By Dhananjay Devasper
September 8, 2012 marks the comeback of India’s World Cup hero, Yuvraj Singh. The media coverage has been relentless about the Prince, who cheated death to make a comeback. The cacophony is so loud that everything else from a sporting perspective seems to be drowned out. The fact that it is a T20 match between India and NZ seems to have taken a backseat.
Yuvraj also seems to downplay all the attention on his comeback. He’s obviously enjoying all the attention, but the real story will be, that of his on-field performance. Will he make a significant contribution to the team on his comeback or will it be an anti-climax of sorts?
While euphoria is one thing, hard facts also need to be faced. It’s been a while since Yuvraj hasn’t played a competitive match in a very long time and it’s just possible he might be rusty. He may not live up to the hype and the expectations, but being an important cog in the wheel for India’s T20 World Cup campaign, especially in the subcontinent, he will be expected to perform. Everyone will be curious if Yuvraj is fit enough, especially with the T20 World Cup around the corner. There is no denying that the selectors have taken a big risk by selecting him for the World Cup.
The India versus New Zealand contest is a bit more than a Yuvraj story. The approach will definitely be to try out a few strategies before the World Cup. So it’s possible that Mahendra Singh Dhoni may try out a few of his gambles in these matches. Other than the first T20 World Cup, where India surprised everyone by winning the tournament, all other outings have paled in comparison. India may host the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), but its T20 performances have been nothing to boast of. Currently they are a lowly-ranked 8th.
All of this might come to nought, if the weather plays spoilsport. The cricket fans will be hoping for a Super Saturday instead of a Soggy Saturday, and a big comeback from Yuvraj as an icing on the cake.
(Dhananjay Devasper is an "IT guy" by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)