India v New Zealand, 2nd T20, ChennaiFocus Back on Yuvraj in 2nd Twenty2010-Sep-2012 16:57:00 GMT
Chennai: Two days after his much-awaited comeback match was washed out due to persistent rain, the focus is back on Yuvraj Singh as he looks to resume his innings in international cricket with the second Twenty20 game between India and New Zealand on Tuesday.
The first T20 in Visakhapatnam was called off without a ball being bowled, leaving the thousands who had thronged the stadium to watch Yuvraj's much-anticipated return from a successful battle against a rare germ cell cancer, disappointed as rain had the final say.
Yuvraj was diagnosed with the ailment between his lungs within months of winning the Man of the Tournament award in the 2011 World Cup.
His career looked in jeopardy when the diagnosis was first revealed but the flamboyant all-rounder fought back after undergoing three cycles of chemotherapy in USA.
After a satisfactory rehabilitation programme at the NCA, the 30-year-old left-hander will be donning the Team India jersey for the first time post-treatment, and he will surely look to make a statement at the MA Chidambaram stadium.
His last international appearance was the Kolkata Test against the West Indies in November last year, while it was more than a year ago when he last played a T20 (against South Africa on January 9, 2011).
Besides Yuvraj, the match will also mark Harbhajan Singh's return to the squad after a long layoff. The off-spinner had gone out of favour after being blanked 0-4 in the disastrous England tour in July-August last year.
The visitors may hold an edge statistically having won all their three T20 ties against India, but the hosts will still start as favourites after their 2-0 sweep in the Test series.
New Zealand have been struggling for a while now, having lost three consecutive Test series (against South Africa, West Indies and India).
The Black Caps will look to experienced campaigners such as Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills the three have joined the side for the T20s -- for a turnaround in their fortunes ahead of the World T20.
Captain Ross Taylor, who struck a counter-attacking century in the Test series, and big-hitting opener Brendon McCullum will have to shoulder the batting responsibility.
The visitors will also expect handy contributions from pacers Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee and James Franklin.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Ashok Dinda, Piyush Chawla and Manoj Tiwary.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Brendon McCullum (wk), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Nathan McCullum, Ronnie Hira, Kyle Mills and BJ Watling.
Pitch and conditions
There have been showers in Chennai late in the evenings. India managed to practice, but it reportedly rained after 4pm on the eve of the game. The forecast is for cloudy weather on match day.
Stats and trivia
- The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will be hosting its first Twenty20 international.
- Chennai had its share of high-scoring games during the 2012 IPL, with a season run-rate of 8.01. Super Kings' 222 for 5 against Delhi Daredevils in Chennai was the highest team score for the tournament.
- In the 2012 IPL, spinners accounted for 33 wickets in Chennai, second only behind Eden Gardens (34).
September 11, 2012 (day/night)
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)