Saturday, April 11, 2009

IPL ideal preparation for T20 WC: Yuvraj

Flamboyant Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh sees the second edition of the Indian Premier League in South Africa as the perfect dress rehearsal for cricket playing nations ahead of the World Twenty20 Championship in England in June."The IPL has come at the right time to help all (countries) to prepare for the T20 World Cup. It will give all the players lot of practice as each team will play at least 14 matches. It's going to get better, the World T20 Cup (because of IPL)," the left-hander told reporters here on Saturday.Yuvraj, who is the captain of Kings XI Punjab, co-owned by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, was here along with the latter to announce Emirates association with the Mohali-based outfit as its official team sponsor.Yuvraj, who did not have a successful Test series in New Zealand which India won 1-0 to rewrite history in Kiwi soil after 41 years, said the Kings XI would play similar to what they dished out last year en route the semi-finals in the first edition of the cash-rich T20 league."We won 8-10 games (actually ten out of 14 before losing to Chennai Super Kings in the semi-finals on May 31, 2008) last year. We will play in a similar fashion," he said.He, however, refused to be drawn into a debate on the controversial multiple captaincy theory put forth by Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan."No comments. I do not want to say anything about other teams," Yuvraj said and skirted away from the raging debate that started in the country ahead of Knight Riders' departure for South Africa a few days ago.The decision of the former Australia coach to introduce multiple captains for the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata outfit was opposed by Sourav Ganguly, who led the franchise team last year and is a member of the team this year too.

To add to fuel to the fire, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar rubbished Buchanan's performance as Australia coach in his newspaper column.To raise the heat further, Shah Rukh, taking a dig at a press meet before his team's departure, said he had spent a lot of money to buy the team and if anyone had any problem with the way it was run they should buy their own team and run the way they want it to be.Yuvraj also refused to single out any side as Kings XI's main rival, having lost to the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the semis last year, and said all eight teams were good."I don't want to single out any team. Not only Chennai but there are lot of other good teams as well. Let us do it on the ground instead of talking," the power-hitting batsman said.Yuvraj felt the performance of fast bowlers would be a key factor in the coming IPL as the wickets in South Africa are faster than the Indian pitches where the first edition was played.

"The conditions will be different to last year's. The wickets will be fast and fast bowling will be important and their performance would be crucial," he said.He also said his team had enough options on this front even though Australian pace ace Brett Lee would not be available for the entire duration of the tournament from April 18-May 24."I'm sure we have enough fast bowling options. Lee is available (for part of the tournament). We have to go there and see what is the best balance," he said.Team co-owner Zinta butted in to say that the team had Australian pacer Burt Cockley in its rank."He (Cockley) bowls at 140 kilometres per hour. We have a lot of aces up our sleeves," she said.

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