Yuvraj Singh: The King Of Comebacks

Sep 02, 2019   •  62 views

Yuvraj Singh is one of the most renowned face in world cricket. The Chandigarh born cricketer first came to limelight in 1999 when he scored 358* against Bihar in Cooch Bihar trophy final. From there Yuvraj Singh continued to get better. In 2000 he was selected for U-19 World cup which India won under the leadership of Mohammed Kaif. His performances in U-19 world helped him to get the Player of the tournament award and awarded him with a national call.

He made his debut against Kenya in ICC champions trophy but he didn't had the chance to do anything substantial. In the quarter final Yuvraj played a brilliant knock of 84 runs against the mighty Australian bowling line up. In the semi final he scored 41 runs and also picked up his maiden international wicket. Following his performance in Champions trophy he got picked in the next tri series where he failed miserably and then in the series against Zimbabwe his terrible performances saw him getting dropped from the team.

In Natwest tri series 2002, in the very first match Yuvi made 64* against Sri Lanka and took 3 wickets. In the famous Natwest final, England posted a huge score of 325 in their 50 overs, in reply India at one point of time were at 146-5 , when two youngsters Kaif and Yuvraj pulled India out of the trouble with their brilliant 121 runs partnership. Yuvi's knock came to an end when the score was 267 ,where he scored 69 off 63 deliveries. But Kaif ensured that India reach the target of 326.

Between 2002-2005 Yuvi had hit 4 centuries but also had been dropped 3 times from the squad which makes his inconsistency very much evident. In the first match of World Cup 2007 Yuvi scored 47 runs against Bangladesh but India faced a shocking defeat. In the second match against Bermuda, Yuvi played a brilliant knock of 83 runs off 46 deliveries where India posted their highest ever world cup total 413 for 6. In the third match chasing 255 to qualify for next round, India got all out for 185 against Sri Lanka and Yuvi's contribution had been only 6. Indian team had to face severe criticism for this early exit, and even many people protested and burnt players posters infront of players houses.

In 2007 inaugural World Cup T20 held. After the ODI world cup all the big players were left out and MS Dhoni was made the new captain. Yuvraj Singh has been given the role of his deputy. In thr super 8 match against England Yuvraj hit Stuart Broad for 6 sixes in an over, an scored 50 off just 12 deleveries, the fastest in T20 cricket. In the semi final he made a brilliant 70 off just 30 deliveries and took India to the final. India defeated Pakistan in the tournament final and Yuvraj Singh was adjudged Man of the Tournament. 2007 was the year of Yuvraj Singh as he continued his good run in ODIs too, and in the series against Pakistan he hit 4 50+ scores in just 5 matches.

In 2008 against England he hit his then highest ODI score (139) off just 78 deliveries followedby another century in the very next match. In 2009 his form dipped and after series against West Indies he was dropped from the squad. 2009 and 2010 was certainly one of the worst phase in Yuvi's career as he failed to accumulate even 1000 runs combined in those 2 years, though he played around 40 ODI innings. Yuvraj was going through a lean patch but captain Dhoni was not ready to drop the ace all rounder from his 2011 World Cup squad. In the 2011 World Cup squad, Yuvraj had a dream run as he scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets which awarded him the man of the tournament award and he played an instrumental role in India's world Cup victory. He had got 4 man of the match award in the world cup. But soon the good times ended as the horror struck not only for Yuvraj singh but for whole India, when news was published that Yuvraj is suffering from cancer- tumour stage -1. His health issues began during the world cup but he kept it secret to play for his country.

Yuvraj was discharged from hospital in 2012 and he started his practice to get back in the team. He was selected in ICC T20 World Cup. In the tournament though he picked up 8 wickets he failed to meet the expectations with bat. It was evident that cancer has affected his body tremendously.

After that tournament Yuvraj didn't do much in the next couple of bilateral series and hence got dropped. But he was the same Yuvraj Singh with high spirit so he made a comeback again. In october 2013 against Australia he scored 77 off 35 deliveries where he displayed his dominance again. In 2014 T20 World cup he had a decent tournament but in the final he probably played his worst match of his career where he scored 11 off 21 deliveries, which is considered as the primary reason behind India's defeat.

In 2016-17 Ranji season he scored 672 runs in just 5 games for Punjab, which paved his way for team India again. In the very 2nd match after his comeback he scored 150 runs off just 127 deliveries and put a 256 runs partnership with MS Dhoni when India were tottering at 25-3. By virtue of this performance he got selected for Champions trophy. Against Pakistan in the league game he scored a brilliant 53 off just 33 deliveries which earned him MOM award. But except that innings his performance was quite.

On 10 June 2019 at the age of 38 he decided to start a new phase of his life without cricket. He called for a press conference in Mumbai where he stated :-

I would say I am extremely lucky to play 400 plus games for India. I would've not imagined doing this when I started my career in cricket. Through this journey some matches remain in my memory are the - Natwest series final, my first test hundred, of course the six sixes in 2007 T20 World cup. And then the most memorable one was 2011 world cup final match.

The king of comebacks maybe thought that it is hard for him now to make another comeback as youngsters are way too fitter than him in competition of a spot. Cancer was certainly the biggest hindrance in his career which prevented him from playing at his best after 2011. Yuvraj may have not been the most consistent performer of Indian team but owing to his allround skills he certainly was the one of the most reliable player of team India in crunch situations.