With an air of uncertainty surrounding his son’s career, Yuvraj Singh’s mother Shabnam Singh has insisted the batting star would once again make a comeback to the national team.
Hopes were high that Yuvraj would return to the One-Day International team for the ongoing series against Australia when chief selector MSK Prasad had claimed that the veteran batsman was rested and not dropped for the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka. There were reports suggesting that the veteran batsman failed to make it to the team after failing the ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test. But the reports were later dismissed by several including a BCCI offical.
However, it seems like the comments were irrelevant from Prasad and were perhaps made by him to calm down the situation. Moreover, with the team trying out several other options at number 4, it looks like the doors of the team is as good as closed for the World Cup-winning star.
However, his mother is confident that his son will be back in the Indian team soon. She also confirmed that poor fitness was one of the prime reasons behind her son’s ouster from the team.
“He clocked 15.1 recently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and is working very hard on his fitness away from the media glare. A score of 16.1 is set by the team for any player to be considered for selection. I am sure with the blessings of his Guruji, his ‘God’ Sachin Tendulkar and that of his millions of well-wishers, Yuvi will be back in the Indian team soon,” Shabnam told Aaj Tak.
“The entire world knows that he has fought bigger battles than the ongoing one to attain exceptional fitness levels. Nobody, absolutely nobody, other than him can decide on his retirement. It is obvious that he is feeling bad right now on being dropped on fitness issues, anyone would feel so. However, people should not forget that he fought a much bigger battle against cancer and then made a comeback in the Indian team. He will not surrender this time as well,” she added.
Shabnam further said that Yuvraj is taking the criticism regarding his fitness in a positive manner and is working hard to improve it before adding that the star batsman is also focusing on maintaining a healthy diet.
“As far as skill is concerned, nobody can take it away from him. If fitness is lacking, Yuvi is taking the criticism positively. I keep on telling him that you don’t have to prove anything to the world. He is now working on his fitness for close to five hours every day and has set a deadline of one more month to achieve the Yo-Yo score of 16.1. He has taken it as a challenge. Once, during his teens, someone made a comment about his fielding and he was badly hurt. He took his fielding to another level after that episode. Same would happen this time as well,” she said.
“I try to spoil him but he is very particular about his food. He also watches his old videos a lot these days, to keep himself motivated. Sachin is his God, he derives a lot of inspiration from him ever since making his debut in Nairobi in 2000. Today also, if he has to discuss anything about his game, Sachin is the first person he would speak to,”she added.
Shabnam concluded by praising India captain Virat Kohli for his ‘extreme fitness levels’ and admitted that fitness has become an important parameter now to earn a place in the team. She also said that Yuvraj is eyeing a place in the team for the next World Cup.
“Virat is a very good skipper,” says Shabnam. “He has set extreme fitness levels. Every skipper is different. Maybe fitness levels were not as important during Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy but now it is different. Selection is not in Yuvi’s hands but achieving a certain fitness level certainly is. Participating in the 2019 World Cup is still on top of his agenda.”