Cricket fans across India are saddened by the news of India’s cricketer Yuvraj Singh announcing his retirement from all formats of the game. The thought brings back a number of achievements by the stylish left-hander for team India over the years.
It all started on his debut itself when he scored an incredible 84 runs against Australia in the 2001 Champions Trophy. This was just the beginning as Yuvraj went onto help India win a number of matches.
Some of his other achievements include his famous six sixes in Stuart Broad’s over against England in the T20 World Cup in 2007. His attack on the Australian bowlers in the semi-finals of the same series when he smashed 70 off just 30 balls is also one of his most memorable innings. Also none can forget his match winning innings in the historic 2002 Natwest Series final.
Yuvraj’s biggest achievement came in the 2011 World Cup in which he was adjudged the Man of the Series not just for his batting but also his bowling. It was one of the best all-around performances in World Cup history.
While he achieved a lot in the limited overs formats, it would be unfair to forget few of his innings in test matches. Of course, Yuvraj’s test career didn’t last long but it includes three important knocks. One might feel that just three innings don’t count much but they are nothing short of heroic. Hence, it will be interesting to look back at them.
112 v/s Pakistan in the 2nd test – 2004
Yuvraj came into bat when India were in trouble at 94 for 4. The left hander steadied the ship and helped his team reach a respectable 287 runs. His 112 came only in 129 balls with 15 fours and 2 sixes. Without him, India would have struggled to post even a decent total as none of the star players like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Virendra Sehwag and VVS Laxman reached even 40.
169 v/s Pakistan in the 3rd test – 2007
Yuvraj once again rescued India after they were reduced to 61 for 4 in the first innings while batting first. He smashed the Pakistani bowlers all around the park in his glorious innings of 169, which is also his highest test score. Perhaps his display got overshadowed by Saurav Ganguly’s brilliant 239 at the other end. The two put on a humongous partnership of exactly 300 runs.
Unfortunately, there is no video available of that knock except the one of Ganguly’s innings. I do remember a powerful pull shot Yuvraj played in the bowling of Mohammad Sami.
85* v/s England in the 1st test – 2008
India achieved a mammoth feat of chasing down as many as 387 in the fourth innings of the test, which doesn’t happen often. Sachin Tendulkar was the hero who scored an unbeaten 103. But strangely, Yuvraj’s contribution in the victory has been forgotten. He played a crucial innings at the other end and made a match-winning 85 unbeaten. His innings was quick yet risk free.
I personally feel Yuvraj had it in him to be a good option in test cricket as well and he should have been given more chances.
By: Keyur Seta