Yuvraj Reveals Sachin’s Tips Helped Him Tame Mendis

In limited over cricket, he provides unlimited thrills. Be it the six sixes during the T20 World Cup or his entertaining annhilation of the Englishmen last year, Yuvraj Singh has been a delight for the Indian fans. Every time he scores big, he ends up giving a talismanic touch to the Indian team too. Of his 20 best knocks in ODI cricket, India have ended up winning 16 times for an amazing success percentage of 80. At the Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday, he once again displayed how the demolition job leaves the opposition in ruins.
His latest winning knock was sweet on many counts. He overcame a huge psychological barrier (read Ajantha Mendis), achieved a goal of scoring his first hundred against Lanka and also being part of an entertaining alliance with Virender Sehwag.
Mendis had made a mess of Yuvraj’s reputation six months ago when he claimed him thrice during the five-match series. Twice he was bowled and one he was leg before wicket which indicates the bowler’s dominance. In all he could muster just 72 runs from five matches. This time round, the Punjab batsman was determined in body and mind to
deal with Mendis. “I was very disappointed with my performance in the last series,” he said on Tuesday night. “I worked a lot on my batting and had decided to prove the critics wrong. It was kind of a goal to come and do well in this series,” he said. There were some confessions too. “I felt I was a bit overweight in the last series. I felt I should be in top fitness condition this time round.”
Providing a huge dose of confidence was ‘The Master’ (as he is now referred to in the team), Sachin Tendulkar. “I talk to him about my batting often.
He actually gave me plans to play Mendis in this series. He told me a few points which really helped in getting through my initial runs,” he said while explaining his extended celebration on getting the hundred last evening. “That’s why I showed the bat to him.” So what were the plans? “I can’t tell you what the plans were, but whatever he told me was really helpful.” It was learnt that Tendulkar spent close to an hour before the start of the series with Yuvraj. The tips have indeed proved helpful as Yuvarj’s scores in this series read a healthy 23, 66, 117 and is the highest rungetter (206) from either team in the ongoing series. A far cry from what he logged in the last series (23, 20, 12, 0, 17)
The 221-run partnership in 27.5 overs with Sehwag was another high for Yuvraj, who felt the man of the match award should have gone to both of them. “Kamaal ka batting tha,” he remarked. “It should have been better if the man of the match award was shared. Because he scored the runs at the same pace.” He doesn’t recall having batted together with Sehwag for so long. “I don’t remember me and Viru batting together and getting hundreds. Normally he is batting up the order and by the time I get to bat, he’s out on a hundred. If he is still there when I get in, he is getting 250 or 300. So I don’t get to bat much with him. It was a great partnership which I really enjoyed.”
So did every Indian cricket fan.