The case for (and against) Yuvraj Singh…

The first test between India and Pakistan starts in a few days and one of the batsmen who has put up a strong case for inclusion in the Test team is Yuvraj Singh.

But, you look at his test record and there is nothing outstanding there. It reads a modest 19 matches, 29 innings, 830 runs @33.20. In his 29 outings to the crease, he has only scored 2 centuries and 3 fifties. In fact, in the last 5 matches that he has played, he averages just a shade over 19.

Not good. Not good at all.

So, why is there suddenly a case for Yuvraj to be included in the test team?

First and foremost, his form. His ODI form this year has been excellent – In the 33 innings that he has played, he averages around 46 and in the recently concluded India-Pakistan series, he has crossed 50 four times out of five. Do I even need to mention his exploits in the Twenty20 format? His ability to score at a quick clip will be useful in the Indian middle order which has the tendency to slow down the scoring rate quite drastically of late.

It is also time, India decided to prepare the next set of players to take over from Laxman, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid. Any further delay in the introduction of youth into the side will be disastrous to India and the selectors must surely be aware of that.

What else has he got?

His fielding. Yuvraj Singh’s fielding  will surely infuse some new energy into the test team. I don’t think Yuvraj is good enough as a bowler in Tests, but he can probably bowl a few filler overs to give the main bowlers a break and it does add another dimension to his inclusion.

What doesn’t work in his favour?

I can probably answer that with another question – Where would you fit him? The opener slots are taken (not that Yuvraj has any interest in them) and the next two spots have been taken up by Dravid and Tendulkar. Arguably, either Ganguly or Laxman will have to make way for him. But, Ganguly’s aggregate of runs against the England was the second highest for India and the only batsman to average more than Laxman (51.25) was Dhoni (52.25). I am not counting Kumble (54.00) as a batsman 🙂 .

Will the selectors be bold enough to drop either of them for Yuvraj Singh? In spite of knowing that they have to bring in youngsters into the middle order, Indian selectors are usually very reluctant to introduce change.

Yuvraj’s detractors will also point out that he had an even better ODI season in 2005-06, when he averaged around 58 with the bat, but failed to take his ODI form into Test cricket. Most critics also question his ability to tackle quality spin bowling.

So, what do you think – Should he be included, and more importantly – Will he be included?


11 responses to “The case for (and against) Yuvraj Singh…

  1. Most likely, Laxman would be dropped from the team for Yuvraj.

    There is also a possibility Rahul Dravid may be dropped ” since he has to improve fielding”.

    I am not a fan of the ugly batting of Ganguly or his running between wickets or his poor fielding, ….

  2. theblackirishman

    Well written, Mahesh!
    Given Laxman’s record against anyone other than Oz, I’d be tempted to play Yovi against Pak at home. We can worry about the Oz tour later

  3. Yuvraj should play for Laxman.

    Laxman makes Ganguly’s fielding and running between wickets look terrific! Also, Ganguly can bowl a few overs while only extra thing Laxman will give is a few dropped slips catches.

    Over next 3 series, both Laxman’s spot as well as Ganguly’s spot should go to Yuvraj and Badrinath – that order. If Yuvraj comes for Laxman now and Badrinath comes for Ganguly after Australia that is good.

    This will also shut up gnbmdr — who only worries about players from South Zone, preferrably between T-Nagar and Adayar, who have poonal and put veebhoothi!

  4. theblackirishman

    Just read somewhere about dhoni’s ankle injury. Might give the selectors an excuse to rest him and play yuvi in his place, given that DK can keep!

  5. Here is a link to one such article –

    Wonder if Karthik would keep wickets and also open the batting if that happens…

  6. Sreesanth, RP Singh ruled out of first Test.

    Rotation policy is needed to groom youngsters and also give some rest for the players.

    Lack of rotation policy means more players are susceptible to injury with the sort of schedule India is playing. There is almost no rest or healing period.

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