Delhi Daredevils at last registered their first win in 12 matches on Wednesday when they beat Kings XI Punjab by five wickets in Pune. Yuvraj Singh, the man Daredevils had long been expecting to fire, came good and scored a 39-ball 55 in the team’s maiden win in IPL 2015. But the left-hander is not satiated and says taking the team, which took the wooden spoon in 2013 and 2014, back to the status of “one of the top teams” is what he is targeting.
“We weren’t happy with our last three performances. It was important to win. The more games you win, the more settled you look. If you don’t win, there is a lot of uncertainly. So I think as we win a lot of games, the team will look better. We look quite settled at the moment,” Yuvraj told reporters on Friday.
Yuvraj last played for India in the World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014. When asked about his chances of an India return, Yuvraj said bringing Daredevils back as one of the top teams was all he was thinking of presently. “I’m not thinking that far. I’m enjoying my cricket. I had a decent domestic season. I’m looking forward to this IPL. As a team, you want to get Delhi back on track, where they belonged in the first four years. That’s our goal at the moment.”
Before the match against Kings XI Punjab, Yuvraj, who fetched Rs 16 core at the February auctions, was under fire for not giving performances commensurate to his price. “I was actually sleeping when the auction was going on. I didn’t ask for that much money. I would have played for any amount. Cricket is the most important thing for me,” Yuvraj said.
The 33-year-old also said that more than his return to form, he was happy to have contributed in a big way to the team’s win. “Not in terms of getting runs but in terms of winning after 11 losses [when asked how important his knock was against Kings XI Punjab]. That was hurting the team badly. I thought we played really played good cricket in the first two games and lost off the last ball. We needed one win to boost our morale. Great determination from the boys and hopefully, we can get a few more wins. That’s the main goal at the moment.”
Taking about his knock, Yuvraj said, “In T20s, you don’t have much time to settle in. In the last game I had a lot of overs to plan my innings. I needed some time in the middle so I’m glad to have got some runs for the team. It was important for us to get those two points.”
Yuvraj also spoke of Daredevils head coach Gary Kirsten in glowing terms. It was under Kirsten as India coach that Yuvraj had won the Man-of-the-Series award in the 2011 World Cup. “We have a great understanding. I feel somehow Gary gets the best out of me. When he was the coach of the Indian team, he was managing 16 players. Managing a squad of 25 players is a lot of responsibility [taking about the Daredevils squad]. He is great for the team. He is someone who is always pushes me. It gives me a lot of confidence. Very happy to be working again with Gary,” Yuvraj said.
Daredevils next play Sunrisers Hyderabad at Vizag on Saturday and Yuvraj has predicted the spinners to have a field day there. “Vizag suits spinners. It’s [the pitch] a bit slow in the afternoon and picks up a bit in the evening. I think spinners will play a vital role tomorrow.”