Yuvraj Singh isn’t just a name, it is an emotion. The game hasn’t seen a bigger match-winner than Yuvraj Singh. His life has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. We take you through the journey of this champion cricketer who beat all odds to emerge a winner. Let’s get started with Yuvraj Singh career, his rise, fall and roar
The U-19 World Cup champion:
Yuvraj Singh was primed for greatness when he won the Man of the Series award in the U-19 World Cup. He helped India win the U-19 World Cup and Yuvraj Singh was here to stay. Yuvraj Singh was immediately selected to play for India in the ICC Champions Trophy Knockout in 2000.
The debut innings which took the world by storm:
Yuvraj Singh walked out to bat against Australia in a must-win game. India had lost 3 wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid at that point. Everybody expected India to crumble post the dismissal of the big three. But Yuvraj had other plans. He scored a fabulous 84 off 80 balls and thrashed the champion Aussie bowlers to all corners of the ground. He helped India post a total of 265. Yuvraj effected a brilliant run-out to dismiss the dangerous Michael Bevan. India had discovered a gem in Yuvraj Singh.
The Natwest brilliance and a finisher was born:
Yuvraj Singh regularly combined forces with Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif to finish off games for India. Nobody can forget Yuvraj Singh’s contribution in the Natwest final where he scored a fabulous 69 and along with Kaif helped India win the historic final. Yuvraj later joined Rahul Dravid at the crease in the 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan and scored a stunning half-century to help India win the game. Singh was now a senior member of the side.
The champion period from 2005-2011:
Yuvraj Singh without a doubt was one of the best ODI batsmen in the world between 2005-11. He averaged 42.93 scoring 3000+ runs during this period which made him one of the top ten batsmen with such a high average. Yuvraj won 18 Man of the Match awards in this period and MS Dhoni, Shane Watson were the next best with 15 awards each. He won 7 “Man of the Series” awards during his golden run between 2005-11. The next best was MS Dhoni again with 5 wins.
The Hero of the World Cups:
Yuvraj Singh was one of the prime reasons why IPL was born. It was owing to his breathtaking batting in the inaugural T20 World Cup that Indian fans fell in love with T20 cricket. He smashed six sixes in an over of Stuart Broad and scored the fastest fifty (12 balls) in any format of the game.
While Yuvraj Singh’s knock of 70 in 30 balls against Australia in the World T20 semi-finals to date remains the best T20I innings ever played. Yuvraj’s fascination with ICC tournaments continued even in the ODI World Cup in 2011. He scored 362 runs and picked up 15 wickets to win the “Man of the Series” award. He played a stellar role in India’s World Cup win in 2011.
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The unfortunate slip after the spectacular high:
Yuvraj Singh played the entire World Cup with pain. He was suffering from cancer. The entire country was with him and prayed for his recovery. But Yuvraj didn’t just recover, he conquered cancer. He went on to play for India again in the T20 World Cup in 2012. Even though Yuvraj Singh wasn’t the same player again but he kept providing a glimpse of his immense ability. Yuvraj Singh scored a painful 21 ball 11 against Sri Lanka in the 2014 T20 World Cup final. It was the lowest moment of his career. He was dropped from all formats post this match.
The epic comeback and the sad retirement:
India had moved on from Yuvraj Singh in 2014 but they could never really get a player like him again. This prompted captain Virat Kohli and the selectors to bring back Yuvraj into the team in ODI’s. Yuvraj Singh registered his highest ODI score of 150 in his comeback series and was selected for the Champions trophy in 2017. But after India’s loss to Pakistan in the finals, there were many scapegoats made and Singh was one of them who lost his spot in the team. He played his last ODI against the West Indies on 30 June 2017.
A player like Yuvraj didn’t get a farewell game he so richly deserved. He retired all of a sudden on 10 June 2019. An era of Indian cricket ended with him. A champion cricketer quit the game but he stays in the hearts of his fans forever.
There wasn’t, there can’t and there will never be any other Yuvraj Singh. He was one in a million! He was just one!