5 Performances Of Yuvraj Singh That Changed Indian Cricket Forever
Under-19 World Cup 2000
After a 358 for Punjab in a single innings the final of Cooch Behar Trophy in 1999, Yuvraj did not give the selectors any reason to leave him out for the Under-19 World Cup. Taking wickets right from the start of the Under-19 World Cup, Yuvraj's first big day came during the team's third match against New Zealand.
Batting first against a world-class opposition consisting of players such as the McCullum Brothers, James Franklin, Jamie How and Ian Butler, Yuvraj scored 68 on a tough wicket at more than run a ball. While the team was bowled out for 199, Yuvraj backed the bowlers with his left arm spin, finishing with 4 for 36 and a man of the match award.
He followed this with another 4 wicket haul in the very next game against Nepal, and an all-round performance in their last league game against Sri Lanka. His 24-ball 58 including five fours and five sixes, in the semifinal against an Australian lineup containing Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson, Nathan Hauritz and Shaun Marsh, helped India post a score well beyond Australia's reach.
His 27 in the final against Sri Lanka helped India comfortably chase a small target of 179. In the final tally, Yuvraj scored 203 runs including two fifties in the tournament and took 12 wickets. India won seven out of eight matches, and only their second game in the tournament - against the Netherlands - was washed out.
How it changed Indian cricket:
This victory gave India many youngsters such as Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, etc - who would change India's standards in terms of fielding, running between the wickets, and aggression in batting as well as bowling. Overall, the body language of the Indian players was changing.
The new generation of Indian players that followed was fearless and ready to take on any opposition in any conditions. This generation of players would try to win every match rather than settle for draws or scorelines of respectability.