x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

'Good to see Yuvraj Singh back in the team'

India batsman fit again after battling cancer as selector Kris Srikkanth pleased with the balance of the World Twenty20 side.

Yuvraj Singh, who was player of the World Cup last year, had to undergo chemotherapy thereafter for a rare germ cell cancer. Raveendran / AFP
Yuvraj Singh, who was player of the World Cup last year, had to undergo chemotherapy thereafter for a rare germ cell cancer. Raveendran / AFP

NEW DELHI // Yuvraj Singh made a sensational comeback to the India team yesterday when he was named in a 15-member squad for next month's World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka and two preceding T20 games during New Zealand's tour of India.

Yuvraj, a 30-year-old batsman, underwent chemotherapy in the United States earlier this year for a rare germ cell cancer near his lungs. He last played for India in a home Test series against the West Indies in November last year.

He was selected after proving his fitness at the National Cricket Academy in the southern city of Bangalore.

"Yuvraj has been declared fit and if he gets going he can win big matches for us," Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chief selector, said. "As everyone knows, he was the man of the series in last year's [50-over] World Cup and it is good to see him back in the team."

Yuvraj, who has played 37 Tests, 274 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 games for India, is famous for clobbering six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad, the England fast bowler, during the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.

Srikkanth said the five-member selection committee had held long discussions before agreeing on the team selection. "We looked at a lot of factors including ground conditions in Sri Lanka before selecting the team. We've selected a well-balanced and powerful side which we think will win the tournament," he said.

Medium pacer Laxmipathy Balaji, who has been a consistent performer in the Indian Premier League over the past few seasons, was also selected in the Twenty20 squad in what was his return to the national side after a three-year absence. He last played in a one-day series in Sri Lanka in 2009.

Selectors also picked the out-of-favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for the Twenty20 games even though he was not in the squad for a two-Test home series against New Zealand, which was also announced yesterday.

In what was the main point of interest in the selection of the Test squad, batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was brought in and is expected to bat at the retired Rahul Dravid's No 3 spot.

Also returning to the squad were pace bowler Ishant Sharma and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.

The World Twenty20 is scheduled to be held from September 18 to October 7. The Tests against New Zealand will be played in Hyderabad from August 23-27 and in Bangalore from August 31 to September 4.

The Twenty20 games are scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam (September 8) and Chennai (September 11).

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