It’s not that I am a big fan of Yuvraj Singh. But today when I heard he had pulled himself back from the brink against the stiffest competition I felt very happy. The reason being he had done it when everybody had started writing him off.
He has been inducted in Indian squad for one T-20 and three one day matches against Australia.
World cup 2011: Yuvi was declared the player of the tournament. Within days of the victory he discovers he is suffering from cancer. This deadly attack kept him out of field for 299 days.
Then he was “offered a chance” in a T-20 in September 2012 against New Zealand. Many so-called experts said it was an emotional offering to Yuvi by the selectors not that he had earned his place.
And Yuvi could not prove the cynics wrong.
In that T-20 though he made a respectable 34 but in the following three Test matches and eight one day matches he could clock meager averages of 25 and 20 respectively. In pre-cancer era his averages used to be 34.57 and 36 in the two formats.
All the time Yuvi remained out of field many players got chance to play for India. And they are so talented they proved they are integral to the team. Shikhar Dhawan, Murli Karthik, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina are just few examples.
Yuvi is middle order batsman and all the spots in the middle order were occupied. There came a time when there were two or three genuine candidates for one place. And Yuvi was in hospital beds.
He came back and after the “emotional offer” that he failed to capitalise over he was dropped from the squad owing to fitness and form problems. He played his last international match on January 27 against England at Dharamsala.
He was dropped and it was the time perhaps he lost hopes and developed disinterest towards cricket. This is what I realised seeing him play in a match at Ranchi this year’s IPL.
In practice session he was behaving as if he is really a prince and he could do whatever and none could say anything to the brat. In the match it appeared he was doing some favour to Pune Warriors just by being on the filed. He was not a willing player, I felt. He had lost all the passion.
I thought to myself, “Why is he doing like this? he is such a big talent, an asset to our country. If he could play to his potential.”
I don’t know what happened after that. He went to France for a 42 day training along with another misfit and out of form (and team as well) Zaheer Khan. And when he got to the ground he played like real Yuvi.
He scored 123, 40 and 61 in three List A matches against the West Indies followed by a quick-fire 52 against the same opponent in a T-20 game. He carried on with his good form in the Challenger Trophy for India Blue where he scored 84 against India Red and a 29 in the final against Delhi.
And now he is where he belongs to. He has made this comeback when no body thought. And who doesn’t like a hero who rises from ashes like a phoenix?