Yuvraj Singh repays the faith showed in him by Virat Kohli

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo Source: BCCI)

One of the most stylish southpaws to have ever graced the game, Yuvraj Singh was at his sublime best in Cuttack yesterday and it was courtesy brilliant centuries from him and MS Dhoni which took India to a mammoth 381 after being reduced to 25/3 at one stage. It was Yuvi’s first century which after the 2011 World Cup and it was undoubtedly an emotional moment for him. The way he celebrated the knock said how much the century meant to him. Here was a man who even at the age of 35 is ready to put in that extra yard and work hard on his fitness only to represent the national team.

Despite his stupendous comeback, Yuvraj had contemplated retirement not long ago and it was India’s current captain across all formats Virat Kohli who had ample faith in Yuvraj Singh and urged the selectors to have him in the squad. It was important from Yuvraj to repay the faith which Kohli has shown in him. “Self-confidence is always there when you have the backing of the team and captain. I think Virat has showed a lot of trust in me and it was very important to me that people in the dressing room trust me,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by the Cricket Next after India’s thrilling 15 runs victory in the 2nd ODI.


“There was a time when I was wondering whether to continue or not to continue. I think a lot of people have helped me throughout this journey. So, never giving up is my theory. So I never gave up, kept working hard. I knew times will change,” the 35-year-old added. Yuvraj was pretty happy with the fact that he scored a century almost after 6 years.

“It feels great. It’s been a while since I got a hundred. I came back after recovering from cancer, the first 2-3 years were very hard. I had to work hard on my fitness and I was in and out of the team. I was not able to get a permanent spot.” Riding on some excellent performances in the domestic circuit, Yuvraj came roaring back into the team and made his presence almost immediately. “I’ve been batting well in the domestic season. And I’ve been hitting the ball really well. I wanted to make it big on my day,” he said.

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There were mixed reactions from critics and public across the world with some feeling that the selectors were going backward but it wasn’t enough to affect the left-hander in any way or the other.

“I don’t think about who’s reacting to what nor do I read newspapers. I don’t watch TV too. I try to focus on my game and prove a point to myself that I’m still good enough for international cricket. So I guess I was good today. For now, the immediate goal is to be consistent in the coming matches.

“Definitely, 150 is a huge score in one-day cricket. It’s my highest and taken a long time to get there but I am very happy it happened today. Hopefully, in the coming time I can contribute more consistently,” Yuvraj added.

When asked that what was the discussion between him and Dhoni in the middle especially after they were tottering at 25/3 at one stage, Yuvi said, “Nothing much. We two were the most experienced players in the team. He realised that I was getting boundaries. He was just there rotating the strike and our first target to make a 25 runs together then go for 50 partnership. After that we wanted to take it further to 100. I think once that happened we were both set.”

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Yuvraj also revealed that it was the comfort level which he shares with Dhoni having batted alongside him for a long time that was the key to their success. “We always have been batting together since he started his career. Obviously, I started much earlier. Mahi and me have played a lot of games for India. The camaraderie is always there. I think we have a lot of understanding when we bat together. Running between the wicket is always good. I hope it works on the future as well.”

Yuvraj termed the new look English side as a ‘dangerous one’ as they have batsmen in their ranks who can decimate any bowling line-ups on their given day and to be posting more than 350 in both the encounters proves their prowess with the bat. “They have been playing pretty well. I feel they have a lot of dangerous players in the middle-order and they can actually hurt a lot of bowlers. It is a young group and the more they play, the more they will get better. It looks like a dangerous side for the future. The more conditions they play in, they better will they get as a side.”

With the changes in rules, Yuvraj feels it has made it difficult for the bowlers to contain especially in the powerplay overs when there is nothing much assistance from the pitch.

“Over the generations, England have had some great players. Those times it was Harmison and Flintoff. I just feel rules of one-day cricket have changed a lot and it is hard for bowlers to bowl with five inside when you have no help from the wicket. England have played brilliantly well in the last two games, they’ve scored 350-plus,” Yuvraj concluded.

Also read: Never giving up is my theory: Yuvraj Singh