India’s chief selector Kris Srikkanth has hinted that Yuvraj Singh could be given the chance to cement his place in the Test side after playing a starring role in the World Cup.
Yuvraj was the man of the tournament in India’s 50-over success but has so far failed to replicate his one-day form in the Test arena, where he averages 35.63 from 34 matches.
The left-hander has been included in India’s Test squad for the tour of England, despite missing out on the series in the West Indies because of a lung infection.
“We all know that Yuvraj has quality,” Srikkanth told the Indian Express. “Yes, I agree that he has so far failed to carry forward his ODI form into Test cricket. But he still has many years of cricket left in him. If he can cement his place in the Test squad, then that will surely augur well for Indian cricket.”
Yuvraj will face competition for the number six berth from Suresh Raina, who has had a strong series so far in the Caribbean where he has hit two half-centuries.
Most encouraging has been the way in which the youngster has dealt with the short ball on the tour, having previously been susceptible to it.
“We never had any doubt about Raina’s talent,” Srikkanth said. “He started off [his Test career] very well but then had a quiet period. But a player with such talent was bound to return to form.
“Like all good players he has worked on his weaknesses. This Indian team has a great dressing room atmosphere and the juniors always get the right advice from the seniors. But the bottom line is that you have to solve your own problem.
“Raina worked hard and approached the task without any confusion. It’s not easy for a youngster, who grows up on placid Indian wickets, to be a naturally good player of pace bowling. Raina has shown the requisite grit. He was ready to fight it out which was very heartening.”
One player who has disappointed in the two Tests to date is Virat Kohli, who has failed to live up to the expectations created by some magnificent strokeplay on the one-day scene.
Kohli often makes batting look effortless and played every match of India’s World Cup campaign, but has scored just 46 runs in his first two Test matches.
Nevertheless Srikkanth feels it’s just a matter of time before the 22-year-old finds his feet in the five-day game.
“Virat should be allowed more time, he has just had his first brush with Tests,” Srikkanth said. “These youngsters will learn from experience.
“Test cricket is different from ODIs and it’s not easy to get used to the conditions. These days they barely play any side matches and by the time they get acclimatised to the conditions the tour is over.
“Kohli has performed in the ODIs and now it’s all about taking that form into Test cricket. I’m sure he will work on his game and will improve. He has a bright future ahead.” Cricket365