Yuvraj to go Sehwagian in the opening slot

Published: Monday, June 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore :A day after skipper Sourav Ganguly declared him as the first choice opener in Test matches, Yuvraj Singh said he is preparing for the new role with a changed mind-set and keen to use the opportunity to score big knocks.

"It's going to be a change in the batting order, and I have to go up the order. I am going to prepare for it.... practice the new ball and it's a different challenge," he said in Bangalore on Monday.

"I think it's also advantage that if one sees through the new ball, one can also score big runs. So, I am looking forward to the challenge," said Yuvraj, who is in Bangalore attending the week-long fitness camp.

Strongly backing him for opener's role, Ganguly on Sunday said that Yuvraj is a class act, has the ability and mindset to open and should not be kept out of the team.

Asked if he would be changing his batting style to suit the needs of an opening batsman, Yuvraj said: "It's not going to be much of a change about style. It's just to see off the new ball and (then) play your shots. I think it's the change of mindset (that's needed)."

Yuvraj hinted that he would try to follow the footsteps of Virender Sehwag, who was also promoted from the middle order to the opener's spot.

"He (Virender Sehwag) has set a very good example... he has done tremendously in the opener's slot. So, if I can do the same and be as successful as Sehwag, it's good for the team," he said.

And will he return to the middle order if he does not succeed in the new role? Yuvraj has an answer for that.

"When you play cricket at international level, you don't think about ifs and don'ts. Whatever the situation, you have to go through with it, and be positive about it."

Yuvraj paid some credit to senior players for the success of youngsters like him, Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan, saying they are very comfortable with the experienced cricketers.

"They make us feel very good amongst themselves, and they don't put much of pressure on us. We gel together very nicely," he said.

Yuvraj said he can't say which of the series at home -- against Australia or South Africa -- would be tougher, saying the focus is now on the July Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

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