We all know what Yuvraj Singh has contributed to Indian cricket.
We all know what more Yuvraj Singh could have done for Indian cricket had he not been afflicted by a terminal illness.
We all know what Yuvraj Singh did on that crucial night in the inaugural T20 World Cup to Stuart Broad after being pricked by Andrew Flintoff.
But these are not the only moments that define him.
Yuvraj Singh – the hero of two of India’s greatest victories in Cricket – in 2007 and 2011 – was paralysed by a career-ending disease, cancer. What he did next became a moment in his life that would stand out from all his on-field achievements – he appeared in an advertisement for an Insurance Company in 2012, and spoke the spine chilling truth:
“Jab tak balla chal raha hai, tab tak thaat hai, jis din balla ruka…”
The ominous silence that followed welled up the viewers’ eyes over the unforeseen downfall of a champion.
One of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball, Yuvi (also referred to as a “Pie- Chucker” for his handy left arm spin) announced his arrival in the Cricket arena, with a magnificent 84 against Australia in the ICC Knockout Tourney in late 2000’s.
Poor form resulted in him being dropped. But Sourav Ganguly (I can never ignore him ☺), resisted and backed him up to the core, and Yuvi became one of Dada’s best prodégés.
He restored his captain’s faith in him in the Natwest Trophy in England in 2002 (especially in the Finals), which changed India’s fortunes forever in One Day Internationals.
Yuvraj Singh hence became India’s Best One Day Specialist, after Kapil Dev.
Unfortunately, his Test Career never picked up, but he made sure that he would always be remembered as India’s Man of the Tournament in 2007 and 2011 World Cup victories.
But, he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. Not only did he make a comeback from a deadly disease (post which his career was deemed to have reached its fag end), he also made a spectacular comeback as an athlete, leading Punjab with flair in Ranji Trophy in the past few seasons, clearly showing that his hunger for the sport had not died, and culminated in his selection in the current one day series against England.
Although his game has been stronger before as compared to how he played today, this inning of 150 was good enough to give him his highest one day score ever. Together with Dhoni, it brought back memories most of us have grown up with, of seeing them teaming for the 10th 100 partnership in ODI’s.
This innings also gave a breathing space to Virat, who was shouldering most of India’s batting woes.
This innings also bodes well for the 2019 World Cup, as Virat will need the expertise of both Dhoni and Yuvi, there.
Yuvraj Singh’s career has always been about bat, ball, and babes (to be honest).
Yuvi was known to wear his heart on his sleeves in the playing field. A very composed soul, after his recovery, he is the brain behind YOUWECAN.
Yuvraj Singh’s comeback story is one of the greatest ever.
-by Ankit Doshi