Yuvraj Singh’s entry into the Indian cricket team was spectacular. In 2000, playing in the ICC Champions Trophy, the 19-year-old bulldozed the Australians into submission with a blazing 84 to knock the world champions out of the competition. Seven years later, he gave India plenty to cheer by becoming the fourth player overall to hit six sixes in an over, accomplishing this feat in the 2007 World T20 in Durban against England. Having played a major role in the 2007 World T20 title triumph, Yuvraj gave India even more glory in 2011. His splendid all-round display guided India to their first 50-over World Cup triumph in 28 years. However, he soon had to fight a different battle. Having been diagnosed with cancer, Yuvraj spent some time on the sidelines.
The left-hander overcame the odds in grand style and in 2017, on his comeback he blasted a century against England in Cuttack to give his fans plenty to cheer. On December 12, Yuvraj turns 37 and is trying desperately to stake a claim to feature in the Indian squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England.
Key moments in career
Yuvraj’s exhibition in the Champions Trophy earmarked him for future greatness. He had to wait some time for his first century and he achieved it against Bangladesh in 2003. However, it was not until his brilliant 139 against Australia in Sydney that Yuvraj showed he belonged at the international level.
His best period in ODIs came from 2005 to 2007 in which he dominated the world scene with both bat and ball. He averaged 41.95, 53.06 and 45.96. Things got better for Yuvraj in 2007, when he smashed the fastest fifty in Twenty20 Internationals off just 12 balls against England in Durban. The highlight of the knock was smashing six sixes in one over off Stuart Broad. After the high, there came a lean patch for Yuvraj in which he had to battle several fitness issues. However, he bounced back in style for the 2011 World Cup and his 362 runs at an average of 90 and 15 wickets made him India’s greatest match-winner. It was his exploits in the 2011 World Cup which put Yuvraj in a different pedestal.
Battle with Cancer
Following his brilliance in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj was diagnosed with germ cell cancer called mediastinal seminoma. However, the left-hander fought the disease and emerged victorious, making a comeback to the side in 2012. Speaking on his fight against cancer, Yuvraj said, “Don’t be scared… Be positive… Please don’t think that your life is about to end… Take the right advice and act as soon as you can… If there’s an issue in your system, don’t ignore it… Look at me, I never thought I’d get the chance to again play for India, but I’ve beaten cancer… God has given me this opportunity and my love for cricket has brought me back.”
However, after 2013, Yuvraj struggled with fitness and form. Having not been picked for the 2015 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh was contemplating retirement but in 2017, he was included in the ODIs against England. In the Cuttack ODI, Yuvraj shared a record 256 runs stand with MS Dhoni as the veterans scored centuries to give India victory.
Yuvraj is currently playing in the 2018/19 Ranji Trophy, but for Indian cricket fans, his birthday is an occasion to celebrate the magnificent feats of this cricketer.