‘I felt like a culprit and villain’ – Yuvraj Singh recalls his slow knock in 2014 T20 World Cup Final
He said it was disappointing that people quickly forgot his performances which had helped India win the T20 World Cup in 2007 and 50 Overs World Cup in 2011.
Updated - May 13, 2020 12:32 pm
The 2014 T20 World Cup final was heartbreaking to watch for every Indian cricket fan. The side which was unbeaten in the tournament till that point has just crumbled in front of Sri Lanka. Yuvraj Singh had played one of his most disappointing innings. He scored just 11 runs for 21 balls. By the time he got out, the tide had shifted towards the Lankans already. India ended up with 130 for 4, a below-par total in the final. Kumar Sangakkara’s fifty guided Sri Lanka to their first and only T20 World Cup win.
Many experts and fans had heavily criticized the left-handed batsman at the time. Years later, the Punjab batsman has finally opened up about the experience of losing the final and what followed next. While speaking on the incident, the 38-year-old revealed that he takes full responsibility for the defeat. However, he credited Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga for bowling really well.
“I take full responsibility for that day. I didn’t play well,” Yuvraj recalled, speaking to journalist Nikhil Naz on Instagram Live. “A lot of dot balls went by. Lasith Malinga bowled six good yorkers, and neither I nor (MS) Dhoni or (Virat) Kohli could get them away.”
Thought my career was over: Yuvraj Singh after 2014 T20 World Cup Final
The batsman pointed out that had it been an IPL match, no one would have reacted that way. He believes it was the occasion that further invited a lot of scrutinies. He also revealed that stones were thrown at his house.
“Unfortunately, it was a World Cup final. I see a lot of people scoring 11 off 21 balls in an IPL game, but the scrutiny was a lot. I remember there were comments made on me on my career. When I went back home, I felt I was a villain. On reaching the airport, I got attacked by the media who was yelling at me. Stones were thrown at my (Chandigarh) house as well,” Yuvraj said.
The veteran of more than 300 ODIs further said that everything around him made him feel like a culprit. He said it was disappointing that people quickly forgot his performances which had helped India win the T20 World Cup in 2007 and 50 Overs World Cup in 2011. He also recalled how former batsman Sachin Tendulkar had urged the media to calm down.
“I felt like a culprit. It felt like someone shot someone and went to jail. In a player’s career, you have won the 2007 T20 World Cup, the 2011 World Cup, you don’t get the credit, but when you lose the World Cup, all the criticism comes on to you,” he said. “Others also couldn’t hit. But having scored 11 off 21, the criticism came on to me. I remember Sachin tweeted later that evening, (urging) media to calm down,” Singh added.
Yuvraj Singh, who went on to get dropped after the World Cup, said he thought his career might be over. The left-handed batter made a comeback in 2017 and played the ICC Champions Trophy, where India was the runners-up, “That day, I put my India cap on the bat with which I hit six sixes, and thought my career was over”, Yuvraj added.