Yuvraj Singh’s return to form was the biggest positive for the Indian team ahead of knockout stage of the ICC World Twenty20, according to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Yuvraj roared back to form with a 60-run knock. His strokeful 43-ball innings set up the 73-run victory over Australia as India topped Group 2 with fourth consecutive win. (Match Report: Yuvraj, Ashwin make it 4/4)
“Yuvraj getting back into form was really good. We all know what kind of a player Yuvi is. I think this format ideally suits it (getting back into form). He decided to give himself time to play himself in. In the middle overs he wasn’t able to rotate but in the end overs we knew the firepower we had,” said Dhoni at the the post-match presentation ceremony.
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Yuvraj was struggling in the first two matches of the tournament with scores of 1 and 10 against Pakistan and West Indies respectively. (Photos: Yuvraj roars back to form)
Dhoni said the decision to rest Shikhar Dhawan, who hasn’t been in great touch, helped the left-handed opener look back at his performances. Dhawan was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI.
“Rahane opens in difficult conditions. We have seen that in IPL, he is one the most consistent batsman. This (replacing Shikhar with Rahane) also gives Shikhar some free time to think about his game. So both players will benefit,” he said. (Full Coverage: ICC World T20)
Australian skipper George Bailey, on the other hand, rued lack of “match sense” shown by his batsmen in this tournament. “I don’t think we’ve been fans of the way we’ve been playing. We have shown lack of game sense on a number of occasions. There was not much turn in the wicket today (Sunday). We could have batted better,” said Bailey.
Meanwhile off-spinner R Ashwin, who bagged his second consecutive man-of-the-match award, said the score they were defending was little above par.
“I though 160 was just above par,” Ashwin, who took four wickets and gave away just 11 runs, said.
On his bowling, he said, “You have to cut the width for the right-hander, the line I’m bowling is not too wide outside off. We were stretched quite a bit while batting but we’re playing well the way we are.”