Also on cricketcountry.com
Apr 8, 2014
Yuvraj Singh’s growing list of supporters from the Indian cricketing fraternity is increasing. After Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh took to social media platforms to back Yuvraj on Monday, former India captain Sourav Ganguly too has supported the southpaw to come through this difficult time in his career.
There has been a lot of flak directed at Yuvraj after India’s loss in the ICC World T20 2014 final against Sri Lanka on April 6. Yuvraj struggled to score 11 runs off 21 deliveries as India batted first. In the end, despite Virat Kohli’s heroic 77 off 58 deliveries, India could only manage a modest total of 130 for four in their 20 overs.
Sri Lanka chased down the target in 17.5 overs and won their first ICC event. Irate Indian fans then pelted stones at Yuvraj’s house blaming him as the main reason for India’s loss. Ganguly, who captained Yuvraj in his early years in international cricket, backed the left-hander and said his career was far from over.
“It is sad to see the flak Yuvraj has got. Yes, he got stuck but that was largely due to the exceptional bowling by Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara,” wrote Ganguly in his column with the Hindustan Times. “Here is a man who has won two World Cups [ICC World T20 2007 and ICC World Cup 2015] and to go after him for one bad day is a massive sign of immaturity from all those connected with the game.”
“One must understand that like all of us, he is human and can have poor games at times. To sit and say that his career is over is not only harsh but reflects lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the sport.”
Tendulkar had expressed his disappointment at the fans’ behavior through his official Facebook page. The legendary batsman had said that one can criticize Yuvraj for his performance, but not crucify him. Harbhajan took to Twitter to express disgust at the way the fans behaved in the aftermath of the final.
Ganguly further wrote, “Chasing 130 was never a big total for Sri Lanka but it did not let the hopes of fans go down, especially after the way India won the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England.
“But here [Bangladesh] the India spinners were up against players who play spin a lot better than the English and hence controlled the game much better.”
The former India captain also praised current incumbent MS Dhoni for his leadership in the World T20. Dhoni has come under heavy criticism after series losses in South Africa, New Zealand and in the Asia Cup 2014.
“It was a terrific series for Dhoni as captain. He looked proactive, stayed ahead of the game and did no wrong till the rampaging Sri Lankans went past him,” Ganguly added.
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