Ashish Nehra, who retired last year in November had made a comeback to the Indian cricket after a long gap. He inspired many to get back in the side with consistent performance. Former India cricketer and a good friend of Nehra, Virender Sehwag has told Yuvraj Singh to look after the pacer for a comeback in the Indian side.
In an interview with Times of India, when asked if Yuvraj can still make a comeback into the Indian team, Sehwag said, "That's up to the selectors. If he performs in domestic cricket, or passes (yoyo), then why not? If Ashish Nehra can make a comeback at 36, why not Yuvi."
He also said that Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh is what he wants for his franchise. "I think the fans would want Punjab stars like Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh in the Kings XI team." He doesn't agree with critics who feel that Yuvraj is now past his best. "He's not in the Indian team, but Yuvraj is still an amazing player. His talent is intact. Even a current India player can lose form. I don't think we'll get a player like him again. If his form his good, he's a match-winner."
Sehwag is campaigning for the upcoming IPL which will be broadcasted on Star Sports. The 39-year-old spoke about what expectations he has from the next season. "I want to see fours and sixes whether from my team or any other team, because that is the kind of cricket I have played and that is what I want to see," he said.
He knows about the players who will fetch big amounts in the IPL auction scheduled to be held on 27th and 28th January. "Ben Stokes, Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Starc are the international players everyone wants. I won't be surprised if Stokes goes for around $1.5 million. I expect the capped India players to fetch around Rs10-12cr too. Among the uncapped players, Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda would be in demand," he predicts.
Sehwag explained why they retained Akshar Patel for the upcoming season. "We can use the 'Right to Match' card to retain Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. We felt that if Axar goes into the auction, we may have to pay much more to buy him, since he's an India all-rounder." Elaborating his faith in the tall left-arm spinner, Sehwag says: "When we bought him, he was an uncapped player. Now he's such a capable player, that he's overtaken Ravindra Jadeja to be a part of the Indian One-day and T20 sides."
Does he think that Kings XI Punjab is a comparatively 'smaller' team, and at a disadvantage because the other sides get to retain top Indian players? "There isn't any small team in the IPL, the purse size (Rs 80 cr) stays the same for all and everyone will try to spend their entire purse. In fact, in this year's auction, the best part is that we and Rajasthan Royals have the most amount of money to spend," he says, before addressing the perception.
"However, we're called a 'small' team because we don't have 'big' players. In 2014, we had a team with not too many star players, but we reached the final using a limited purse. Our aim this time is to spend money to buy many Indian players," he explains.