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I am a Yuvraj fan, says Dhoni

Special Correspondent

— Photo: V. Ganesan

HAVING A BALL:Dhoni and Praveen Kumar at the practice session.

CHENNAI: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he wanted the out-of-form Yuvraj Singh to return to the side as quickly as possible.

“I am a fan of Yuvraj. He is a tremendous batsman and a match-winner. Hopefully, we will not miss him in Sri Lanka. But, being the kind of player he is, we might be forced to miss him,” he said while speaking to the media here on Saturday ahead of the side's departure to the emerald island for the Asia Cup.

Not true

Dhoni denied coach Gary Kirsten had singled out a few players for criticism in a team meeting after the debacle in the World Twenty20 in the West Indies.

“There are some stories that go around but we are not bothered by them. There is a lot of media speculation. I can tell you that there was no attempt to pull down any cricketer after our campaign in the West Indies. All that happened was that we had individual meetings with the members of the team which is a standard procedure after every series. There was nothing unusual about it,” he said.

Dhoni expressed confidence that the side would perform well in the Asia Cup. “The pitches at Dambulla (the venue for the competition) are not high-scoring ones. The sides we pick would depend on the conditions.”

The Indian captain agreed that the young Indian pacemen were not really coming through. “They need to play more games, bowl more overs and adjust better to the conditions. Hopefully, a few of them will develop.”

Dhoni also felt that India missed a pace bowling all-rounder. “We have been having this problem for the last two years. It affects the balance of the side,” he said.

The Indian captain was not against changes in the side during the present phase. “We cannot make too many changes closer to the World Cup. If we need to have a look at a few cricketers, we need to do it now.”

Brazilian fan

Talking about the football World Cup, Dhoni said Brazil was his favourite side but added that he would not be supporting it. “Last time I supported Brazil and it lost,” he said.

Having started his sporting journey as a football goalkeeper, Dhoni said, “It is a thankless job, much like wicket-keeping.”

Earlier, the eight members of the Sri Lanka-bound team had a practice session at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

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