Yuvraj Singh said there was a certain behaviour that they had to carry, how to talk to people and to media during his Indian cricket team playing days. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
When one dons the Indian cricket team jersey or cap, they become role models or icons for a public of 1.3 billion. The Indian cricket team and their members are worshipped like gods and are out on a different pedestal where they are adored in one extreme and scorned in the other extreme when they fail to perform consistently on a larger scale. Players like N Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble and many India stars are considered icons for their contributions to the game and the impressions they have left on the fans for many years. Yuvraj Singh is also one of them, having played a vital part in India's 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 World Cup triumphs.
However, Yuvraj, in an instagram chat with Rohit Sharma, has said the current Indian cricket team has no role models and that social media can easily distract them from their goals. In an Instagram chat, Yuvraj revealed, "When I came into the team or when you (Rohit) came into the team, our seniors were very disciplined. Obviously there was no social media so there were no distractions. There was a certain behaviour that we boys had to carry, how they talk to people, how they talk to media. Because they were the ambassadors of the game and India. So that is what I had told you guys. After playing for India, you have to be more careful about your image. But I feel the third generation. There are only you two seniors, Virat and you, who are playing all the formats, rest of the guys are coming and going. I just feel there are very few guys to look up to and I feel that a sense of respect towards seniors, that has become a thin line now. Koi bhi kisiko kuch bhi keh deta hai (anyone can say anything to anyone)."
Yuvraj said players during his time were more conscious about how they were perceived by the seniors in the side. "I think juniors, because of social media, party scenes, these things, we could not even think about that in our time. Because we had that fear that if we do some mistake our senior will tell us that do not do this, this is not right," he said.
Yuvraj Singh added that the Hardik Pandya KL Rahul controversy would not have happened in his playing days. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Commenting on the infamous incident involving Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul, who were suspended for loose talk on women on a chat show, Yuvraj added: "That incident could not have happened in our time." Rohit, on his part, did not say anything to contradict Yuvraj. "When I came into the team, there were so many seniors. I think I was the only youngster alongside Piyush Chawla and Suresh Raina. The atmosphere is light now. I keep talking to the youngsters, the five-six of them. I speak to Rishabh (Pant) a lot. There was so much scrutiny on him and he got worked up. Media should also think before writing about him. But scrutiny will be there as long as you are playing for India."
On the mindset of the younger generation, Yuvraj said most of the upcoming lot only want to play limited-overs cricket. "Sachin paaji told me once 'if you perform on field, everything else will follow'. I was at NCA once and I interacted with the younger lot. I felt most of them did not want to play Test cricket which is real cricket. They are happy playing one-day cricket," he recalled.
"I feel even the players who have already played for India should play domestic cricket when they are not on national duty. It would give them valuable experience of playing on different surfaces around the country," Yuvraj added.
-With PTI Inputs-