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Ex-stars want Yuvi to be persisted with

Ex-stars want Yuvi to be persisted with

They feel it is just a matter of time before Yuvraj Singh strikes form with a big score.

Mumbai: Stressing that Yuvraj Singh is a match-winner who can strike form any time, former Indian Test stars, including Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil and Kiran More wanted the Indian team’s think-tank to persist with the southpaw for some more time.

Former Indian skipper and coach Ajit Wadekar said Yuvraj was the most experienced of the Indian players in the middle and a class player who should be persisted with.

"Even the great Dennis Compton (former England skipper) failed in seven consecutive matches while Yuvraj has failed in seven innings and should be persisted with. With three of India’s most experienced batsmen (Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman) missing in the middle order, only Yuvraj can bring experience to our middle order," Wadekar told Cricketnext.com on Thursday.

"A batsman who was appreciated by one and all for his One-Day exploits just a couple of months ago cannot be considered useless. I am happy that his skipper M S Dhoni and the team management have supported him to the hilt so far," he added.

Former dashing middle order batsman Sandeep Patil said a champion batsman like Yuvraj should not be discarded so fast as it was common with all great players to go through a bad phase in their career.

"Yuvraj is a real match-winner and it is not right to drop him right now and should be persisted with as it takes just one innings for a champion batsman like Yuvraj, who is considered as one of the most destructive batsmen in One-Day cricket, to strike form," Patil said.

"It is unfortunate that the same cricket experts who were praising him to the skies just a couple of months ago are calling for his head after just a few failures in Australia. When a totally off-coloured Virender Sehwag could be persisted for a long time why should not Yuvi be given some more chances?" questioned Patil.

"If I were to be picking the playing eleven, I would definitely persist with Yuvraj and drop Robin Uthappa, who has been relegated to number eight spot even though he is an opening batsman," Patil suggested.

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"The Indian team management is wasting Uthappa by sending him so low in the batting order and it is impossible for him to contribute to the team in a big way. Instead, if they persist with Yuvi, then they can use him as an all-rounder as it was our bowling which let us down and not our batting," observed Patil.

"Just two months back, Yuvraj was hailed as the future of Indian cricket and termed as the most dangerous of Indian batsmen in One-Day cricket not only by Indian experts but also by former greats like Ian Chappell (former Aussie skipper) and Arjuna Ranatunga (former Sri Lankan skipper)".

"But now after three or four failures, that too on Australian wickets, people want him dropped and this trend in not good for the Indian team because every player goes through a bad patch and unfortunately Yuvi is going through that during an important series," he added.

"Players of his caliber can destroy any bowling in the world when in form and it is only fair to give him a few more chances before dropping him," Patil said.

Former Indian stumper and chief selector Kiran More said Yuvraj is too good a batsman to be dropped after a few failures.

"If an established player is not given sufficient chances when he is going through a lean period, then it is great injustice to the player. Yuvraj has proved, over a period of time, that he is one of the best in One-Day business and it is only fair that he should be persisted with," More said.

"Though he has been a failure on this trip so far, a player of his (Yuvraj) caliber can strike form any time and once they do strike form they become bowlers’ nightmare," he added.

first published:February 14, 2008, 14:02 IST