Yuvraj is God's gift to Indian cricket: Sandeep Patil
By Abhishek Hore Dubai, Sep 16 (PTI) Former chairman of national selection committee Sandeep Patil has called Yuvraj Singh "God's gift" to Indian cricket but said form and fitness will hold the key to the seasoned campaigner's participation in the 2019 World Cup. After being dropped for the Sri Lanka series, Yuvraj was also not considered for the first three one-dayers of the five-match series against Australia at home, starting tomorrow, but Patil seemed optimistic about another comeback. "It's fitness and form," Patil told PTI when asked about the old warhorse's future in international cricket, keeping in mind the World Cup.
The former India batsman and coach added:"I am not the selector now. Two years is too long a period and the kind of injuries you have seen, there is too much workload on each player." The 36-year-old Yuvraj, who last played an ODI against the West Indies in June, became the fifth player to represent the country 300 times in the format when he took to the field against Bangladesh in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal this year. "Yuvraj was like a God's gift, I have been his ardent fan and I will remain an ardent fan of Yuvraj. But he has to put runs on the board and he has to prove his fitness."
A slew of significant milestones that he reached in the recent 5-0 ODI whitewash of Sri Lanka amply demonstrated Mahendra Singh Dhoni's continuing influence in the limited overs game, and Patil termed him a "special player". "It will be looked after by the professionals, who are working with the Indian team, so it will be wrong on my part to say what is going to happen with Dhoni, Yuvraj. But they are special cricketers, I wish I had even five percent of what they (kind of talent) have," the 61-year-old Patil, a former India batsman, said.
Patil, who headed the selection committee from 2012 to 2016, oversaw a period of transition in Indian cricket with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman walking into international sunset. "We had a very difficult task of replacing players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and get these youngsters. Somewhere, in my mind, I am very happy that the bold decisions which we took are giving tremendous results."
He praised Hardik Pandya's development as a player but when asked about the comparisons drawn with Kapil Dev, Patil said it will take him 200 births to take the legendary all- rounder's place. He also lauded the current selection committee's move to rest the top spin duo of Ravichandran Aswhin and Ravindra Jadeja, saying his panel had also tried doing similar things. He acknowledged the Indian cricket team