Yuvraj Singh crossed yet another milestone in cricket when he surpassed the 1,000-run mark against Bangladesh in the first game of the Asia cup. But that one milestone doesn’t even come close to telling the tale Yuvraj. Here are 10 reasons why Yuvraj Singh is an absolute legend.
There is no player who can match the ambition of Yuvraj Singh and the six sixes he hit in an over in the 2007 T20 world cup against England stand testimony to that. After the first three sixes, any batsmen would have looked to take a single and give the strike to MS Dhoni on the other end but not Yuvi. Almost a decade has passed since then and yet the words of Ravi Shastri echo in every Indian fans’ ears when Yuvraj smashed the sixth ball of Stuart Broad’s head in the jam-packed top tier of Kingsmead stadium in Durban.
2: Will to fight:
Being a hero on the field is one thing, but being one off the field is the bigger task. Yuvraj has always been a fighter and he proved it to the world when the saddening news of him suffering from cancer first broke. While the whole nation was devastated and saddened, Yuvraj was plotting his recovery and a return to the team, which he did, and in some style.
The date was 14th of Novemmber 2008. India was hosting England in the first ODI at Rajkot. The dynamics of that time needed India to win the game and the news at the toss was that Yuvraj was suffering with a back problem and might be pushed down the order. But to the surprise and relief of the thousands inside the Rajkot stadium and the millions glued to their TV screen across the world, Yuvraj Singh walked out with a belt around his waist. What followed was one of the worst demolition of the English bowlers in a century. A 78-ball 138 by Yuvi saw India crush England in the first ODI and set the tone for the rest of the series.
It often happens that most players in the lime light are there because they work hard towards being in the lime light. After India’s horrific run at the 2007 world cup, the BCCI decided to send a young team for the T20 world cup. The stage was set for India’s heir apparent – Yuvraj Singh – to captain the side. But in a surprise move, M S Dhoni was selected the captain. Being the selfless player he is, Yuvraj didn’t let this effect his game and even though he was the senior, he assisted Dhoni in his capacity as the vice captain and had a tournament of a life which saw India clinching the world cup after a 28-year drought.
5: The guardian of point:
All three captains he has played under – Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and M S Dhoni – would change every field setting but made sure Yuvraj Singh stayed at point. If it wasn’t for the brilliance of Yuvraj Singh, many of the wickets of the Indian fast bowlers (who often strayed way wide of off stump) would’ve just been boundaries and countless matches would have been lost. But thankfully for most of us, if the ball was in the air and if it was headed for point, we knew our guardian at point would clinch it.
6: Team player:
There is no one who can match the commitment of Rahul Dravid when it comes to giving everything for the team.But if there were to be a close second, it would be Yuvraj Singh. He fielded selflessly, trying to stop every run. He batted at any position he was asked to bat. And he bowled and bowled pretty well at that winning us countless matches with that magical straighter delivery to the right handers.
7: The aggressor:
Following the outcasting of Saurav Ganguly in the post-Chapell era, the team was in need of an aggressor. Someone who would lift the team up when they were down, someone to give it back to the sledging Aussies, someone to stick it back to the arrogant Pakistanis. And the man who took charge and did that was Yuvraj Singh. And as a testimony to this quality is his gutsy 107 against Pakistan in the fifth ODI at Karachi back in 2007.
8 Calm under pressure:
The cricket world cup final of 2011. Sachin Tendulkar’s last chance to get his hands on the evasive world cup trophy to complete his glittering career studded with all sorts of records. Gautam Gambhir set the tone for the match and had just been knocked over by Parera. In walks Yuvraj Singh, in tough conditions to face a Sri Lankan bowling attack that has their tails up. M S Dhoni on the other hand was striking the ball pretty well but was playing the odd ball in the air. Yuvi doesn’t go for glory and makes sure that the strike stays with M S Dhoni as much as possible. And every time Dhoni plays a lose cannon in the air, he walked up to him and spoke to him. And as a reward for that, he had the best seat in the house for THAT MS Dhoni six that saw a country of 1.2 billion go berserk!
9: A role model:
Yuvraj was one person who lead by example. Be it helping Suresh Raina becoming the destructive batsmen he is today or telling the team to save that one extra run by throwing himself around to stop impossible shots, Yuvraj is a role model for everyone playing with him and watching him on television alike.
10: India’s favourite son:
In the age of Indian Premier League, not many players manage to stay everyone’s favourite – at least for the duration of the tournament. But that doesn’t apply to Yuvi. No matter which stadium he played in, no matter which team he represented, chants of ‘Yuvi-Yuvi’ echo in stadiums across the country even when as he destroys their home side franchise.