It’s just a one-off Twenty20 tie between two teams with different goals and expectations to keep.
However, for Yuvraj Singh, who makes international comeback after eight months, the India-Australia contest here on Thursday is yet another win in one more of his battles, which he fights regularly now.
With a name that literally translates as Prince, Yuvraj showed his preparedness for the big battle that lies ahead as he faced bowlers at nets here at the Khanderi Stadium.
A veteran of 282 ODIs and 33 T20Is, he appeared as confident as ever. Ready for yet another big game and long series. His body language positive as he made a grand beginning to his assault bisecting a group of photographers inside the practice ground on the eve of the match. And he has been active in the nets ever since he landed in Rajkot.
Despite his recent improvements, Yuvraj will be in sharp focus. There is going to be no sympathy.
If he fails, it will be seen in the same light as anybody else’s. There will be tonnes of pressure on him.
And his captain MS Dhoni believes so too and said the 31-year-old will perform well if he manages to keep his mind off pressure and expectations.
“We are trying to keep it as normal as possible...if it becomes like a comeback scenario, I think there is a kind of pressure on the player. It doesn’t matter if you are one of the biggest match-winners. It is very important to take that feeling away from the individual that he is making his comeback,” Dhoni said.
The captain also added his team will ensure that the pressure is not on the southpaw.
“What’s important is for the individual to be expressive on field, back himself, have belief in his talent, the kind of talent that he has got. Ultimately that will show on the field. We will try to keep it as normal as possible and try to take the undue pressure off him and hopefully that will work,” Dhoni said.
Austalia captain George Bailey, standing-in for injured Michael Clarke, is well aware of Yuvraj’s credentials. And the Kangaroos consider him an explosive batsman. “Last night we just saw highlights on television where he played match-winning knock against Australia in World Cup. We know how dangerous a player he is,” said Bailey referring to Yuvraj’s exploits in World Cup where he was named ‘Man of the Tournament’.