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Yuvraj Singh: The next Kapil Dev?

Yuvraj Singh, as we all know, is selected for the Test team playing against England and will definitely feature in the starting XI. Such is the stature of Yuvi that you cannot discard him completely from even Test matches, although he has not had best of times playing Tests. With the absence of experienced players like Dravid and Laxman, India has to have Yuvi  in at No. 6 to lend some stability to the middle order and this seems to be his best opportunity to cement a permanent spot in the Test team.

But why has Yuvi been brought back into the Indian Test team without even playing any Ranji games this season? He has only played 2 or 3 longer format games which might not have tested his endurance after such a long lay-off. Also, Yuvraj Singh will not pass the test as the best batsman in the team as far as technical brilliance is concerned. Then why has he been selected ahead of the more superior Manoj Tiwari?

The answer lies in asking another question to the above question. Has India generated another great all-rounder after Kapil Dev? For this question, the answer is yes, India has produced the next great all-rounder – Yuvraj Singh, who has won many matches for India single-handedly than any other player in one-day internationals. In one-day matches, Yuvraj is one of the all time great all-rounders who is still playing. Without him India wouldn’t have won its second World Cup in 2011. At 364 runs, 15 wickets and 4 Man of the Match awards, he was rightly awarded the Man of the Series of the World Cup.

His class was never in question. As a 19-year-old boy, he had won the Man of the Series award for his performance in the  Under-19 World Cup won by India. When he started off as a 20-year-old boy in the Champions Trophy in 2000, everyone knew that they were seeing someone special. He had scored 85 runs in his 2nd match in the same tournament against the mighty Aussies under Steve Waugh and won the match for India. Then so many victories – not only with the bat but also with the ball – ensured that Yuvi was a brand whom none can discard from the one-day team. But there came a fatal tryst with destiny – not in the cricketing form but in the form of rare germ cell Lung Cancer.

This all-conquering allrounder not only conquered cancer, but also successfully came to the Indian side by training hard and performing in the 2 or 3 longer format matches he had played. In the Duleep Trophy match, he got 208 runs against Central Zone playing for North Zone. He also played in the India A side against England getting 59 runs and taking 5 wickets in an innings against them; he was deservedly selected to the team. Now that he is selected, and this being his second coming into the Indian Test team, he might just try and give his best shot as this might be his last chance in being a permanent member of the Indian Test side.

But the most captivating facts about Yuvi are not only his cricketing feats but also his camaraderie and his non-cricketing feats. He openly declared before the World Cup that he wants to dedicate the 2011 World Cup victory to Sachin Tendulkar. His point was that Sachin has been the greatest batsman ever and adding to his longevity in the cricketing field, Sachin should not miss a World Cup victory and as promised, won the coveted World Cup for Sachin. Also after recovering from Cancer, he started his own Cancer Foundation “YouWeCan” which helps raise funds for Cancer-affected patients. These are exemplary facts about how good Yuvi’s thoughts are.

We waited nearly 7 years to see an all-rounder like Kapil who retired in 1994. I salute the new champion-all-rounder- Yuvi.

 Truly Yuvi, you are the most revered “Paji” after Kapil.

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