Posted On Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 08:23:56 AM
|Back In the spotlight: Yuvraj Singh is photographed during his training at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore
Bangalore: Aap aise photo kheech rahe ho jaise mein kal hi khel ne wala hoon” (You are clicking pictures so furiously as if I am going to play tomorrow), said a smiling Yuvraj Singh as his face was showered by flash lights when he turned up for his rehabilitation programme yesterday at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
That statement caught the context perfectly: The pressure that he must be facing, the drama inherent in his Cinderella story, the ambitious hope of donning the blue jersey again and the obvious danger that lurks in getting too ambitious at this stage.
He talked of being slightly nervous, how his body is taking its own sweet time to respond, and how he is going to remain patient with his comeback but there were a few familiar images that leapt at you from his past.
The sunglasses perched on his India cap, the ever-present disinterested air of nonchalance when he meets the press and the smile rolled the months back but the context of his return from cancer was always going to be the dominant theme.
“My body was a bit shaky when I started (training),” Yuvraj said. “I want to come back and play for India and that is my goal. I am trying very hard. I have gone through a lot. The body has gone through a lot of shocks.”
And you can tell from his appearance. He has lost some weight in the recent months but the road to full fitness is going to take some time. A double chin and some paunch were visible and it’s going to take some real hard work to regain his fitness. Cricket can wait until then.
Yuvraj is of course harbouring hopes to play in the Twenty20 World Cup in September. His plan is clear: get fit in NCA, play some domestic tournaments to assess his form before he takes the bigger steps. “I have to see the schedule. May be in August, I should play a few tournaments down South.”
He is likely to feature in Shafi Darashah (run by Karnataka Cricket Association in end July), Buchi Babu and Moin-ud-Dowla tournaments but that’s still some time away. He would have got some inspiration from the presence of his former team-mates at the NCA.
Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, and Varun Aaron were at the academy. And so was Sreesanth, who hobbled in the afternoon and slowly limped his way towards the academy.
Meanwhile, Yuvraj talked about how nervous he was when he started trying to put his plan into place recently. “There was (nervousness). Body was bit shaky. Gradually, I have improved.
After a month-and-half I will be in a different state. Slowly my body will get stronger. The Twenty20 World Cup is the target. I am not going to hurry anything. But when I do come back, I promise I will be 100% fit and ready.”
He said that he has felt the therapeutic feeling of sound of leather on his bat recently. A public display of it at the NCA is around the corner. Flash bulbs will explode and television screens will spit out the images of him batting that day.
The drama and hype around it is likely to be huge and Yuvraj will know that his personal battle towards a dream comeback is not going to be an anonymous event shrouded in the cloudy skies of Bangalore.
It will play out in public. Most importantly it will play out inside his head and that’s where it will be determined eventually. Can he win the battle of mind over his body?