded with his usual flair. He soon started depositing the ball into the stands with ease and grace that he so often displays when at the crease.

Yuvraj last played an ODI for India in June 2017. Earlier that year, he had earned a recall to the ODI side after being on the sidelines for more than three years. Yuvi celebrated his return with a career-best 150 in his second game back, enthralling a packed Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. He went on to score 372 runs from 10 ODI innings at an average of 41.33. maintaining a strike rate of 98.67.

The flamboyant left-hander was also awarded the Man of the Match during India’s Champions Trophy tie against Pakistan when he slammed 53 off just 32 deliveries.

“When I am hitting the ball out of the park at will, and not having that fear that I am going to get out, that is when I am feeling good. All my cricket has been fearless. Obviously, you have to see the situation and play accordingly. But when I start hitting the ball out of the park and doing that consistently, then I feel that I am in a good space,” he said.

I want to go happily playing the game

Yuvraj Singh, only two months away from his 37th birthday, looks in top shape and has also been enjoying his cricket at the domestic level. He is ambitious enough to play for India at the 2019 World Cup but realizes that whether he gets to be a part of the team is not under his control.

“My decision to make is that I want to go happily playing the game. I didn’t have a good domestic season last year, I had a bad IPL. I took a break and I thought that if I am looking to play another year or two years, I want to go playing this game happily because this game has given me everything,” he said while speaking to Cricketnext.

Yuvraj is in a good mental space nowadays and the cricketer is keen to turn around his career once again. “I didn’t have too much good (batting) practice before coming here, I just played one practice game against Madhya Pradesh. But I just felt mentally very good. I felt that I was fitter, I was stronger compared to last year, when I was not in a good mental space. The key for me has always been to be in a good mental space, that’s when I have played good cricket. Let’s see what happens now,” he said.

Yuvraj was overlooked for the ODI series in Sri Lanka in August-September 2017, and has been unable to find a place in India’s XI even as Virat Kohli‘s side are struggling to find a permanent middle-order batsman with the World Cup looming. Yuvraj, who was the Player of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup, is determined to give the 2019 World Cup one final shot.

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