Dhoni removes the pressure from Yuvraj

India

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended India's decision to select Yuvraj Singh, after another failure in the second ODI against the West Indies at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended India's decision to select Yuvraj Singh, after another failure in the second ODI against the West Indies at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

Yuvraj fell for a disappointing 28 in a final total of 288 for seven on Sunday. The West Indies later won the fixture on the back of fine half-centuries from opener Kieran Powell, the left-handed Darren Bravo, the hard-hitting Lendl Simmons and skipper Darren Sammy.

Singh, in fact, has managed a mere 63 runs in the country's last eight ODIs. Dhoni, however, has backed the left-hander to form ahead of Wednesday's series decider in Kanpur.

"He is someone who can bat well at number four, someone who can really dominate the opposition," said Dhoni. "The last few games, he has struggled a bit.

"At times it happens when you're under pressure, the first 15 to 20 deliveries become crucial. If you're not able to pass that phase, you have to be considerate about it. Once he gets a few runs, you'll see a different Yuvraj.

"Apart from the talent he has, he's someone who does really well once he's confident and dominates a tournament or series by series. He makes sure the team wins a tournament.

"Yuvraj is under a bit of pressure. We wanted Yuvi to be comfortable at his slot. He has batted well at number four. Give him a series. We don't really have any options. I still stand by it. But at the same time, we need to see if we can take some pressure off Yuvraj."

The host bowlers endured a testing challenge in Visakhapatnam, where dew – and an increasingly wet ball – played a large role in an unsuccessful defence of a formidable total, built on the back of batsman Virat Kohli's outstanding 99.

"The bowlers did a fantastic job to take the game to the last over. Overall I'm very happy with the performance. It was tough for them. But I was happy with the way they bowled as a unit. If you see the whole of 2013, they have done well," concluded Dhoni.

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