Indians love Yuvraj Singh for two primary reasons – his once upon a time swashbuckling batting and his undefeated will power. To make a comeback to international cricket, after fighting a life-threatening disease, is one of the most inspirational stories in sports.
The architect of India’s 2011 World Cup triumph, Yuvraj had felt uneasiness in his health during the mega-event which India won after a hiatus of 28 years. Eventually, after around 8 months, a golf ball-sized tumour was diagnosed in his lungs.
After undergoing three cycles of chemotherapy in the United States, he walked back on to the 22-yards on September 11, 2012 in a T20 against New Zealand in Chennai. The king of comebacks, as he is known as, impressed on his return as he bowled two decent overs and scored 34 runs off 26 balls.
"There are mixed emotions," Yuvraj said after the game. "We lost a game that we should have won, but for me personally it was a big emotional moment to get on the field.”
"I had tears in my eyes when we were fielding, luckily the cameras did not catch it. I think I am timing the ball well and it can only get better from here.”
The Punjab-born cricketer was dropped from the team after underperforming in the final of the 2014 T20 World Cup. But with impressive performances in the domestic circuit, he once again clawed himself back in the team in January 2016, for the T20Is against Australia. However, he didn’t get sufficient opportunity to bat. In the one game that he batted, he scored 15 runs.
In March 2016, Yuvraj sustained an injury during the World T20 which kept him out of the mix for another 10 months. However, he made another comeback in January this year and went on to smash a career-best knock of 150 runs in an ODI against England in Cuttack.
But a poor outing in the Champions Trophy 2017 and the tour of West Indies once again has kept him out of the mix. The left-handed batsman was not selected for the tour of Sri Lanka and also left out of the upcoming series against Australia.
But veterans of the sport know Yuvraj’s mettle and believe that he still has enough fuel left in his tank to stage another grand comeback.
“Discount Yuvraj at your own peril. He is like a phoenix who has time and again shown that he loves rising from the ashes and proving critics wrong. From past experience, I would think it is too early to say that the writing is on the wall,” former India international Saba Karim was recently quoted as saying by the media.