Yuvraj set for comeback after cancer

Yuvraj Singh will make his emotional return to the India team following treatment for cancer in Saturday's first Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Visakhapatnam.

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Yuvraj set for comeback after cancer
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India's Yuvraj Singh has battled his way back from cancer to return to action

The big-hitting left-hander has been out of cricket since November of last year after being diagnosed with mediastinal seminoma, a rare germ-cell cancer.

He underwent chemotherapy in the United States and his recall for the two-match series came as a surprise with Yuvraj not having played a single match at domestic level since. He told reporters in India earlier this week: "I don't know how I will play - whether I will make one run or 20 runs, take catches, take wickets."

He earmarked the shortest format as the ideal arena in which to return to action - and has also been named in his country's squad for this month's ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Yuvraj added: "All I know is that to get on the field is a huge achievement for me. Whenever I climbed four steps I used to get breathless. When I was like this I felt it is not going to be possible. It was tough but I worked very hard. I feel very proud of myself.

"I am thankful to my family, friends and the people of India for showering so much love on me. I will go on the field with all these emotions."

Harbhajan Singh, also recalled to the India squad along with fellow spinner Piyush Chawla and seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji, paid tribute to the returning Yuvraj. He told reporters: "Now this is what we call a comeback. There can't be a bigger inspiration in cricket than Yuvi. It is a privilege to be back in the dressing room with him."

There will certainly be no favours for Yuvraj on his return, though, and he will face a bowling attack which Black Caps paceman Tim Southee believes is looking strong ahead of the tournament, which starts on September 18.

All-rounder Daniel Vettori has come out of limited-overs retirement for the occasion to join Ronnie Hira at the forefront of a strong spin attack, while Southee - who took a career-best seven for 64 in the second Test in Bangalore - and Adam Milne offer genuine pace and Jacob Oram excelled in the Sri Lankan Premier League.

Southee told stuff.co.nz: "Milney's shown he's got that extra yard of pace and that great variation too. We've got the experience of Dan and Ronnie Hira, who's proven to be one of the better bowlers in domestic T20 for the last couple of years. It's a great mix between exciting young talent and some old wise heads with plenty of experience on their side."

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