Hyderabad [India], Apr. 6 : After striking a blistering half century in the opening game of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), flamboyant Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh has insisted that his return to India's ODI team has allowed to play more freely and he is now more "free in his mind".
Yuvraj struck a match-winning 62 off 27 for Sunrisers Hyderabad as the defending champions defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 35 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday evening.
"I enjoyed my batting tonight. My batting has been up and down over the couple of years, but I am feeling really good at the moment," Yuvraj told iplt20.com after the match.
The 35-year-old was recalled to India's ODI and T20I sides for the home series against England in January.
He went on to score 210 runs in the three-match ODI series, including a 127-ball 150 in the second ODI in Cuttack.
He scored his fastest IPL fifty on Wednesday, reaching the landmark in 23 balls. "The comeback into the Indian team has really helped me. I am more free in my mind and I am not worrying anymore about making a comeback. I am just going to play according to the situation and express myself," he added. Chasing a target of 208 runs, RCB managed to score only 172 for 10 wickets in 19.4 overs. The new opening pair of Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh added 52 runs for the opening wicket. The Jamaican struck two boundaries and three sixes in his 21-ball 32, while Mandeep made 24 from 16 balls.
However, both batsmen were dismissed in successive overs - in the sixth and seventh - and that meant RCB had two new men at the crease.
Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each for Sunrisers. Earlier put into bat, Sunrisers notched 207 for 4 against RCB in stipulated 20 overs. Flamboyant left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh top-scored with a 27-ball 62 while Moises Henriques and Shikhar Dhawan contributed with 52 and 40 runs respectively.
Yuvraj, Man of the Match, during his knock struck 7 fours and 3 sixes..