Former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer told the television channel NDTV that Yuvraj isn’t happy at Pune. Nishad Pai Vaidya dwells deep into the travails on the beleaguered all-rounder who has scored just 205 runs from 11 outings in IPL 2013 at an average of 20.50.
Something is seriously wrong with Yuvraj Singh. The 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a tough ride for the southpaw even as his team has laboured through the tournament. However, Yuvraj’s struggle isn’t reflected in his numbers alone as the once enthusiastic and upbeat player has been a shadow of former himself. To make matters worse, he has lost his berth in the Indian One-Day International (ODI) squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
The last three years have been very eventful for Yuvraj. From the exhilarating highs of the 2011 World Cup to the battle against cancer, he has seen it all. Through all that one saw him bounce back from the toughest of situations to emerge stronger. It is Yuvraj’s incredible guts and grits that have helped him steer through rough waters. Now comes another testing phase, but his general body language during the IPL has been disappointing.
It isn’t that Yuvraj has been in poor form during the IPL 2013, but looks forlorn. Yuvraj is known for being cheerful and someone who lifts the morale of the side. His intensity has been a great example for youngsters and is something that rubs off on his team-mates. That fire has been conspicuous by its absence at the IPL 2013 and it is bizarre.
Former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer told the television channel NDTV that Yuvraj isn’t happy at Pune. That is hard to digest especially when the owner Subrata Roy, has been kind to Yuvraj — even paying his bills during his cancer treatment. If that is true, it isn’t clear as to what is bothering him.
On the same show, Dean Jones told NDTV that his sources confirmed that Pune aren’t eager to retain Yuvraj for the next season. He also said that Yuvraj needs a strong leader to guide him through — the way Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been there at the international level. Jones has a point as Pune have had captains (this season) who haven’t matched Yuvraj’s stature. Angelo Mathews and Aaron Finch may not be those inspirational figures who can guide him.
Here is Yuvraj’s record with the bat at the IPL 2013 so far:
(Includes Saturday’s match against Mumbai Indians)
Yuvraj is an impact player and adds tremendous value to any side. He has got off to a few starts, but hasn’t been able to convert them into big ones. The form has been there as he is striking the ball well, but often one poor shot has led to his dismissal. That again puts into perspective the missing intensity. When he is in the zone, Yuvraj looks in complete control and those poor shots are put away.
Considering his latest axing from the Indian side, the question is: Where is Yuvraj’s career going? Having climbed a mountain to get back to the field after a terrible illness, he is at risk of giving it all away. His fitness isn’t encouraging as he sports an ugly paunch. His prospects in Test cricket don’t look good as younger and fitter players have superseded him as India are looking to build for the future. Yet, one feels that he could have been handed a lifeline for the Champions Trophy as he is a genuine tournament winner.
This isn’t the first-time Yuvraj has had a tough season at the IPL. In 2010, Yuvraj struggled with form and fitness while playing for the Kings XI Punjab. This came in the aftermath of his axing from captaincy and the appointment of Kumar Sangakkara. There were also murmurs that all wasn’t well between him and the franchise owners. A few months down the line, he was dropped from the Indian side for the Asia Cup. But, as we all know, he turned the tables in the summer of 2011.
If Yuvraj starts playing with the same intensity and fire, there is no stopping him. He is a true fighter who doesn’t get overawed by a daunting task. Will the real Yuvraj come to the party yet again and script another inspiring tale?
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/nishad_44)