If Dean Jones is to be believed, Yuvraj Singh will not find a place in the Pune Warriors squad in the Indian Premier League next season. (Watch Deano say it!)
India's World Cup-winning star has been horribly out of form with the bat in IPL 2013 -- 172 runs in 10 games with a highest of 34 -- and a bowling economy rate of 6.86 this season may not be good enough. Jones reveals to NDTV that his Pune 'sources' tell him that Yuvraj is standing in the exit queue. (Read: Kolkata beat Pune)
With fresh auctions slated for IPL 2014, each team will be allowed to retain 2-3 Indian players and the same number of foreign recruits. According to Jones though, his 'sources' in the Pune Warriors side tell him that they would want to retain only one player from their entire squad, and that "he is not an Indian". (Match pics)
By all means, this signals an end to Yuvi's stay at the franchise, who are struggling to avoid a bottom of the points table finish after 11 defeats in 13 matches.
While many reasons are being floated for the dip in form of the dashing left-hander, Jones feels that a stronger leader and a good mentor at the helm would have genuinely helped. (Match stats: Kolkata keep their record vs Pune intact, Yuvraj disappoints)
"When he has done well for India, he has been strongly led by players like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid. With someone to guide him not around, he sulks a bit and gets away with his own. To control him, you need a better, superior player," said the former Australian batsman.
Farokh Engineer though, opined that may be Yuvraj was looking to lead Pune this season and was a bit disappointed at being snubbed for the post. The team though, having won only two matches in the 13 they have played, has chopped and changed skippers at will. Angelo Mathews was the first option, Ross Taylor the second before settling on Aaron Finch.
"He (Yuvi) is not happy there (at Pune Warriors). Perhaps he feels that he should have been appointed the captain. There could not have been a nicer guy but you have got to score big runs. He has scored beautiful 15s and 20s but bigger scores are required.
"He needs to be thankful to God for giving him another opportunity after fighting with cancer," said Engineer.
Both Engineer and Deano agreed that a good team management and mentor, just like Manchester United, can help players a lot but Pune have had a struggle on that front for the whole of this season.