Yuvraj Singh's comeback to the Indian Test team, almost exactly a year after he was a part of it last, wasn't a fairytale one. However, he did make a contribution that went a long way in ensuring India set up a huge first innings total against England in the first Test at Ahmedabad.
"It's wonderful to be back in whites. I cherish this experience and playing Test cricket for India is something that I have cherished all my life," said Yuvraj to the official BCCI website after the Ahmedabad win.
Yuvraj missed out on a century in the first innings when he was dismissed off a rank full toss, but made an impact with his 74 as India scored 521. "It was a good start but I should actually have scored a hundred in the first innings," admitted Yuvraj. "I was really upset when I got out on 74. Once you get set, you have to go and score a big one. But unfortunately I couldn't do that."
Yuvraj, who last played a Test for India in November 2011 against West Indies at Eden Gardens, has worked his way back into the Test side with stellar performances in domestic cricket. His comeback to the longer format saw him score a double century in the Duleep Trophy semifinal against Central Zone, before going on to make a half-century in a tour game against England in Mumbai. "I was confident of doing well because I had good all-round performances in my last two domestic games," said Yuvraj.
After making his debut in 2002, he has played just 38 Test matches and hasn't been able to cement a permanent spot in the middle-order, despite being a regular fixture in the limited-overs setup. "There's no point looking back and thinking about what people think of me. I'm back into the team and it's time for me to look forward," he said.
Yuvraj's time away from the game owing to recovery from cancer has seen the rise of Virat Kohli, who has gone on to become one of the most prolific run-scorers for India across all formats. "I think his growth has been phenomenal. He's one of the fittest guys in the team. He's lost a lot of weight and has gotten stronger. He has learnt how to convert 60s and 70s into big hundreds," said Yuvraj. "He works really hard in whatever he does. His attitude towards the game is brilliant. At this age, his focus and determination are worth watching and learning from. He will go from strength to strength."