Is he 19 again?

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Touch of class, heart of a champion, skill of a surgeon, timing of VVS himself – quite a remarkable list of traits to be boastful of. Yes, that special player Yuvraj Singh is back on the reading boards. Virat Kohli, the hunk of BLUE BRIGADE, now has a serious contender in Yuvi. If you guessed that I was seeing Kohli’s place in Indian cricket team in contention, you are about to bite your tongue. Tim Exeter, sports trainer based in France, seems to have wonders with Yuvi who seems to have lost quite a few pounds. He carries a refreshing look and people, including me, are surprised to find him much younger than the Yuvi we’ve known over the recent years. Let’s leave it to the time on guessing if UV can pip VK for the title “Most desired man in Indian Cricket”!

“Everybody’s telling me I look 10 years younger.”

Year 2000 – I still remember that day when India took on Australia in the Champion’s Trophy at Nairobi. It was a grand stage that young Yuvraj Singh chose to announce his arrival to the world cricket. Memories are still fresh in my mind as it was quite an electrifying experience for an Indian Cricket fan to see a gen-X player in blue jersey produce fearless stroke play against the reigning world champions. That laid the platform for the emergence of one of the best Indian ODI players. His ability to produce occasional, but near GOD like, flashes of brilliance deserve nothing less than hardcore admiration. For many years, cricket fans all over the world have been treated with a rare mix of power, class and grace of this Punjabi Lion!

Yuvraj had this impeccable stroke making ability that made him a serious contender for the test spot. Fate laid its cruel laugh on Yuvi, as he had to endure the time of dominance in test cricket by FAB5 – Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag. Having walked the hard yards, Yuvraj Singh couldn’t translate his success in ODIs to tests. It did and continues to baffle me! His technique looks solid and he is tall enough to control, if not tame, a quick bouncer. If any, I can think of his weakness in playing spin bowling as the biggest loophole in his game. Runs on sub-continent pitches are a huge contributing factor statistically and psychologically to the success of any Indian batsman. Having been deprived of the home-turf confidence, I wonder if Yuvi believed enough in himself as he travelled abroad. Given his tentativeness against spin, Yuvi couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities to pile up runs and insure himself against failures abroad. Being special and foreign in abilities is his biggest curse! Perhaps, at the end of his career, he can attribute his failure in longer format to this ability or inability, however you call it.

Having been diagnosed by cancer, I’ve known a countable number of people, forget athletes, who could resume a normal life. It takes immense determination to battle through the ailments of this dreadful disease. He’s won many a hearts there and then! Guess what, he takes guard at the crease in few months after he could breath a sigh of relief on his bed as his chemotherapy was nearing its end.

By his own confession, Yuvi is missing out on the reaping time of his career. Having attained experience, I consider {late 20s – early 30s} as the golden age for a batsman for he is young enough to call upon his sharp reflexes. But, it was always going to be tough for a wounded animal to catch up with a healthy pack on an incredible hunt. Yuvi dared to join but was soon left behind, as one would predict. Scarred lion, despite being a little lighter, seems to be up and roaring now! One can sense a new air in his stride now. How could you not be awed by his blistering innings in which he smashed the WI A bowlers to all corners of Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore? Perhaps, it would be prudent to not read too much into this scintillating comeback performance from Yuvi. But, his conscious efforts towards improved athleticism and an evident physical transformation are more than praiseworthy. An inspiring display of determination and will from this 2011 cricket world cup champion gives us a clear omen that he yearns to wear the Indian flag back on his heart, sooner than later. It is an expression of hunger which the selectors of Indian Cricket team should have attended by now.

He’s fitter, younger and avid for Indian Jersey. Let’s hope that U V can…!

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8 thoughts on “Is he 19 again?

  1. Always lived in the shadows of dhoni’s ever rising popularity, a fighting champion. With him dhoni dhawan and kohli in the ODI side India is looking the best ODI team for 2015

  2. “Yuvraj had this impeccable stroke making ability that made him a serious contender for the test spot. Fate laid its cruel laugh on Yuvi, as he had to endure the time of dominance in test cricket by FAB5 – Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag. Having walked the hard yards, Yuvraj Singh couldn’t translate his success in ODIs to tests. ”

    Well said. Yuvraj has made wonderful contributions sporadically. Remember his crucial knocks in Lahore 2004, Bangalore 2005 and Chennai 2008 (the test after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Sehwag and Sachin did their damage but Yuvraj played a super role too….). Even recently, 2011 England series he made a 50 in Lord’s, was it? before his unfortunate tryst with CANCER!

    Even though Yuvi is not in the TEST squad, he has passed the greatest test – his fight with cancer. Respect for UV!

  3. Pingback: India vs Australia : The battle for Rajkot | SportzCosmos

  4. I think Yuvi’s illness was at a wrong time for him and for his fans…he was at the peak of his career and would have easily become a part of the test side too – now getting back into the side for the NZ series is an uphill task – considering Selectors are looking at Rayudus Tiwaris and Gambhir is on the comeback trail…lets hope for the best and wishing him the best!

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