Yuvraj Singh was one of the most prolific batsmen in the history of ODI and T20I cricket and amongst the biggest match-winners for India in the limited overs’ formats. He played many memorable innings for India from the number 4 position and since then the team has found it difficult to find a constant who can win matches for India from the position. Interestingly, the former swashbuckling left-hander named the trio of Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja as the batsmen to look out for who could turn the tables for India from any situation in the years to come.
Yuvraj aggregated 8609 runs in ODIs - the eighth-highest for an Indian batsman and played a leading role with the bat (and ball) in India’s two major world title triumphs in 2007 and 2011. He is widely remembered for his six sixes against Stuart Broad in the World T20 against England in 2007 and for his stunning all-round Player of the Series performance in the 2011 World Cup.
When asked to name a player in the current Indian set-up who Yuvraj thought was as big a match-winner as he was for the country, the stylish left-hander surprised everyone by picking three batsmen. Yuvraj stated that while there was no specialist left-hander (like him) in the middle order at number 4 at present, the lower-middle order consisted of three fine hitters.
He added that the duo of Hardik and Pant can be devastating if they batted together for a significant amount of time.
“I probably don’t see any left-hander right now in the middle. Overall, we have got some good hitters in the middle. We have got Rishabh. We have got Hardik. I think Rishabh and Hardik together as they play more one-day and T20 together, they both will be quite a dynamic duo, batting together," stated Yuvraj.
Yuvraj also praised the dramatic improvement in Jadeja’s batting prowess across formats since late 2018. The left-hander has assumed the new role of playing ‘finisher’ for India and CSK in the recent past.
“You have Ravindra Jadeja coming in. So, these three guys can change the course of the game anytime. Jadeja has improved by leaps and bounds in one-day cricket and T20 cricket," Yuvraj said.
The left-hander added that the left and right hander combination was dangerous and could unsettle any attack in the world. He stated the example of him and MS Dhoni who formed an incredible pair for India in the middle order in the 2000s.
“The left-right combination is always dangerous, as I and MS Dhoni were. So, I am looking forward to seeing Rishabh, Hardik, and Jadeja bat at the 5,6, and 7 slots."
Pant has raised the bar with his batting in Australia and the home series against England, Jadeja has produced many cameos for India in his new avatar as finisher in the lower-order while Pandya continues to torment the opposition attacks with his destructive hitting at the death.