While most of the top domestic players are being involved in the ongoing Duleep Trophy tournament, the BCCI on Thursday (September 7) announced the fourth string 14-member Board President’s XI squad for the warm-up game against Australia.
Despite the unavailability of big names from the domestic circuit, the board of selectors relied upon some rookies and IPL talents instead of giving veteran Yuvraj Singh a spot in even the fourth string side.
Yuvraj — who couldn’t make it to the Indian limited overs squad against Sri Lanka after failing in the ‘Yo Yo’ test — hasn’t been named in the Duleep Trophy as well. While another of his mates in the national side Suresh Raina, who failed in the same test as Yuvraj, has been named the captain of the India Blue side.
Raina, thus, is part of the top 45 domestic players in the country whom the selectors are keeping an eye.
However, the selectors are hardly going to make any changes to the Indian squad that returned unconquered from the tour of Sri Lanka and there is a high probability of the same squad being pitted against Australia, barring a couple of replacements due to health issues.
Yuvraj, on the other hand, has not been able to earn a spot in any of the teams, comprising 74 players in all, picked up by the BCCI.
This clearly indicates that the 37-year-old is no more in the coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli’s scheme of things and the fitness of the southpaw is the biggest reason for that.
“Yuvraj’s fitness standards have fallen drastically and coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli has time and again indicated that a certain fitness standard is a must to make the cut in the national team. The selectors want to look ahead and so does the team management,” a BCCI official, privy to selection matters, was quoted by PTI as saying.
The young lot of players like Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul have already proven their mettle in the middle-order and this makes Yuvraj’s comeback chances grimmer.
Thus, it seems this is an end of the road for Yuvraj Singh, a veteran of 304 ODIs, in the Indian side as there is no dearth of talented and capable players in the existing team.