India will miss Yuvraj’s, says captain

CENTURION, South Africa - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has conceded the team will miss big-hitting Yuvraj Singh in their opening Champions Trophy match against Pakistan here on Saturday.

By (AFP)

Published: Sat 26 Sep 2009, 12:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:49 AM

Yuvraj was ruled out of the tournament due to a finger injury suffered during a practice session on Tuesday. He was replaced with batsman Virat Kohli.

“He (Yuvraj) has been an asset in the past few years. He is a pillar on which we rely a lot, especially in middle overs. Of course, it’s difficult to replace an in-form Yuvraj,” Dhoni told reporters on Friday.

“You can’t really do much when injuries happen. The format is so demanding nowadays that every practice session you go into you have to give your 100 per cent. Injuries are part of cricket now.”

Yuvraj is also an effective left-arm spinner capable of breaking partnerships at crucial stages.

“It will be tough to fill in that space not only in batting, but also in bowling. Hopefully, someone will turn up and say ‘OK, it’s my day, I’ll try and bail you out’,” said Dhoni.

“It’s tough to say right now what the roles and responsibilities of remaining batsmen will be in Yuvraj’s absence.”

The Indian skipper said his players would try their best against Pakistan rather than putting pressure on themselves in the big game.

“There is a rivalry when you play any team. When you turn up on the field you want to win games. You don’t want to put pressure on yourself by thinking we’re playing against Pakistan and we have to win,” said Dhoni.

“What we want to do is to go out there, enjoy our cricket, do our best, enjoy the moment. People take it in a different way. Of course, there is more intensity shown on the field. Both sides are quite aggressive on the field.”

Dhoni said India side needed to be at their best to win the opening match of the four-team group. Defending champions Australia and the West Indies make up the group, with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals.

“They are a tough side. When they are doing really well, they are capable of beating any side at the international level. It’s just another game, the start of Champions Trophy,” said Dhoni.

“It will be tough, but that’s what you expect in a tournament like that. Ultimately, if you think too much about Pakistan you pressurise yourself and your chances of being successful go down considerably.

“What we’d like to do is to go out there, play the game like just another game and play up to potential.”

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