Marginally short of a length, Ronsford Beaton’s delivery to begin the 34th over sat up nicely for a Yuvraj Singh drive. The batsman leaned into it and set the leather off on its journey through the covers. It didn’t travel very long, though; the ball slowed down upon meeting one of the many wild patches of clumpy grass just outside the inner circle and came to rest in another. Had the Chinnaswamy been a golf course, its outfield was less fairway than gnarled fescue. Also Read: I am getting better and better with each off-season, says Yuvraj
Next up, with the comfort of knowing that there was more protection than just the four fielders on the off side, fast bowler Beaton angled the ball towards the slips. Yuvraj, having given it a real crack this time, watched with agony as the ball lost its velocity inside one savannah patch and spluttered to a halt about a finger’s length from the rope. Then, just as Yuvraj began his trot to salvage a single, Andre Fletcher accidentally hoofed the ball over the fence.
Such was the fashion in which the India A captain brought up his second four of the day. With that, he moved from 61 to 65, off the 67th ball he faced. Also Read: Selection of seniors in India A is a show of both intent, faith, writes Harsha Bhogle
Despite this being his first competitive match of any kind in four months, Yuvraj was not looking to play himself in. Stronger, leaner and hungrier, the 31-year old’s strokes were crisp and sharp right from the moment he swaggered out to the wicket. But weeks of torrential rain and floods in Karnataka had empowered the field with great resistive qualities. This, and not the West Indies A attack, was proving to be his sternest opposition.
So Yuvraj decided to take this opponent out of the equation. And India A scored 131 runs in their next (and last) eight overs. A bulk of those runs, 97 of them, were scored in four 20-plus-run overs. India ended up winning