\"I think their best bowler Gul finished one of his 4 overs early,\" said Yuvraj after India won the Motera T20.
Ahmedabad: Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj Singh on Friday said that Mohammed Hafeez's strategy to give Umar Gul an extra over earlier turned out to be decisive as it helped him target Saeed Ajmal at the death.
Gul had bowled three of his four overs within the 16th over and it was Ajmal who went for 22 in the penultimate over where Yuvraj hit him for three sixes. "I think their best bowler Umar Gul finished one of his four overs early - the one that he was to bowl at the death. So Dhoni and I knew that one over would be bowled by a spinner and we would target him," Yuvraj told mediapersons at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Yuvraj's 36-ball-72 had seven huge sixes but by his own admission, he never thinks about hitting sixes. "I don't think of hitting a six. I just back myself to react with my natural instincts. If it is there to be hit, I will hit it. I am just trying to watch the ball because if you make plans early and the ball is not there to be hit, you get out," he added.
Although he agreed that T20 requires different mindset but there is no substitute to good cricketing shots. "I think T20, it is a different mindset but at the end of the day you still have to play good cricketing shots. We have to bowl in the right areas to get good batsmen out.
"It is just that in T20, you get less time to get set and you have to straight away start hitting the balls. That is why batting averages aren't high and you don't get time to set in and hit those balls. But today, I got to bat in the seventh over and got three to four overs to get set and that really made the difference," he said.
Reminded about India's victory against Australia in the World Cup where he played a big part, he said, "Every game is a fresh game and you don't know what is going to happen but yes we have fond memories of beating Australia at this ground. This ground has been lucky for me as I have always scored runs and always done well. The crowd was amazing, the buzz was amazing and I enjoyed it. I will remember this game for a long time though."
Yuvraj welcomes the inclusion of the youngsters in this format. "New players are coming and the format is such that new players can perform well also. The inclusion of youngsters is very important in T20 cricket. The mix of youngsters and seniors is important."
He also complimented the efforts of the fielders as they held onto catches at crucial junctures. "We knew they were going to come hard at us. It was a high-scoring game and their batsman did well. Hafeez was outstanding in both his innings and the match was going anywhere. One or two hits and it could have gone their way. Catches of Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were exceptional at pressure times. Because of our fielding, we won the game," he said.
He also praised the bowlers and said they have learnt from their mistakes in the previous two defeats. "For death bowlers, it is difficult to come and bowl, with batsmen trying to swing everywhere and I think Dinda bowled really well. He got his yorkers this time."
He also praised young Bhuvneshwar Kumar. "Bhuvneshwar carried very well from the last game. He is new talent that we have found, who can get better for India. Ishant came in after a couple of months and took the responsibility of bowling the last over. This showed they have learnt their lessons from the previous games," he said.
On his own approach to the game, the left-hander said, "I just wanted to stay till the end. In the previous games, I just held up a bit and I just got the opportunity to bat in the seventh over, so I thought to get set and then try hitting. I didn't have a good net yesterday and initially I was distracted a little bit. I thought it was important for me to bat till the last five overs."