Yuvraj Singh was not even in the frame when he received a surprising recall for the One-Day International series against England earlier this year. With Suresh Raina out of the team, the team experimented with Yuvraj at number 4 and the move turned out to be an inspiring one as he slammed a career-best 150 in only his second game after returning to the ODI team following a three-year absence. However, the early promises soon took the back seat with the World Cup-winning star consistently struggling to get going with the bat.
A whirlwind fifty against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy-opener revived the hopes that one of India’s best limited-overs players still has a lot to offer but it soon ended with his struggled during the remainder of the tournament and the West Indies tour that followed. The subsequent snub from the Sri Lanka tour has now raised a big question mark on his career.
At 36, Yuvraj is not getting any better and considering the fact that the team is keen to get the right combination at the earliest for the next World Cup, Yuvraj looks unlikely to return to the team again. The snub from the ongoing Duleep Trophy is a further proof that the veteran batsman has now fallen behind in the pecking order. Moreover , with the team trying out different players for the number 4 position during the Sri Lanka series is a big indication that the team-management is now looking beyond Yuvraj.
His poor fitness has only made it tougher for him to press a claim for a place in the team. Report had suggested that he was dropped for the Sri Lanka series due to failing the ‘Yo Yo’ endurance test and head coach Ravi Shastri has already made it clear that any player will have to pass the fitness parameters set by the team management to make it to the team which effectively rules him out of the contention for a spot in the team unless he works hard on his fitness.
“There are certain (fitness) parameters put in place and a player will have to fit into those parameters. That’s the fitness part and then the skill element will come. So get that very clear. There are certain parameters and it’s not difficult. If someone doesn’t fit into that, he is really unfit or lazy. If you are aiming to be the best fielding side in the world, you fit into those parameters and then of course the skill element comes into play,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express earlier this month.
While there are still uncertainties over his role in the team, it will become clear to a big extent if he does not get picked in the squad for the upcoming series against Australia. Chief selector MSK Prasad had said the southpaw was rested for the Sri Lanka series but another snub will definitely prove that the team is looking beyond him. Moreover, with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Manish Pandey ahead of Yuvraj in the pecking order, it looks quite unlikely that he will get a recall.