Over the years, Indian cricket team has had many stars who changed the fortunes of the team and turned it into a force to reckon with. From Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev to Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, every era had its own set of match-winners, cricketers who had a massive fan support and a larger-than-life personality. However, between every Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, there was a Krishnamachari Srikkanth who was a selfless and fearless cricketer and dominated the bowlers with his power hitting. For this generation, that role was played by Yuvraj Singh who will add another feather to his cap when he will take the field against Bangladesh on Thursday to play the semi-final of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy.
This will be the 300th ODI game of Yuvraj’s long glorious and fighting career that gave us the most inspiring story of all times. A father who asked him to give up on skating and forced to play cricket, debut at the age of 18 years in national colours, road to stardom, important role in winning two world cups for the nation, an almost life-taking illness and an incredible comeback to international cricket, Yuvraj Singh’s story has everything a successful Bollywood flick asks for and it might well be turned into one very soon as well!
Watch Yuvraj Singh’s knock against Pakistan:
What were the similarities between the 1983 and 2011 ICC World Cups? Two captains giving us two of the most iconic moments of Indian cricket. In 1983, it was Kapil Dev’s catch of Vivian Richards and in 2011 it was MS Dhoni’s six that was played again and again on Television sets that made them unforgettable moments. However, in 1983 it was Mohinder Amarnath’s all-around performance that scripted India’s triumph and in 2011, it was Yuvraj Singh’s 300 runs and 15 wickets.
“He has been an inspiration, a champion on and off the field and you respect him for that,” skipper Virat Kohli recently said about the senior-most cricketer in the team. And, rightly so! Who would have thought that Yuvraj will make a comeback to the side at the age of 35 but he did and did it in style by smashing 150 runs against England, earlier this year. He has scored 8622 runs from 299 ODIs so far and the only unfortunate part about that career is that he couldn’t convert those numbers into Test success.
Watch Virat Kohli’s fifty:
One could almost sense that the end isn’t too far either. The reflexes have slowed down, the body isn’t in the best shape and he isn’t the fastest on the field anymore but the skill, determination and passion are still there, making him one of the biggest assets for the side. Yuvraj still has the same amount of energy as he did when he made his debut, back in 2000.
At 35 years, Yuvraj Singh is still not out.