New Delhi, Mar 31: Hoping to make a comeback into the Indian cricket team with stellar showings in the IPL, new Delhi Daredevils recruits Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan today said they will make their stint with the franchise count to revive their international careers.
Delhi bagged Yuvraj for a record fee of Rs 16 crore in the February auctions and the all-rounder wants to make the most of it.
"Definitely yes, it's been a couple of hard years for me since I have come back from my treatment. I am in good shape, I have worked very hard and I have had a good domestic season. I am confident of doing well and hope that things get better from here and I make it back into the team," Yuvraj said at a function where Daikin air-conditioning India Pvt Ltd. was announced as sponsors of Delhi Daredevils.
Zaheer was bought for four crore by DD this season after the left-arm pacer pulled out midway from IPL last year due to an injury while playing for Mumbai Indians. Zaheer believes that IPL will be a step in the right direction.
"I am enjoying playing cricket again. I have been away from cricket for a while now, so just looking forward to get back. Taking one step at a time and IPL is definitely the first step," said Zaheer, who stood beside Yuvraj and South Africa's Albie Morkel wearing the new DD jersey.
The 36-year-old veteran has been out of action for a while after playing his last international match against New Zealand in early 2014. Zaheer is happy to once again team up with Gary Kirsten, who joined the DD unit in 2013, after a successful World Cup campaign in 2011 with the South African as India's coach.
"Gary is a very good coach and we have spent a lot of time together, so I hope that we are able to replicate our success with DD this time around. We know his working style, even he knows what to expect from us. So hope that we combine well this season to turn it around for Delhi this time around," said Zaheer.
"We are up for it. It's a new challenge. Lot of new faces this time in DD, so looking forward to it. We hopefully will be able to turn this season around for Delhi," he added.
'It's a country where I really love playing the game'
Yuvraj, who last played an ODI for India in 2013, believes it's an important season not only for his career but also for Delhi, who ended last in the eight-team event last year.
"It's an important season. I have had a good domestic season so hoping that I carry the same form into the IPL. It will be different because T20 is a different ball game," he said.
"Like Zak said that DD did not do too well last season, so it'll be great that as a unit we do well and help the team move forward. Delhi had some good first three seasons, so we hope that all goes well and we live up to our potential," he added.
The Chandigarh-born Yuvraj, who has represented India in 293 ODIs and 40 Tests, feels at home in Delhi and hopes to give all the love back to the fans.
"Dilli dilwalon ka hai (Delhi is for heartful souls). I fell at home here. I have been born and brought in North, so the culture and people are not new to me. Have played a lot of my cricket here so it's like a family and I hope that we play good cricket for our supporters," he said.
One of the many South African recruits in the DD unit, Albie Morkel is also excited to be part of the Jean-Paul Duminy-led unit. "Obviously coming from South Africa it's an opportunity to play cricket in India gain.
It's a country where I really love playing the game. It's lovely be associated with Daredevils and as Zak said an opportunity to do something great. To try help the team achieve new goals . So from my point of view it's very exciting," Albie signed off.