Four months after undergoing the final round of chemotherapy during his cancer treatment,Yuvraj Singh has made it to the list of 30 probables,picked on Wednesday,for the September-October World T20 in Sri Lanka. While this is seen as an important first step towards his comeback to the Indian team,the month ahead will be crucial for the left-hander as he races against time to be fit and make it to the final 15.
For Yuvraj the deadline wouldnt be September 19,the day India play their World T20 opener against Afghanistan but August 18,the last date ICC has set for participating nations to name their squads. This also means Yuvrajs earlier comeback plan of testing his form and fitness during the two T20s games against New Zealand in the second week of September now needs to be tweaked.
Chairman of national selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth recently indicated that he would want Yuvraj back into the fold soon,and was even ready to make a few concessions. Yuvraj has started practice,which is a very good thing. A guy who has won the World Cup should come back. We are all hoping for that. We want Yuvraj back for T20 WC, he said. However,it remains to be seen how the selectors will be checking the recovering stars match readiness before the ICC deadline.
The only competitive games that Yuvraj can play before mid-August will be the four-day KSCA Invitational tournament in Bangalore or the two three-day tournaments Buchi Babu tournament in Chennai and Moin-ud-dullah in Hyderabad. Subsequently,the national selectors can ask Yuvraj to undergo a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy,Bangalore and take a final call on Indias proven match-winner.
Another intriguing comeback story that is unfolding is the one featuring Laximpathy Balaji,who last played an international in Colombo in 2009. After overcoming a career-threatening back injury,Balaji has been included in the probables list for his consistent performances in domestic cricket and his vital role in Kolkata Knight Riders IPL triumph. Balaji finished with an economy of 5.4 and picked 11 wickets in 8 games of IPL 5.
Two uncapped names
Meanwhile,Punjabs Mandeep Singh and Barodas Ambati Rayadu happen to be the only two uncapped players in the list of 30. While Mandeep was named as the rising star of the IPL,Rayadu has been the most consistent player for Mumbai Indians in the last three editions.
Probables: MS Dhoni,V Sehwag,G Gambhir,V Kohli,Rohit Sharma,S Raina,R Ashwin,P Ojha,U Yadav,A Dinda,A Rahane,M Tiwary,Rahul Sharma,Vinay Kumar,Z Khan,Yuvraj Singh,R Uthappa,I Pathan,Y Pathan,Mandeep Singh,P Chawla,R Jadeja,S Dhawan,A Rayudu,Harbhajan Singh,M Patel,N Ojha,D Karthik,Praveen Kumar,L Balaji.