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Back home in Chandigarh, Yuvraj was spending time at the nets but father Yograj, his first coach and former international player, didn’t like the look of his son at the crease. “The head was falling towards the point, the front foot was pointing towards the covers, and the body was falling on the off-stump,” Yograj told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
At that time, Yograj’s friend Zubin Bharucha, former Mumbai Ranji player and now an acclaimed coach, landed in Chandigarh to hold a camp. “Zubin and I watched him closely in the nets, suggestions were floated, and each of Yuvraj’s movements at the crease was dissected threadbare. There were a few corrections needed in his batting and you can see the results now,” said Yograj after his son’s back-to-back centuries in the England ODI series.
Talking about Yuvraj’s technical problems, Bharucha said: “We discussed how he could stay more stable at the crease prior to facing the ball and not commit himself too early on the front foot.” And for that, a subtle change of weight on the front foot — from the toe to the heel — was required.
Yograj explained: “When you’re on your heel, the front foot can be maneuvered depending on the kind of ball you face. But not when you are on your toes because the foot will be planted firmly, with no room to move it around.”
That, Yograj said, made the difference between Yuvraj then getting out lbw, caught on the wrong foot, and now when he’s meeting the ball in front of his pads. According to Bharucha, this change also improved Yuvraj’s leg-side play.
Yograj is liking what he’s seeing on television these days. “Yuvi’s head is over the right shoulder and the front foot is opening. He is slightly upright too,” he said. This, along with the three-figure scores, is a big change from the early part of the year.