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Test cricket gives me shivers: Yuvraj

For Yuvraj Singh it was the one opportunity he couldn’t let go so easily. Regarded as India’s best batsman in the one-dayers and Twenty20 cricket, the left-hander has found it really hard to break into the Test team.

So when he finally got his chance after nearly 18 months, he made sure he made the most of it. It was Pakistan once again who suffered at the hands of the elegant left-hander as he smashed a magnificent 169 in the third Test in Bangalore on Saturday.

The 25-year-old later revealed that he was nervous at the start as he walked in to bat with India in trouble at 61 for 4.

“I was very nervous when I went out, I have never been a confident starter in Test cricket because I haven’t played Test cricket,” said the left-hander.

“Test cricket does give me the shivers. But I enjoyed the innings very much. I went out with positive thoughts. I have been batting well, and I told myself that I just needed to be confident and back myself,” Yuvraj added.

When asked what calmed his nerves, he replied: “When I hit my first boundary, after facing 15-20 deliveries. The ball was doing a bit then, I decided to see out that spell. My first aim was a 50-run stand with Sourav [Ganguly].”

Yuvraj also said how disappointed he was to miss out on playing Tests, but also accepted that it is hard to break into the packed Indian middle order.

“It feels bad to sit out, but you must see how many great players we have in the middle order. Rahul [Dravid], Sachin [Tendulkar], [VVS] Laxman and Sourav all have very good Test records. Going out to bat today, I wasn’t worried about the Australia tour and whether I can secure my place in the eleven. I wanted to play for the team, to help the team win the Test,” he said.

The Punjab left-hander also pointed out that his failures in the Test series in West Indies last year had cost him his place in the team.

“I had a very bad Test series in the West Indies, and after that, the rest of the batsmen all played well. I have myself to blame. I stayed motivated, worked hard on my game, and was determined to take my chance when it came my way again. I always knew that I could do well in Test cricket. You have time to settle down and play yourself in. To me, Test cricket is the main thing,” he said.

Yuvraj also rued the fact that he could not carry on to score a double century.

“169 is a lot of runs. I should have got 200, and I am disappointed from a personal point of view that I did not. But I am delighted that Sourav and I hauled the team out of a tough situation, from 61 for four. What is most important for me is that the team is in a good position,” the left-hander said.

He also acknowledged Ganguly’s contribution and said his presence at the other end was a great benefit.

“I enjoyed batting with Sourav because he is also a very attacking player,” said Yuvraj. “He has supported me a lot, it was good to have that stand with him and he also batted really well today.”

Yuvraj has now scored three Test centuries and all have come against Pakistan.

“I have played them more than I have played any other team, so I have made more runs against them. I would like to score runs against other teams too,” he said.

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