Could IPL 2019 be Yuvraj Singh’s swansong?
Yuvraj Singh is undoubtedly one of the greatest Indian cricketers in the limited over formats of the game. In the shorter format of the game, he is probably the biggest match-winner that India has ever seen. One can safely say that without him, the Indian team would not have been able to win either the 2007 T20 World Cup or the 2011 ODI World Cup.
But for quite some time now, he has been struggling with form and fitness. Both Dhoni and Kohli understood his potential as a big-match player and gave him several opportunities to come good. Unfortunately, Yuvraj could not grasp those opportunities.
Dhoni had entrusted Yuvraj Singh with the crucial number 4 position in the batting order in 2014 World T20 Final. But Yuvraj’s struggles against a rather innocuous Sri Lankan bowling in that match remains etched in the collective memory of Indian fans till date.
His most recent international assignment in the Champions Trophy was yet another opportunity provided to him by Dhoni’s successor, Captain Virat Kohli. And the stylish left-hander could not hold on to this lifeline too.
Yuvraj Singh’s biggest success at IPL level is undoubtedly him being a part of the title-winning run of Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. Even though he missed some matches due to injury that season, he played some crucial innings for SRH in their quest for a maiden title.
Though Yuvraj seems to believe that his international career is not yet over and that he can yet make a comeback to the national side in his preferred format, it seems highly unlikely, if not outright impossible that he would be able to do so. He has shown flashes of his old brilliance in the domestic circuit this year. But both selectors as well the team management seem to have given up on him.
He may be hanging on to a slight glimmer of hope for a middle-order berth in the Indian squad for the World Cup, as it’s still not settled so far. But once it becomes clear to him that there is no way he could manage a comeback to the team, he would have no reason to hang on as a cricketer only in the domestic circuit and professional leagues such as IPL.
So, ultimately, IPL 2019 could be the swansong to Yuvraj Singh’s glittering career as a professional cricketer of the highest order.