Yuvraj Singh: The king of limited overs cricket
- Yuvraj Singh has been the king of the limited overs format for years even though his selection in the current team is uncertain.
When talking about the batting legends in the limited overs format, the list will be incomplete without the name of Yuvraj Singh. What Yuvraj brought to the team was almost unquantifiable.
He was a steady left-handed batsman in the middle order who could steer the innings when the team was in trouble. But he was also a ferocious batsman who could become any bowler's nightmare on his day.
Yuvraj showed his calibre and potential right on his debut, in the ICC Champions Trophy 2000. He took the then star-studded Australian bowling line-up consisting of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee to the cleaners. His astonishing innings of 84 guided the Indian team to victory and made the entire cricket world take notice of his talent.
Yuvraj also contributed really well with his agile fielding, and along with Mohammad Kaif took the Indian fielding standards to another level. Yuvraj also had a knack of breaking crucial partnerships with his left-arm orthodox bowling.
He was truly a player with all-round abilities that would be an asset to any team.
Through the 2000s, the world saw Yuvraj grow into a limited overs monster and a nightmare for every bowler. He piled up runs everywhere, and became the backbone of the Indian team.
From 2007 to 2011, Yuvraj ruled the ODI and T20 formats. In the 108 innings that he played in this period, he scored 3,765 runs with 6 centuries and 24 half-centuries at a healthy average of 41; this included his Player of the Tournament performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
In the 87 T20 innings he played, Yuvraj scored 2,005 runs with 11 half-centuries at a terrific strike rate of 133 which included a record-breaking 50 in 12 balls during the inaugural World T20 in 2007. He also smashed Stuart Broad for 6 sixes in an over, and was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his all-round performance.
Post the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer and was out of the game for quite a while. This proved to be a turning point in his career as his place became uncertain in the team and his performance with both bat and ball took a downward slide.
Since then, Yuvraj has been struggling to get back in the Indian team, but his inconsistency has regularly hampered him. He was called back in the ODI team in 2017 on the back of some solid domestic performances, but the consistency and the fluency in his batting were missing.
Since the 2017 Champions Trophy, Yuvraj has been out of the team, and his chances of making a comeback aren't looking too bright right now.
But even though his selection and future as a cricketer remain uncertain, Yuvraj will go down as an undisputed king of the limited overs format. He will always be remembered by cricket fans as the Man for ICC tournaments.Published 12 Dec 2018, 19:33 IST