Comeback man Yuvraj Singh, who smashed a scintillating century to help India secure a series-clinching 15-run victory in the second ODI against England in Cuttack, has insisted that he wanted to prove to himself that he is still good enough to play international cricket. 35-year-old Yuvraj and former captain MS Dhoni (134) put on 256 runs for the fourth wicket to help India post a mammoth 381-6 after being put into bat at the Barabati Stadium on Thursday.
The Virat Kohli-led side then restricted England to 366-8, despite a breathtaking century by skipper Eoin Morgan, who smashed 102 off 81 balls. “It feels great; it’s been a while since I got a hundred. I came back after recovering from cancer. First two three years were heard. I had to really work hard on my fitness, I was in and out of the team, I was not able to get a permanent spot and there was a time when I thought whether I should continue or not,” Yuvraj said while addressing the media in the post-match press conference.
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Yuvraj’s 150 runs off 127 balls in India’s total of 381, with 21 fours, three sixes and a strike rate of 118.11 has also virtually ensured that his comeback run will include the ICC Champions Trophy in June. “Definitely, 150 is a big score in ODI cricket. It’s my highest, it has taken a long time to get there but I am happy that it came today. I am hopeful that in the coming time, I will contribute to the team with more consistent performances,” said the left-hander. “Never giving up is my theory. I never gave up, I kept working hard and hopefully, with others ODIs, time will change,” he insisted.
The flamboyant Indian batsman further said that he doesn’t pay head to his criticism, and, instead focuses on his game. “I don’t think about who is reacting to what. And neither do I read the newspaper, nor do I watch television,” he said. “I just try and focus on my game and I wanted to prove a point to myself that I am still good enough to play international cricket. So, I guess I was good today,” he added.
Before this innings, Yuvraj last scored a century against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup. In the process, he overtook Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s record run tally in ODIs against England, and he has now accumulated 1,478 runs in 36 matches. The third and the inconsequential ODI will be played in Kolkata on Sunday ahead of the three-match T20 series.