Yuvraj Singh hints at mentoring role to prepare Team India for challenges ahead

Former cricketer Yuvraj Singh speaks to media persons during the launch of a facility of Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence, in Kolkata, on January 13, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI

World Cup-winning hero, Yuvraj Singh on January 13 hinted at a potential mentorship role in the future to mentally prepare the Indian cricket team for the challenges ahead.

India has waited endlessly in their quest for an ICC trophy, with the team suffering another defeat in the 2023 World Cup final against Australia last year.

India won the Champions Trophy under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2013, while their last World Cup triumph came in 2011.

“I feel that we have played a lot of finals but not won one. I was part of one of the finals when we lost to Pakistan in 2017,” the 42-year-old said while inaugurating ‘Yuvraj Centres of Excellence’ at Merlin Rise here.

“In the coming years, we definitely need to work on, as a country and as an Indian team, performing better under pressure.

“Australia have won six World Cups, and we have (won) two. How we win major championships is something we need to work on,” added Yuvraj.

India have lost two consecutive World Test Championship finals (2021, 2023) and exited the 2015 and 2019 ODI World Cups at the the semifinal stage.

India, after emerging champions in the 2007 T20 World Cup, were ousted in the 2014 final and lost in the last-four stage of the 2016 and 2022 editions.

Expressing concern, he said, “I feel, yes, there is something (missing). When the big moment comes, our physical preparation is there, but mentally we need to make those decisions.

“I think, that is something I was talking about — motivating the young guys, teaching them how to handle pressure and play their game. That’s been our challenge. We have the game, and we have guys who can bat under pressure, but the whole team has to do that, not just one or two guys.

“Mentoring is something I love to do. In the coming years, when my kids are settled, I want to give back to cricket and help the young guys get better. I think we face a lot of mental challenges in big tournaments. I believe in the mental aspect, I can really come in and work with these guys in the future.

“I feel that I can contribute a lot, especially in the middle order. I have the confidence to work with the young guys, addressing not only their technique but also the mental challenges that come with cricket.”

IPL route

The stylish former India all-rounder indicated he would like to be a mentor of an IPL side.

“Let’s see what opportunities I get, but my priority is my kids right now. Once they start school, I will have more time. so I can pick up (coaching). I love working with the young guys, especially my state boys, and I feel that mentoring is something that I would love to do, and definitely to be part of one of the IPL teams, I’m definitely looking at.

“I asked Mr Ashish Nehra (Gujarat Titans) for a job, but he declined it. So, let’s see where else I can get a position, but at the moment, I have to balance.” “So, definitely in the coming years, I want to give back to cricket and help the young guys get better. I can contribute a lot.”

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