Yuvraj declares himself fit for England tour

Yuvraj Singh missed India’s tour to West Indies due to chest infection Getty Images

Kolkata: Jun 22, 2011

Star middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh has recovered from the chest infection he suffered after the cricket World Cup and is gearing up for the important England tour next month.

Yuvraj said he has completely recovered from the chest infection which ruled him out of India’s ongoing West Indies tour and he is available for selection for the full tour of England beginning July 15.

“I am 100 percent fit for the tour. I am sure most of the other seniors who are battling respective injuries would be fully fit for the tour. I am really looking forward,” Yuvraj said on the sidelines of a promotional programme on Wednesday.

Yuvraj said he had learnt life’s lesson the hard way when he was dropped for Asia Cup last year and that became a big motivation to do well in the World Cup.

Yuvraj overcame injury (shoulder) and sickness (dengue) to become the player of the tournament in India’s second World Cup triumph after 28 years.

“Only after we won the World Cup did I realise that in limelight everybody is with you but there would be nobody in times of trouble. It was a big lesson for me,” he said.

“It was the toughest phase of my career and I learnt an important lesson of my career. It was very tough to tackle injury, sickness and ouster together. World Cup was my goal last year, so it became a big motivation. I prepared well,” he said.

Yuvraj, who scored 362 runs, including a century and four fifties, and took 15 wickets in the World Cup, said winning the tournament was dream come true for all the players.

“Indian needed the victory … everybody’s wishes came true and the dream became a reality. It was a very important win and the biggest achievement for all of us.”

After the World Cup triumph, Yuvraj had a lacklustre captaincy stint with debutants Pune Warriors and later suffered from respiratory infection that forced him to miss the ongoing West Indies tour. He dismissed suggestions that he pulled out of the West Indies tour because Suresh Raina was the captain.

“I play for my country not for any captain … I’ve played under (Sourav) Ganguly. Then I played under MS (Dhoni) and Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) after about four years together,” he said.

With Kolkata getting to host three matches (one T20, ODI and a Test) later this year to compensate for India-England World Cup match which was scrapped, Yuvraj said it’s always special to play at Eden Gardens.

“I have some fine memories of the ground. The atmosphere, the crowd support, it’s just amazing and nowhere else you would see this,” he said.

On his experience to captain his ‘mentor’ Ganguly during the IPL 4, Yuvraj said, “He (Ganguly) had supported me throughout his career. It was time to support him.”

Asked whether Ganguly was under pressure during his IPL comeback after a bitter parting of ways with KKR, Yuvraj said, “Ganguly has so much success, centuries for him. He did not have to prove anybody. We have some plans for next season, I’m sure we will do well.”