Top 5 Cricketers of the Week – 17th January – 22nd January
Eight teams are involved in four different series at the moment, making it a very exciting week for the cricket fans. New Zealand defeated Bangladesh in the second Test at Christchurch. India won the second ODI and lost the third against England at home. Australia won two ODIs handsomely against Pakistan and Sri Lanka finally registered their first win on their South African tour, beating the home team at Johannesburg in the second T20I by three wickets after losing the first T20I and the Test series.
In a week with as many matches, it was a particularly tough job to pick the top performers. Some good performances have been left out but we have tried to include the best ones under pressure based on the impact. Steve Smith and Eoin Morgan miss out of the list.
Morgan’s century in a chase came in a losing cause but more importantly, was edged out by a similar innings from Kedar Jadhav, who lacked support from a senior partner for a large part of his innings. Hasan Ali of Pakistan also misses out despite his impressive showing picking up 5/52 on a track where Australia scored 353.
Here are the five biggest performers from the past week (not in any particular order).
#1 Yuvraj Singh – 150 v England, Cuttack
At Cuttack, in the second ODI against England, Yuvraj turned back the clock with a blistering 150 off just 127 balls with 21 fours and 3 sixes, his highest ODI score against probably his favourite opponent, a Player of the Match performance under pressure. Yuvraj walked in at 22 for 2 and before long India were 25 for 3. He added a scintillating 256 runs for the fourth wicket with MS Dhoni and ensured India had a mammoth total on the board, 381, all of which was needed to keep England at bay.
That partnership was probably the difference between India and England in the series. Yuvraj made sure India scored at a high run-rate right throughout even though Dhoni took his time at the other end playing cautiously. It was vintage Yuvraj who pulled out all his classic shots – the carves over cover, the flicks to square leg and the gorgeous drives.