WC 2003 - Dogged Yuvraj unfazed by opposition bowlers~~ repute

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2003, 2:17 [IST]
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Pretoria (South Africa): His daring batting in crunch situations has made Yuvraj Singh a key batsman in India's campaign for the World Cup, and the left-hander says that he is not too worried by the reputation of bowlers he attacks.He hit a cracking unbeaten 50 in India's win over Pakistan on Saturday in a tense match, but Yuvraj maintained on Monday that he was not "overawed" and had backed himself to score runs.Yuvraj describes himself as a fan of Pakistan's opening bowler Wasim Akram and said that when he walked to the wicket it was a dream come true to face the legendary bowler. He was thrilled to have scored a 50. "I have been a great fan of Wasim Akram. It was a dream come true to face him and also manage to score runs against him. He's been a legend in his lifetime," said Yuvraj as he prepared to take leave for Cape Town where India will meet the second-placed team in Group 'B' on Friday in a Super Six clash."But I was not overawed by Akram's presence and backed myself to score runs. I am not too worried about reputations and try to do my job to the best of my ability," he said, thrilled with the fact that he was able to score important runs in such a big game.However, this was not the first time Yuvraj has played such a crucial knock. He emerged on the scene with a brilliant match-winning 84 against Australia in the ICC Knock-out Trophy in Nairobi in 2000, an innings that was refreshed in memory after Yuvraj's performance against Pakistan. "The Nairobi knock was a better one but this values high in my list as it came against Pakistan and there was much more pressure because of the World Cup stage," Yuvraj said."I can now imagine how it must have been when we beat Pakistan in Bangalore in 1996. Everyone tells me the feeling is the same."Now that India is doing well, Yuvraj is unwilling to talk about the failures on the New Zealand tour where he, along with the rest of the batters, fared miserably."There is no reason to look back at New Zealand. The team is in good form and we need to carry this forward." Yuvraj Singh was still in awe of that incredible innings from Sachin Tendulkar that took the game away from Pakistan and just could not help talking about his childhood hero."He is the greatest in my eye. He can attack and he can defend. He is so good he can bat in any situation in whatever way he takes a fancy for the bowling," Yuvraj said echoing the feelings of millions of Tendulkar fans."It was a high pressure game and there was great excitement but so brilliant was Sachin in the initial overs that I had more than enough time to settle down," said Yuvraj, who was just a starry-eyed seven-year-old kid when Tendulkar made his international debut against Pakistan in 1989."I have seen so many innings of his that it's difficult for me to comment which is his best. Which one should I single out? Should it be his knocks in Sharjah against Australia in 1998 or the one played against Pakistan in Centurion?"Yuvraj was also impressed by Rahul Dravid with whom he shared two match-winnings stands in the games against England and Pakistan."Rahul and I have shared a few good stands over the past few years. He is a very mature head and a thorough professional. His presence is a great confidence to me at the other end." PTI

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