I was not trying to prove anything: Yuvraj

After singlehandedly demolishing the England bowling line-up, Yuvraj Singh said he did not intend to prove anything to anyone.

updated: November 14, 2008 17:11 IST
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After singlehandedly demolishing the England bowling and setting up India's huge 158-run victory in the first one-dayer on Friday, Yuvraj Singh said he did not intend to prove anything to anyone.

"Yes, it was disappointing to miss out on the Test series against Australia but I was very happy with the Indian team's performance (2-0 series win). I did not go into the match today with the intention of proving anything to anyone other than myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I was good enough to play at this level," said the left-handed powerhouse after tearing into the England bowlers.

Yuvraj, who struck seven sixes and 15 fours in his 78-ball blitz and narrowly missed out on joining former captain Mohammed Azharuddin as the scorer of the fastest one-day hundred for India, said initially he was a bit nervous coming to the crease but the blazing start given by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir helped him take his time to settle down.

"I was a bit nervous as I had not scored many runs over the last few weeks. But the blazing start provided by Viru and Gambhir allowed me to play quietly in the beginning. The fact that Suresh Raina was playing shots at the other end also eased the pressure on me. It game me time to settle down and in getting to know what the wicket was about," he said.

Yuvraj rated the knock as among his best in one-day cricket, said he was not surprised with the decision of rival captain Kevin Pietersen of allowing him a runner as the injury had happened when he was batting and he had not carried it into the game.

"I felt a twitch when I turned for a run when Pietersen was bowling. It was an injury that happened when I batted and I had not carried it into the match. I was not surprised when the runner was allowed," he said.

The 26-year-old Punjab player, who notched up his ninth hundred and reached it in 64 balls as compared to Azhar's 62, hoped he would play the next tie at Indore on Monday.

"I want to play the next match, but would not play if I am not hundred per cent fit. I felt some problem only while pulling the ball. The team physiotherapist (Dr Nitin Patel) will let you know of my progress," he said.

The left-handed batsman said he was not exactly sure about the Indian record for the fastest hundred in ODIs and felt it was something between 60 and 65 balls.

Yuvraj said that on Indian wickets which aided spin and was not easy for the fast bowlers to bowl on, he was surprised to see the absence of left-arm spinner Monty Panesar from the visitors' one-day team.

"Indian wickets do not favour fast bowlers but help the spinners. That's why I'm surprised Monty is not playing. He bowls in the good areas and spins the ball well," he noted.

Though the England bowlers had been taken to the cleaners by the Indian batting line-up led by his whirlwind innings, Yuvraj rated the tourists' pace attack quite highly and said it was better than when they came here in 2005-06 and got thrashed 5-1 by the hosts.

"It's much better attack than two years ago. Flintoff is fit now and Harmison is also back. I rate the attack very highly and any captain would be pleased to have such an attack at his disposal," he said.