Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh on Tuesday questioned India batting coach Vikram Rathour’s ability to guide Indian cricketers in the T20 format. Rathour had replaced Sanjay Bangar as the batting coach last year. Rathour played six Tests and seven ODIs for India between 1996 and 1997.
“He [Rathour] is my friend. But do you think he can help players of this T20 generation? Has he played cricket at the level to help them?” Yuvraj said during a chat on Instagram.
Yuvraj called for a horses for courses approach in the Indian setup. “If I was a coach, I’ll say ‘good night’ to [Jasprit] Bumrah at 9pm and take Hardik [Pandya] out for a drink at 10pm...that’s how you deal with different personalities,” he said.
The left-hander, who had retired from international cricket last year, also took a veiled dig at India chief coach Ravi Shastri. “The current guys have no one to talk to and take advice from,” he said. When asked if it is not Shastri’s job to guide the players, Yuvraj said: “I don’t know if Ravi is doing it but maybe he has others things on hand.
“Anyway, you can’t tell everyone: ‘Go out and play your game, express yourself.’ This approach may work with someone like [Former opener Virender] Sehwag, but this will never work with [Test mainstay Cheteshwar] Pujara. This is something that the coaching staff need to realise.”
The 38-year-old also tipped all-rounder Hardik Pandya to break his fastest T20 fifty record, which he recorded against England in India’s successful T20 World Cup triumph in 2007. The southpaw hit six sixes in an over off pace ace Stuart Broad.
“Hardik Pandya could be the guy who breaks my record of fastest T20 fifty. He has all the makings of becoming a great all-rounder, but then again, you need to have someone to guide him in the team,” Yuvraj added.
Shifting focus to the Indian Premier League, Yuvraj revealed that he did not enjoy his time at Kings XI Punjab, with whom he has had two stints.
He said: “I wanted to run away from Kings XI Punjab. The management didn’t like me there. They did nothing I’d asked them to do and when I left, they bought all the players I had been asking them to. I love Punjab but I did not like the way the franchise was run.”
The World Cup-winner also slammed the selection of players during last year’s World Cup, where Virat Kohli and Co exited at the semi-final against New Zealand. “The selection during the 2019 World Cup was shocking. You need people to question those decisions when players who have played five ODIs are playing in the middle order,” Yuvraj said.
“Can the current lot of selectors question these decisions when they themselves have played only five ODIs?”
Yuvraj also took blame for his painstaking 21-ball 11 in the T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka in 2014.
He said: “I take full responsibility for that final loss. I couldn’t hit the ball. But then, the Lankans bowled very well. Even the other batsmen struggled but fans and media made me the villain. There were stones thrown on my house in Chandigarh. When I came home, I saw my India cap and the bat I hit six sixes with and realised my time was up.”