Ganguly's experience will be an asset: Yuvraj

Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 8:15 [IST]
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Ganguly's experience to be asset: Yuvraj

"He''s experienced and I will get help in captaining the team," Yuvraj told reporters here today, the eve of their match against Mumbai Indians.

"Definitely he will bring in some experience," he added.

Ganguly, who was today picked as Ashish Nehra''s replacement following an injury to the left-arm seamer, has however, been ruled out of tomorrow''s tie.

The southpaw from Bengal had backed Yuvraj to the hilt as India skipper and for the Punjab lad, it''s payback time now.

"I share a very good rapport with Sourav. He was a big support for me when I started playing cricket, so I thought (I) stand to play the role vice versa. Guys like Laxman and Dravid are still playing good cricket and so I though he too deserves a chance," Yuvraj said.

While Yuvraj is happy with Ganguly''s addition, questions remain over his fitness.

"We have to see first if he is fit to play. He has not played for a long while. He has not played much cricket, so he needs to come in and show his fitness test. If he''s fit we will definitely pick him," said Yuvraj.

Picking a batsman for an injured bowler does sound a bit surprising, but Yuvraj said Ganguly was picked as they needed experience in batting.

"We always looked for an option, the best option. It was the franchisee''s idea because we were waiting for Ashish''s (Nehra) recovery. He cannot be fit till the IPL finishes.

Looking at the batting we thought we needed someone with experience; that''s why we got Sourav. But he would not play tomorrow. He''s not in the running," said Yuvraj, who made his international debut under Ganguly.

"(Our) concern was what was the best option for Ashish Nehra. We have a lot of bowlers but we needed someone experienced in the batting line-up who is an also Indian and who will not hamper a foreigner playing. That''s why we went for Sourav," he elaborated.

Ganguly went unsold in the players auctions held in January, after he raised his base price from USD 200,000 to 400,000.

Yuvraj is also hoping to see Graeme Smith on the field at the earliest.

"Hopefully, once Greame also becomes fit, our team will become stronger. Smith is good, he''s much better now. We will assess his fitness tomorrow," the Pune skipper said.


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