What’s the story?
Indian batting stalwart Yuvraj Singh has expressed his desire to keep playing limited-overs cricket for a few more years. Ahead of his landmark 300th ODI, the 35-year-old looked back on his stellar career and singled out his most memorable knocks in the 50-over format.
Yuvraj said, “It's a big achievement for me to finish 300 games in my career. It is a huge honour. When I started playing for India I was happy just playing one game. That would have been a big achievement for me, but it's come a long way. There have been ups and downs, and I am proud of myself. I have come through and still managed to get to 300. At one stage I was thinking if I was going to play another game.”
On his future plans, he enthused, “I have been very blessed to come and play for India again. Let's see how long I can (continue to play). As long as I'm performing and doing well, I'd like to play. Hopefully, (for) a few more years.”
Yuvraj is set to become only the 5th Indian cricketer to feature in 300 ODIs. Since his debut against Kenya at Nairobi in the 2000 ICC Knockout, the left-hander has played 296 ODIs for India and three games for Asia XI. He has amassed 8622 runs at an average of 36.84 and strike-rate of 87.81 with 14 centuries and 52 half-centuries.
The heart of the matter
When asked to pick his most memorable knocks in ODIs, Yuvraj opted for the unbeaten 57 in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against Australia at Ahmedabad, 84 against the same country in the 2000 ICC Knockout at Nairobi and the 69 against England in the 2002 Natwest tri-series final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Revealing that he liked to be portrayed as a ‘fighter’, the southpaw asserted that his battle with cancer could serve as a motivation for people to emerge from the confines of the illness. He pointed to self-belief as the key reason for his ability to stage quite a few comebacks into the Indian team.
Yuvraj will reach the milestone when he takes the field during India’s semi-final clash against Bangladesh in the 2017 Champions Trophy. With skipper Virat Kohli hoping for a special knock from him to mark the occasion, the onus is on him to make a statement at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.
Considering the fact that only 18 cricketers have played 300 or more ODIs, Yuvraj’s accomplishment needs to be cherished to a significant extent. Factoring in his recent resurgence in the 50-over format, the veteran has it in him to keep playing for a few more years as long as he is consistently contributing to the team’s cause.