Yuvraj Singh (born 12 December 1981) is a cricketer from India, and the son of former Indian fast bowler and Punjabi movie star Yograj Singh. He has been a member of the Indian cricket team since 2000 (ODIs) and played his first Test match in 2003. He was the vice captain of the ODI team from late-2007 to late-2008. At the 2007 World Twenty20 he hit six sixes in an over against England’s Stuart Broad – a feat only performed three times previously in any form of senior cricket, and never previously in an international match between two Test cricket nations.
India witnessed the birth of golden boy Yuvraj Singh when as a teenage sensation, fresh off an U19 World Cup triumph, he scored a match-winning 84 on international debut to topple Australia in the ICC Knockout Trophy in 2000. Laying in limbo between ‘raw talent’ and ‘finished article’ the youngster successfully walked the tightrope and delivered when given his chance.
The southpaw’s ability to stand and dictate proceedings was reminiscent of South African ace Lance Klusener. The combination of grit and flair stood out even in a team that oozed with batting finesse. His fielding proficiency, particularly while deployed at point and ability to roll his arm over effectively made his value shoot up exponentially.
His winning mentality became contagious very quickly. An early example of this was showcased when India were down 146-5 while chasing a mammoth 325 in the 2002 NatWest final. Along with Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj crafted one of India’s most famous ODI victories to cease a spree of nine consecutive finals defeats, flagging the changing tides for Indian cricket. He later played a key role in India’s 2003 World Cup final-run and by 2006, he was already one of the world’s finest in limited overs. He did get Test opportunities – often trading places with Sourav Ganguly, owing to both players’ inconsistent displays – but failed to replicate his ODI efficacy. Following the 2007 World Cup disappointment, he championed young India’s restoration by leading the charge in the famous win at the inaugural World Twenty20.
It still remains a question mark whether “Yuvi” can do justice to his talent in the five-day variety. Behavioral short-comings were uncovered when his immense self-belief spilt over to egotism. His negligence to fitness didn’t help either. This led to his omission from the Test side in 2010. But it’s no coincidence that Yuvraj’s rise as a cricketer mirrors India’s ascendancy in the shorter format of the game from mediocrity in the 90s to pre-eminence in the 2000s.
- Yuvraj Singh smashed Stuart Broad for 6 sixes in an over to become the second player after Herschelle Gibbs to achieve the feat. He did so against England in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20.
- In the same match, he registered the fastest half-century in international cricket off just 12 balls.
- In T20Is, he became the first batsman to make three fifties in 20 or less balls.
- Yuvraj became the 10th most successful ODI batting all-rounder with more than 7000 runs and 80 plus wickets.
- In ODIs, he stands 4th in the all-time list of maximum century scorers for India.
- He assisted India to the highest ODI run-chase at that time – 325 runs against England in the 2002 Nat West Trophy final.