Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and their conversation during their match-winning partnership against Australia in ICC World Cup 2011 quarter-final

Five years back, India were up with a similar challenge as they face now. Australia had won the previous three editions of the World Cup and India had an uphill task to beat them in the quarter-final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The venue was Ahmedabad. India were chasing 261 and when Suresh Raina joined Yuvraj Singh in the middle, India were five down and needed 74 at almost six an over.

Australia had not lost a World Cup knockout game in ages and Raina, making a comeback to the side was under tremendous pressure. This was the last recognised batting pair and no team creates as much pressure as Australia does.

In an interview with Indian Express, Raina recalled those tense moments.

 “Yuvi pa said, ‘sambhal key khelna, out ho gaya toh khatam hai game’ (Careful, if you get out, game over). I told him, don’t worry, I won’t get out. ‘Yadi main out ho gaya toh, yeh mera last match hoga‘ (This will be my last game if I get out). Yuvi pa bole, ‘Sirf tera nahi saale, mera bhi last match hoga! ‘  (Just not you, it will be my last game as well!)

It does help when a senior player stands behind you but the Australians were not helping. Also known to be famous for their tongue wielding skills, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin tried to distract Raina. Losing his cool, Raina proceeded to give a piece of his mind to the Australian but Yuvraj stopped him.

“There was a moment when Haddin started to say a few words to me, and I began to go towards him when Yuvi pa said, ‘Gussa mat kar, yeh unka plan hai, aisey hi karenge. ‘ (Don’t get angry, this is their plan, this is what they will do). ‘Mujhe laga, ‘yaar, yeh banda toh sambhaal raha hai. (He is taking care of the situation) I just need to concentrate more.’

Both the left-handers weaved in an important partnership. They kept the singles on. Later, Raina smacked Brett Lee over long on for six but Yuvraj immediately asked him to not get caught in the act.

Raina added, “And as soon as I hit Lee for a six over long on, Yuvi pa said, ‘Ah chalo bas, ab seedhe bat sey khelo!’ (Just play with straight bat) and maine kaha, ‘Aap jyaada pressure le rahe ho meri chakkar mey, aapko khatam karna hai, don’t worry!”

What happened next was history. The duo added 74 from 61 balls to see India home. Yuvraj was again adjudged the man-of-the-match for his unbeaten 57 from 65 and 2 for 44. Raina remained not out on 34 from 28 balls. The entire nation celebrated.

Five years on, ahead of the must-win ICC World T20 2016 clash between India and Australia at Mohali, India fans will look hope for this southpaw pair to shine again.