Yuvraj Singh is celebrating his 39th birthday today. One of the best all-rounders to have donned the Indian jersey, Yuvraj was instrumental in India’s triumph in two world cups. He was a game-changer with the bat and possibly one of the biggest match-winners to have ever graced the field, as far as the limited-overs cricket was concerned.
As he turns 39, we look at his top five innings for India:
India vs Australia in Kenya, 2000
An 18-year-old Yuvraj was playing in his maiden tournament for India and he was baptized by fire when he was against a strong Australian bowling attack.
India were struggling at 90/3 as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly were back in the pavilion. However, this is when Yuvraj strode out and produced a counter-attacking inning of 84 runs in only 80 balls to push India’s total to 265.
India vs Australia in Sydney, 2004
A strapping young man who was still finding his feet in international cricket took the Australian attack apart in Sydney.
The left-hander forged a superb stand with VVS Laxman and smashed 139 runs off just 122 balls. However, the Australian side chased the total down, but it was an innings which gave the world another glimpse of Yuvraj – the match-winner.
India vs England in Durban, 2007
One of the best innings ever played in the T20 format, Yuvraj lit the inaugural T20 world cup in South Africa. He sauntered out against England, smashed six sixes in one over, reached 50 in 12 balls and absolutely dismantled the English bowling attack.
Courtesy this blitzkrieg, India posted 218 runs in the first innings and clinched the match by 18 runs.
India vs West Indies in Chennai, 2011
The fighter in Yuvraj came to the fore when he battled his sickness and walked out to smash a century against West Indies in Chennai during the 2011 World Cup.
The southpaw scored 113 runs in the Chennai heat – a knock that had 10 fours and a couple of sixes. India went on to post 268 runs in the first innings and went on to win the game by 80 runs.
India vs England in Cuttack, 2017
This was a comeback of sorts for Yuvraj and he showed why he was one of the best against the white ball.
India were reeling at 25 for 3 when Yuvraj walked out and stitched a memorable 256-run partnership with MS Dhoni. In the process, he smacked 21 boundaries and 3 sixes and ended with a career-best 150. India posted 381 for 6 and won the match by 15 runs.
An inspired Indian bowling attack defended this total. India won the match by 20 runs and Yuvraj was named man of the match.