Yuvraj says to win IPL, May is the right time to peak

To win IPL, teams must peak in May, writes Yuvraj Singh in his column in The Times Of India. “Delhi are a clear cut leader with ten points. But three teams, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore are just one point away. After that you have Rajasthan, Mumbai and Pune with eight points each. All these teams are within striking distance of each other and this table will continue to change every day. But now is the time to consolidate. Winning the IPL is all about how you play in the month of May or the second half of the tournament. That’s where the characters of the teams are tested. Peaking at the right time is the key to win this tournament,” writes Yuvraj.

Meanwhile, Yuvraj Singh was present in the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium to cheer his team Pune Warriors on Thursday. According a report in Hindustan Times says that the Pune Warriors warmed up in their grey and yellow training gear, ahead of the game against the Deccan Chargers, one man, wearing the Warriors’ match jersey and training trouser, gently knocked the ball on the adjacent strip. “The focus was on the bald man and rightly so. It was the first time in three months, since his recovery from germ cell cancer, did Yuvraj Singh spend some time on a cricket field. No wonder, rather than the match, almost every spectator at the near-full Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium was keen on following India's World Cup hero through the evening,” adds the report.

According to another newspaper report, as soon as Yuvraj entered the ground, he was greeted by the Warriors' owners. He then received a 'welcome back' kind of tight hug from teammate Robin Uthappa.

After sharing a joke or two with Rahul Sharma and Mithun Manhas, it was time to give a pep talk to the Warriors' squad during their huddle at the start of the warm-ups. After pushing a few balls, Yuvraj got another hug from Sunil Gavaskar, which was followed by a brief chat. What ensued were a series of interviews with the official IPL broadcaster.

If it was surprising to see Yuvraj motivate the players instead of skipper Sourav Ganguly, one just needed to recall that at the start of IPL V, Ganguly had said that he wouldn't have been leading the side but for Yuvraj's ill-health.

According to a report in The Times Of India, while bowlers all over the world and especially in the various T20 leagues shudder at the prospect of bowling to Chris Henry Gayle, there is something that petrifies the most destructive batsman of IPL V too. “Yes,” says the smiling assassin. “I’m scared to play the cute sweep or a reverse shot as the ball may hit me on the face if I miss it,” the West Indian superstar told TOI on the sidelines of a luxury car’s promotional event in the city on Thursday.

Is that the reason why one doesn’t see him emulate his Bangalore teammates, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers, who excel at innovative stroke-play? “No, not really. In fact, there was no need to play such shots so far and that’s why I have been playing to my strength (hitting straight) and it’s been going well till now,” said the Jamaican, who has amassed 250 runs in seven matches at an average of 41.66 runs with an amazing strike rate of 152.43 runs so far for the Team Bangalore this season.