Home > Features >

Yuvraj Singh’s career doesn’t show any signs that he is a quitter

Yuvraj Singh © Getty Images
Yuvraj Singh’s form was already a part of selector’s discussion before the World T20 when he was kept away from the ODI squad and missed the Asia Cup as well © Getty Images

By Taus Rizvi

Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.

Muhammad Ali

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali would know a thing or two about champions. And having knocked down many in his career, he would have great respect for those who got up after hitting the floor. If the great man were to talk cricket, he would probably classify Yuvraj Singh as a cricketer with a champion boxer’s mind.

Late on Sunday, some parochial fans pelted Yuvraj’s house in Chandigarh with stones, blaming him for the defeat in World T20 final to Sri Lanka. Three years ago the nation had raised a toast for the very cricketer after he played a stellar knock in World Cup final in 2011 against the same opponents. And it was the same when he helped team win the 2007 World T20. And how can his six sixes in an over effort be forgotten?

If Sunday shows his career is coming a full circle, Yuvraj would say that there is still a giant arc left to complete it.

Yes, Sunday may prove to be a major setback for Yuvraj. He has hit the floor and the countdown has begun. But if somebody wants to write off this gutsy Punjabi, they can do so at their own risk. He will most possibly stand up and deliver a few more knockouts. His desire, dream and vision may appear to have diminished but if one were to consider the fact that he battled cancer successfully and returned to the Indian team, there is scope for a fresh perspective.

But even the cricketer himself would admit that he faces a tough battle. There is IPL where he can make amends. But one thing is clear, being Yuvraj has the trappings of supernova brightness and the lows of a fading star.

So, how difficult is it to be Yuvraj? To swagger in to bat, to use raw power to swat ball over square and mid wicket boundaries. To snarl at reporters who ask difficult questions. To be linked to top actresses and to be the quintessential rock star of cricket. How difficult is to be Yuvraj, really? If asked, Ali would likely say that champions are not made in a day. Certainly not Yuvraj.

A brash son of a moderately successful cricketer, Yuvraj grew up following a military-type training regimen set forth by his demanding father. As a boy, he would be woken up rudely and made to jog and train in the cruel winter mornings of Chandigarh. He would run in rain as he would in the blistering sun in north Indian summer. The strapping youngster blessed with movie star looks, grew up into a talent to watch out for.

The seasoning made him tough. He stayed that way till he fell to his knees and broke down when his captain hit the World Cup-winning six at the other end in 2011. It was almost like culmination of a dream that began with his second ODI, where he scored 80-ball 84 against Glenn McGrath & Co in the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy in Nairobi. In the years to follow, he notched up some unbelievable wins for Team India with the bat and at times, with the ball. But all his hard work and the reputation — earned over 14 years in international cricket — seems to be going up in smoke following the 21-ball 11 knock in Dhaka on Sunday.

He is being held responsible for a modest total of 130 that India made and the defeat that Dhoni & Co suffered at the hands of Lankans. Yuvraj, who came in the 11th over, stayed till the 18th and did nothing of note. His innings contained not even a single boundary and he clearly struggled against the Lankan spin and pace. Dhoni, however, tried to defend his teammate in the post-match presser on Sunday. “The thing is he was trying. That is the most you can do,” he said of Yuvraj.

Asked about the Punjab batsman’s future, Dhoni said: “Today is a big day, so let’s not talk about selection because, effectively our season ends today. Now, we go into the domestic cricket with the IPL. So, let’s not talk about selection as of now, we’ll see when it comes.”

A clear indication that he had not given up on his beleaguered teammate.

“Nobody wants to really play bad cricket. In front of 40,000 people, you don’t really want to drop a catch or misfield. It’s part and parcel of the game. And we have seen it happen to many international athletes and not just cricketers. Yuvi tried his best, it was an off day for him,” he added.

Despite playing 40 Tests, Yuvraj has not been able to establish himself in longer version and continues to be known as an impactful One Day International (ODI) player. But he has lost this edge too after his recent performances which forced the selectors to drop him from the Asia Cup squad.

Picked as a T20 specialist for the ICC World T20, Yuvraj made just 100 runs in six matches with an average of 20. This performance will certainly not go down well with the selectors. But can we rule out this player who has achieved so much? With IPL coming up, there is one big opportunity for Yuvraj — Royal Challengers Bangalore’s most expensive player (Rs 14 crore) – to not only justify his price tag but also his huge talent that despite all said and done, has a lot left in abundance.

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

BCCI’s plea to become national sports body to be looked into by Supreme Court

tsMS Dhoni takes 5th spot in Forbes Magazine’s valuable sportspersons list

PCB launches revamp of Pakistan’s domestic structure

Sri Lanka to look for new coaching staff

MS Dhoni better wicketkeeeper than what he showed at Lord’s: Farokh Engineer

India tour of England 2014: Ishant Sharma’s feats at Lord’s

India tour of England 2014: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s feats at Lord’s

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Dale Steyn’s feats at Galle

India vs England 3rd Test at The Ageas bowl: A sneak peek into England squad

Mohammad Irfan hopes Pakistani players will play in IPL

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Boeing in deal to provide plane parts to Iran

Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony: India make a grand entry on the tunes of ‘Nagada, Nagada’!

Bang Bang teaser gets over a million views within 13 hours of release!

Idea offers free web pass to its users on Opera Mini

Kurds agree on Fuad Masum for Iraq president: Official

How many Xiaomi Mi 3 units did Flipkart sell in India?

Leaked: Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s romantic video from Corsica!

Sex Tip #26 – What to do after sex?

Randeep Hooda’s erotic movie Rang Rasiya will release in Diwali

9 reasons sprouts are good for your health

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here