2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Ignore Yuvraj Singh at your peril

How would you describe Yuvraj Singh in one word? Talented? Gifted? Jovial? Fighter? Winner? Chances are that your choice would be at least one of these, if not all of them. You could also describe him numerically by referring to him as ‘6×6’. So, full marks for what was essentially a no-brainer because our ‘Punjab da puttar’ is all that and much more. It will be hardly an exaggeration to say that Yuvi has been God’s gift to Indian cricket.

A product of the new millennium, Yuvraj is a complete package. Tall and handsome with a languid gait, Yuvraj has been a heart-throb of GenNext off the field. Out there in the middle, he exudes a David Gower-like elegance even though he doesn’t have the Englishman’s versatility. There are not many batsmen in contemporary cricket who time the ball as sweetly as Yuvraj does.

There is nothing brutal about his game, but he can be as destructive without compromising on the style quotient. Ask Stuart Broad, who bore the brunt of Yuvi’s assault in the 2007 World T20 in South Africa. Each of the six sixes he hit off in that fateful over was clean as a whistle. No boundary is too big when Yuvi is on a song. At a time when power-hitting is the name of the game, Yuvi continues to wow spectators – which often includes the poor bowler – with sheer timing, the follow through of his bat resembling an artist’s paint brush on a virgin canvas.

The problem with talent is that it’s a lame duck by itself. Skill has to be fused with physical and mental faculties in order to get the best results. In Yuvi’s case, perhaps he was too good for his own good. For someone so gifted, his cricket career is dotted with far too much mediocrity for him to qualify as an all-time great.

When he announced his arrival in international cricket with a splendid 84 against an Australian attack comprising Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee in the ICC Knock-Out meet in Nairobi in 2000, the world hailed him as the game’s next superstar. However, even though Yuvi has lit up world cricket with the odd innings of extra-ordinary brilliance, he has failed miserably to maintain a steady performance graph that is so important in professional sport.

His 17-year career resembles a series of rollercoaster rides, with the highs and lows locked in an eternal game of one-upmanship. The good thing about Yuvi is that he has always been a fighter. This quality was on display when he fought and won his battle with cancer and returned for India.
 At 35, he is now one of the senior-most players in the Indian team. Having missed the last two editions of the Champions Trophy (2009 & 2013), Yuvi will be keen to make his fifth appearance in the tournament count. Traditionally, he has performed much better in ICC tournaments, having emerged as the Player of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup with a fine all-round show.

If the elegant left-hander is able to replicate even half of that form in England, there is no reason why the Indian Tri-colour will not be flying high at The Oval on June 18.




Source: Times Of India

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