For the past one and a half years or so, fans and critics all over the world kept on saying just one thing- “It’s a matter of just one innings”- but Yuvraj Singh failed to show his class consistently. Whenever he came to bat, the whole cricket fraternity was gripped with anxiety to watch the innings of a heroic man who came back for his nation after fighting cancer. Unfortunately, he didn’t fulfill the expectation of playing a world class inning which he did on numerous occasions for India in any circumstances. But at last, that one innings came a couple of days back against his favorite opponents and now everyone hopes that he continues playing such dreadful knocks in the remaining matches of the World T20.
Yuvraj’s campaign in international cricket after fighting cancer was not that good. He failed in the one day series against England and Pakistan at home, in 2012, scoring just 1 half century in 7 matches which was so unreal for a batsman like Yuvraj. Due to this bad form, he was dropped from the ICC Champions Trophy and made another astonishing comeback in the only T20 against Australia at Rajkot where he bludgeoned 77 runs of 35 balls, hitting 8 4’s and 5 massive 6’s, to steer his side to a successful run chase of 210 runs.
But once again, his performance graph declined unexpectedly as he was exposed to the short pitched bowling, particularly by Australian spearhead Mitchell Johnson, in the one day series against Australia. He failed remarkably but he was never dropped from the squad after that. He then again got a chance to show his mettle against the West Indies in the 3-match one day series. Much to every one’s disappointment, he underperformed again and this time Sunil Narine’s spin puzzled him. He was selected for the South African tour, for the 3-match one day series, but played just the 1st game as he was castled off the 2nd delivery.
He was then dropped from the one day squad for the New Zealand series and also for the Asia Cup. Eventually, he was selected for the ongoing T20 world cup in Bangladesh where he has, until now, got 2 innings. Against West Indies, he wasted an opportunity to score the winning runs in the last over after taking a significant amount of time to get his form back.
Against Australia, Indian team were batting first and were in deep trouble when they were staggering at 66/4 in the 12th over. A great innings was needed from the Punjab hero. An innings of consolidation was needed form India’s world cup hero. Great players are those who deliver the goods when his team is under heavy pressure and such greatness was shown by India’s hero in that match where he played a different but a needful knock.
He first allowed himself to settle down; played the spin bowling with utmost care, delivering occasional boundaries off bad balls. It was then in the 14th over when he broke the shackles and deposited two back to back deliveries from Muirhead in the stands. Yuvi was back!
He then extracted a boundary and a six in the 17th over and suddenly the run rate, which was stagnant at below 6 in the 14th over, steered to around 8 by the end of the 17th over.
In the next over bowled by Shane Watson, he scored 17 runs with the help of 2 4’s and 1 six and the old Yuvraj was back. The left-hander scored 60 off 43 balls and helped India to reach a competitive total of 152 which they won convincingly.
Yuvraj Singh had a great hand in India’s 2007 World T20 victory and 2011 World Cup victory and if he keeps this attacking form intact, he will surely help India for the 3rd time. So the remaining teams will have to be cautious now as the Lion is back and roaring!