Yuvraj Singh stands out in the hearts of Indian cricket fans for not only for his contribution for the game but also for fighting against cancer and returning to the sport. Yuvi has played a crucial part in big tournaments. The all-rounder is known for playing a crucial part in big tournaments, especially in the World Cups which can be witnessed through his contributions during India’s victorious World T20I 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cup tournaments.
When in full flow, his stroke play and his ability to clear the boundary at will is second to none. His athleticism on the field along with his slow left-arm spin made him an indispensable part of India’s limited overs line-up for many years. Known as the six-sixes man, Yuvraj Singh celebrates his 36th birthday today.
Mostly remembered for the six-sixes he hit in an over bowled by England’s Stuart Broad at the inaugural World T20I Cup in 2007 and the knock during the 2002 NatWest Trophy final in England, Yuvi played a crucial role in India winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup held in India, at a time when he was struggling with a medical condition that was later diagnosed as cancer. But the champion defeated cancer to make a comeback in national colours, winning hearts once again.
On the occasion of his birthday, here we take a look at five best knocks of his career.
2007 ICC T20 World Cup
This was a special year for Team India and Yuvraj Singh. The 2007 ICC T20I World Cup watershed the moment in Yuvraj’s career. In a must win game against England in the knockout stages Yuvraj smashed six consecutive sixes in an over of Stuart Broad. On the way, Yuvi also hit the fastest T20I fifty. Again, in the semi-final, he scored a whirlwind 70 off 30 balls against a strong Australian bowling attack. His innings propelled India to a massive score of 188, which was too much for the Aussies to chase. Thanks to his performance, India won the maiden 2007 T20 Cricket World Cup, and Yuvi cemented his place in the record books.
2002 NatWest Trophy
Chasing a mammoth total of 325 to win in the final, India were staring down the barrel with the big guns like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid all were back in the pavilion and Men in Blue were 190 runs behind. Yuvi then shared a winning partnership with Mohammad Kaif to ensure India’s victory. Yuvi scored 69 crucial runs. However, the lasting image of the NatWest Trophy is Sourav Ganguly waiving his shirt from the Lord’s balcony.
ICC Champions Trophy 2000
At ICC Champions Trophy 2000, Yuvraj, 18, made his debut against World Champions Australia. It was not a very ideal condition for India to bat on. However, Yuvi made a mockery of the conditions and smashed 84 runs. India went on to win the game to progress into the semi-finals and Yuvraj Singh was declared as ‘Man of the Match’. A future star of Indian Cricket had well and truly arrived.
ICC World Cup 2011
Without doubt, the 2011 World Cup was the crowning glory of Yuvraj’s career. He scored 362 runs in 9 matches at an average of 90.50 with one century and four half-centuries. However, while going into the tournament, Yuvi was not in a great form, but Yuvi brought his best at the biggest stage. Interestingly, Yuvi also impressed with his spin bowling at picked up 15 wickets in the tournament. Thanks to his all-round skills, during the tournament, Yuvraj was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
Yuvraj made his comeback after recovering from cancer. However, everyone noticed that he was not the same anymore. It was in the second ODI against England on 19 January 2017, that Yuvi and Dhoni turned back the clock and showed the world that he was far from over. Yuvi notched up his 14th ODI hundred as he smashed his way to a career-best score of 150 in just 127 balls. With the high elbow drives and powerful flicks over midwicket, the old Yuvi was back.