In 'most critical phase of career', Yuvraj Singh prepares to start from scratch

Yuvraj SinghYuvraj Singh underwent a six-week fitness sojourn in France under Tim Exter (IE Photo Jasbir Malhi)

It wasn't just the sound of ball hitting the sweet spot on his bat that thrilled Yuvraj Singh. It was the movement of his feet and the body getting behind each ball thrown at him at the nets by his Punjab teammate and former India pacer VRV Singh that brought the smile back on Yuvraj's face.

In Chandigarh for a couple of days, Yuvraj was eager to make it count. After a phone call to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, the "local" star drove down, hitting the gym before opting for a longish net session.

"I am feeling good," Yuvraj told The Indian Express in a chat just after batting, "I will get into the groove soon. I am at the most critical phase of my career and won't mind starting from the scratch."

Most present had seen Yuvraj pick up his earliest cricket lessons at the same ground and some compared his present fitness to that from seven or eight years ago. Yuvraj, fresh from a six-week fitness sojourn in France under noted trainer Tim Exeter, looked slimmer, fitter and stronger, and seemed to have won this round against his fitness.

"In the last 10 days of this year's IPL, I was not feeling fit. My back was hurting a lot. It was then that I decided to train under a professional coach outside India. Zaheer also wanted to do the same. After going through the options, we decided to train under Exeter in France. I wanted to train abroad in order to stay away from distractions and just focus on my fitness. Those six weeks were amazing and worked wonders for me. I am feeling fit and raring to go. Zaheer will extend his fitness regimen in South Africa in the coming weeks," he said.

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