Photo credit: BCCI.
Bangalore: Star batsman Yuvraj Singh came in for praise for his magnificent 68 not out which set up Bangalore Royal Challengers' win over Delhi Daredevils in their IPL match here with rival team captain Kevin Pietersen describing him a superstar of the game.
"I can tell you something for free. That man (Yuvraj) batted like an absolute superstar. Recently, he got a lot of criticism but he has proven those people wrong," Pietersen said after his side Delhi Daredevils lost by 16 runs.
"He was just unbelievable, hitting those sixes and taking his side to that score. I was always smiling (when he hit those sixes)," said Pietersen who has had run-ins with Yuvraj in the past over "pie-chucker" comment.
Yuvraj hit nine sixes and a four from just 29 deliveries in his sensational 29-ball unbeaten 68 to take Bangalore to 186 for four to set up a 16-run win. The Englishman also conceded that it would be virtually impossible for his side to make it to the play-offs, having secured just four points from 10 matches to languish at the bottom of the eight-team league table.
"We have to build for next season as there's an unrealistic chance of making it to the play-offs," he said. Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said that all the doubts about Yuvraj`s future should be put to rest. "It's been very pleasing to see Yuvi bat like that. Many people have written him off recently but all those who doubted him should put those doubts to rest," Kohli said.
"In life and cricket he has always come back stronger and for that I respect him a lot. He is a world class player and will remain so till he plays the game," he said. Talking about today's win, Kohli said, "Feels amazing, really wanted that win. In the field, we made a few lapses but overall a good performance," Kohli said.
"It's important not to panic and this time I told Chahal to back himself and I backed my bowlers too. We have to take it one game at a time and the results will follow." Yuvraj, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match said the belief in him by his team management and senior players helped him a lot in building self confidence.
"It was important we finished well. I started really well and just kept believing in myself and seniors like Daniel Vettori and Muralitharan believed in me. I wanted to come to a place where I can be myself and play my game and thanks to Vijay Mallya for bringing me over here," he said.