One of India’s best ever One Day Internationals batsman Yuvraj Singh has finally called time on his cricketing career and announced his retirement. During his nearly 2 decades long international career, Yuvraj Singh entertained us with some breath-taking stroke-play and several match-defining performances. Here is a look back at 5 of his finest.
84 against Australia (Nairobi 2000)
Talk about announcing yourself with a bang. In his 2nd One Day International and the first ever innings, Yuvraj Singh gave a glimpse of his abundant talent against the World Champions Australia. Against an attack featuring the likes of McGrath, Brett Lee, Gillespie, the teenaged Yuvraj stroked a majestic 84 off 80 balls setting up a match-winning total in the end.
139 against Australia (Sydney 2004)
Coming in to bat with the team in a little bit of trouble at 80 for 3, Yuvraj Singh sat about rebuilding the innings in the company of Australia’s familiar foe, VVS Laxman. The pair put together 213 runs with Yuvi scoring 139 of them. After keeping the scoreboard ticking over with plenty of good running and some timely boundaries, he exploded at the end taking ODI specialist Ian Harvey to the cleaners. It didn’t turn out to be enough in the end with Australia edging to a win in a nerve-wracking rain curtailed chase but everyone who watched that match will always remember Yuvraj’s effort.
57* against Australia (Ahmedabad 2011)
3 in a row against Australia! A little surprising since he doesn’t have a great overall record against them but as seen here, he has played some memorable innings. It was Yuvraj Singh’s World Cup in 2011, despite fighting cancer at that point, he was unstoppable with both bat and ball. His best performance of the World Cup came in the Quarter Finals against the team that had won the previous 3 World Cups. Batting first, Australia put on a good total of 260 with Ricky Ponting getting a much-awaited hundred. Yuvraj, who had already done well with the ball by picking up 2 wickets in his 10 overs, produced a mature half century guiding the team through a tricky second half of the chase. The cathartic roar from Yuvraj at the end of that knock mirrored the emotions of an entire nation.
150 against England (Cuttack 2017)
After returning from cancer, Yuvraj’s career could never quite regain the previous heights but still, there were glimpses of the batsman he was at his peak. In the 2017 ODI series against England, India was tottering at 25/3 when Yuvraj joined his long-time middle order partner MS Dhoni. What followed was some of the best ball striking one would ever see on a cricketing field. Yuvraj raced to his highest ever ODI score and by the time he was eventually dismissed, he had already set the side on the way to a match-winning total. This turned out to be the last century for the great man in ODIs.
69 against England (Lord’s 2002)
Every Indian fan remembers the score 146/5, it was the score at which Mohammed Kaif joined Yuvraj Singh in the middle while chase 326 in the Natwest final and the two went on to script one of the greatest ever triumphs in Indian ODI history. With all hope lost, all the senior batsmen back in the pavilion, and a high asking rate, Yuvraj set about bringing the side back into the game with his trademark drives, pulls and flicks. By the time he was out 121 runs partnership later, the chase was well and truly back on, and it was finished by Kaif and Zaheer Khan for a famous victory.
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