Yuvraj Singh targets IPL to get into the selection reckoning for 2019 World Cup

Yuvraj’s last ODI appearance was in June 2017 against the West Indies just after the Champions Trophy in England.

Yuvraj Singh will represent Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 | Getty

Since the selectors have constantly overlooked veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh from India’s limited-overs setup, there were speculations circulating in the media concerning his retirement from the international arena. However, Yuvraj recently rubbished those reports saying that the motivation to represent India is still there.

Speaking to PTI, the southpaw stated that he wants to give his "best shot" to get into the reckoning for ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

"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," Yuvraj, who is in Kolkata for Punjab's Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Bengal, told reporters.

At the IPL 2019 auction last month, Yuvraj went unsold in the Round 1 and was only saved by a late bid from Mumbai Indians. The 37-year-old, who entered into the auction with a base price of Rs 1 crore, was fetched by MI for the same amount.

"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," he added.

Yuvraj also hailed the Virat Kohli-led India's fine show in the Test series in Australia.

"Obviously their experience in batting is not that much what it used to be. But it's fantastic effort from the guys. Especially, (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Virat) Kohli, (Jasprit) Bumrah. It's great to see Rishab (Pant) going down the order and scoring big runs. It's great sign for Indian cricket for the future.

"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," he said, recalling the 2003-04 and 2007-08 tours.

The left-hander also showered praise on the young wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who scored a Test hundred each in England and Australia within months from his debut.

"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 hundreds overseas," Yuvraj said.

He also highlighted the talent of his 19-year-old state teammate, Shubman Gill, and batted for his inclusion in the senior team post the 2019 World Cup.

"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 2019 World Cup, he should make it to the side."

Stressing on the need to look after the youngsters, Yuvraj said: "It all depends how well we look after our youngsters. You have to give them the confidence to excel. The prime example is Rishabh Pant."

Yuvraj said he is imparting his knowledge and experience with the Punjab team as much as he can.

"I really enjoy playing with Punjab team. Especially last three-four seasons, I've played a lot of domestic cricket. Whatever I've gained through, I try and give it to the younger guys.

"We have a very talented side. But I feel there is a lack of exposure in terms of playing outside. The more cricket you play outside in terms of playing in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi Hyderabad, your cricket will get better," Yuvraj concluded.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 07 Jan, 2019

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