India coach Gary Kirsten today said that player-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh was a focused and fitter cricketer after making his comeback in the team and was determined to become the best fielder in the just-concluded World Cup.
"Around 7-8 months ago he lost his place in the Test squad. He made some personal decisions and spent a lot of time doing a one-on-one with (team's mental conditioning coach) Paddy Upton. I got a sense 6 months ago that he was moving into a new space as a person and a cricketer," Kirsten told reporters here during his farewell press conference.
"I could not believe how focused he was when he came back to the World Cup squad. He was prepared, fitter and worked a lot on his bowling. Most impressive was the fact that he wanted to be the best fielder in the World Cup," the South African said about the Punjab all-rounder, who made 369 runs and picked up 15 wickets in the tournament.
Kirsten said Yuvraj's presence, along with young Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, inside the 30-yard circle gave a sharp edge to India's fielding and helped the team lift the World Cup for the second time after 28 years.
"With him, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli in the ring made a massive difference to the team. For Yuvi to end up as the man-of-the-tournament, I am extremely proud of him," he said.