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Yuvraj needs to get his act right - Renin Wilben Column

2008 Sep 11 by Frist Name Second Name

With Sourav Ganguly not being selected in the Irani Trophy squad, his international career seems all but over. At the same time, the selectors have also sent a strong message to Yuvraj Singh - it's about time he gets his act together.

Yuvraj needs to get his act right

Renin Wilben

With Sourav Ganguly not being selected in the Irani Trophy squad, his international career seems all but over. At the same time, the selectors have also sent a strong message to Yuvraj Singh - it's about time he gets his act together.

Despite being around the international scene for around a decade he is yet to make a mark at the Test level. It can be argued that he did not get a spot due to the presence of the Fab Four for most part but then it is also true that he did not grab his chances when he got the opportunity. Apart from a couple of big knocks here and there, he has only disappointed. And most of the times it has been his flamboyant batting that has been responsible. Unfortunately Yuvraj hasn't learnt and keeps repeating the same mistakes. For a while he was preferred ahead of the more reliable Mohd Kaif in the Test squad. But the selectors have now realized who is better suited for the longer version of the game and have drafted him back in.

Ironically, Yuvraj's stay even in the one side when he was not performing lasted longer because he had the backing of the then skipper Ganguly. He eventually went on to replace Sourav in the Test team but not for long. And now both find themselves out of favour. While Ganguly may as well have played his last international match, Yuvraj still has age on his side. However, he cannot keep testing patience of the selectors and the team management for too long.

There was a time a couple of seasons back when he was in the form of his life in the shorter version winning Man of the Series awards consecutively which led to him earning a spot in the Test team. Everyone felt Yuvraj Singh had finally come of age. Unfortunately, it proved to be a false alarm. Forget Tests, his performances in the recent ODI tournaments in Australia and Sri Lanka have been atrocious. Yet India managed to win both the series'. And so Yuvraj must understand that he cannot take his place in the team for granted even in ODIs anymore. With the 20-20 version around, more and more players are getting a chance to display their skills - a fact Yuvraj must be aware of.

The problems for Yuvraj actually began when he started struggling in Tests, which also affected his ODI performance. He still doesn't look at ease against the spinners. And unless he works on it, he will struggle to perform well in the longer version though he manages to get away with it in the ODIs. It was not in the case in Sri Lanka though where the maverick Ajantha Mendis had his number. The Punjab lad also needs to curb his attacking instincts to an extent to do well in Tests.

There is no doubting his exceptional talent but at the international level what matters is runs. And Yuvraj hasn't had a lot of them of late. Unless he tightens his game, Yuvraj will continue to remain a good ODI player - a match winner of his day - but an average Test player in the mould of Graeme Hick, who recently announced his retirement.