Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh boasts of an enviable, ‘legend-icon’ status in the Indian cricket fraternity. While his stats don’t necessarily do justice to his on-field excellence; a quick look through his contributions in some of team India’s best wins instantly dispels that notion. Particularly, his performances in the men in blue’s most recent World Cup wins; the 2007 World T20, and the 2011 ODI World Cup. Yuvi’s mercuriality with both the ball and the bat made him an almost indispensable asset to MS Dhoni’s champion side(s).
Yuvi’s career: Pre-and-post the 2011 World Cup
The latter half of the last decade, however, featured much less of Yuvi in the Indian blues. In late 2011, Yuvraj was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his left lung, which brought his career to a standstill. But in typical, champion fashion, the Southpaw got the better of his life-threatening ailment and made a comeback to the sport that he loved. Despite that, he could never cement a spot in the new, Virat-Kohli-led Indian line-up. Ever since the 2017 Champions Trophy, Yuvi couldn’t find the Midas touch from his early days back; which, subsequently, led to his axing from the side. By the time fans were speculating on the Indian line-up for the 2019 World Cup, Yuvraj had dropped out of most fans’ plans.
Over on a recent chat with News18, the Chandigarh-born all-rounder revealed that MS Dhoni had helped him come to terms with the fact that the selectors no-longer looked at him in the bigger scheme of things. Further, he thanked Kohli for supporting him during his comeback to the ODI side.
“Dhoni cleared the picture; Kohli backed me”- Yuvraj Singh
“When I made my comeback Virat Kohli supported me. Had he not backed me then I wouldn’t have made a comeback. But then it was Dhoni who showed me the correct picture on the 2019 World Cup and that selectors are not looking at you. He showed me the real picture. He gave me clarity. Jitna unse ho saka unhone kiya (He did as much as he could),” Yuvi said.
On the subject of Dhoni, he clarified that reports of him and the former-captain being at loggerheads were plain rumors. Many fans blamed Dhoni and the India selectors for excluding Yuvi from the 2015 World Cup squad; despite his impressive showing in the domestic season that was taking place at the time. Yuvraj’s father, Yograj Singh, also actively promoted the theory that Dhoni wanted to end his son’s career, which further sparked fans’ furor. But, as Yuvi recently revealed, it was a different story.
“Lot of things changed after the 2011 World Cup, can’t pin-point at Dhoni”
“Back in the 2011 World Cup, MS had invested a lot of confidence in me. He kept me motivated by calling his ‘main-player’. But after coming back from illness the game changed and a lot of changes happened in the team. So as far as the 2015 World Cup is concerned, you can’t pinpoint at something.
This is a very personal call. But I understood that as a captain sometimes you can’t justify everything because at the end of the day you have to see how the country performs,” Yuvraj concluded.