Yuvraj Singh might not be considered for 2019 ICC World Cup
What's the story?
As per media reports, a senior BCCI official recently stated that veteran Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh is not in contention for the ICC World Cup 2019. The official cited various reasons for the same and explained that there are many younger cricketers who can be groomed to replace Singh in preparation for the big tournament.
"His batting has lost sting. He rarely bowls and his fielding has gone down a few notches. If we have to prepare a team for 2019 World Cup, we have to take a call now. In case of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, we still don't have a replacement but Yuvraj's place has multiple contenders," the official told the Press Trust of India.
Yuvraj played in the ICC Champions Trophy that was hosted by England earlier this year. He was also a part of the ODI squad that travelled to West Indies last month. Barring a couple of good performances, the left-hander struggled in both the series and failed to make a mark.
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India's squad for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka was announced yesterday (August 13), and Singh was not included in the same. Youngster KL Rahul was recalled to the national side after recovering from his shoulder injury, and replaced the Punjab batsman in the squad.
Attacking batsman Dinesh Karthik was also swapped for Manish Pandey, who had an excellent tour with the India A side in South Africa earlier this month.
Singh has been in and out of the side for the past few years and it looks increasingly difficult for him to make his way into the playing XI one more time.
MSK Prasad, chairman of the national selectors, recently said that the door hasn't been closed on Yuvraj, but also stated that fitness will be the parameter for all national selections henceforth.
Prasad said that the selectors have locked in on 22-24 players for the World Cup and will look to try and test them in the next 4-5 months.
Yuvraj should start preparing for his next opportunity immediately so that he is ready to fire on all cylinders if and when he's given a chance to play in the ODI side once again.
The chances of the southpaw making a comeback into the side look very bleak, at least for now. Age is not on his side and he would really have to do something extraordinary to fight his way back into international cricket.
However, Yuvraj is nothing if not a fighter. It remains to be seen if the left-hander can fight his way out of this hole, which might just be the toughest one he's ever dug himself into in his cricketing career.