HomeBCCIAn Ode to Yuvraj Singh a warrior

An Ode to Yuvraj Singh a warrior

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Yuvraj Singh has just turned 37. At that age, his famous cricketing contemporaries include Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, MS Dhoni and one may even include Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn. We know that these established cricketers are just hanging in there by a thread in international cricket.
But when it comes to Yuvraj Singh, it can be said, things are different.
His journey has been rather impressive and compels the fan as well as the critic to appreciate the fact that it had a second wind- so to speak- that was completely self-propelled.
To borrow a leaf from the sphere of electronics and technology, it could be said, Yuvraj’s life has been actually a self-propelling power boat.
Forget the famous runs, the diving catches, the stellar all-round performances that completely filled the vacuum India was so troubled with: that of having an established all-rounder in its ranks.
Yuvraj did all of that and with a fearlessness that warrants him to draw comparisons with the king of the jungle.
That he became, at a certain point in time, an autonomous machine, more like a driverless car is worthy of great applause- maybe it’s something he hardly gets in terms of our current obsession with contemporary cricketing stars in the tall order of India.
There existed a career if you rewind back to 2011 onward. But this was one that appeared was going to behave like a driver-less car. There was real danger about losing the man who was piloting the vehicle.
To beat a life-threatening disease in Yuvi’s case must actually afford him something no less than a Param Veer Chakra in the cricketing firmament.
Then, on top of it, that he endured when he could’ve simply sat around, off the cricket pitch, only so he could contribute for India should make him the most famous mugshot in the world of cricket when it comes to determining just what is meant by a battler.
Every sport has its own hero as well as the one who fashions a great comeback. F1 cannot go bigger than seeking in Niki Lauda its great comeback hero. In that regard, Yuvi’s Niki of Cricket, one minus a comeback because despite his illness, he never quite went into oblivion.
You know it’s a bit strange to think of Yuvraj as being the one who established a famous streak of cricketing continuity- if not an enormous cricketing absence- when he’s every bit as deserving of being rewarded for being a frontline batsman albeit batting in the lower order.
That said, it mustn’t be forgotten that Yuvraj has been the familiar face from the era of Saurav and Sachin, a constant factor during the time of Dhoni and Raina and continues to be available for India at the time of Virat and Bumrah. This should endear him to his worst critics who never fancied his continuity with a team of which he’s today as much a throwback to a sepia-tinted nostalgia as he’s an inspiration.

Just a little over half a decade ago, Yuvraj Singh was convalescing

There was absolutely no certainty about his survival owing to an ailment that eventually came to threaten his very survival. Then to have seen him fire most ballsy knocks in the Cricket World Cup 2011, ensuring he would be the man at the other end, holding India’s fort when Dhoni clinched all the limelight- as he deserved- is worthy of an automatic induction into what could at some stage be India’s version of cricketing hall of fame.
That none of that has happened and may just never manufactures a question that most sadly may not have the passion to address, at least where the passion with our superstars today stands.

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Just what exactly is Yuvraj’s legacy?

What is his true standing in the sport?
Is he just this successful batsman who fired runs everywhere, against everyone- nearly 1000 ODI runs v Australia, over 500 vs New Zealand, over 1500 against England, over 1300 against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka? Or is Yuvraj Singh a sentiment that oscillates between what he achieved and all he could’ve had his form upon reaching his peak years, 34-36 been as steady as his social media following.
Like most established cricketers, Yuvraj’s career attracts attention as much as it floors critics. Remember, he’s also a handy bowler and someone whose useful spinners earned India many a handsome breakthrough?
Could it also be that Yuvraj’s batting ascendency was a bit too enervating in its hold as to have stolen the thunder from his all-round potential?
The 8700 plus ODI runs with 14 hundreds have undermined some 114 useful scalps, including 1 fifer and 2 four-fors. Haven’t they?
But that Yuvi was a handy exponent of powerful batting leading to quick accumulation of runs at both top of the order and lower-middle order makes him nowhere less valuable than a Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakkara and possibly, even Jacques Kallis.
In fact, if you were to throw in a few more wickets and runs, Singh sitting out owing to indifference with the bat starting 2014-16, who knows he might have well been valued every bit as much as a Kallis.
That his technique was about as fluid as his enormous talent to put on a good whack should automatically highlight his presence as a captain in an eleven that is made of the most under-valued or often under-valued cricketers. Could this be a list that has Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Chris Harris, Mohd? Hafeez, Shoaib Malik in it?
You’d think so.

But let’s dive into reality

The man who debuted as a charming curly haired dude of the 2000-01 season, who went on to partner with Dravid in giving India a fantastic win in the 2003 world cup, formed a famous alliance with Kaif in dusting England to the ground, hung in powerfully to destroy Broad and England in 2007, played the ‘commander-in-charge’ to captains who came, established their legacies and bowed out- whether Saurav, Dravid, Dhoni, now Kohli (who’s going to continue) there’s this sense of endurance and continuity to Singh that defines him.
May he make most of what’s ahead of him. The sad part would be if he’s not taken to England in 2019 but one would have to understand, slow reflexes and waning powers of the wrists may not garner him much attention. And that he still can make it count in ODIs and T20s, whether in India or elsewhere should move fans in some anticipation.
 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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