Flamboyant batsman Yuvraj Singh has decided to call it quits after serving Indian cricket for almost two decades. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai. Yuvraj said it is time to move forward and he'll now dedicate more time to his cancer foundation.
The swashbuckling left-hander, who for years was a mainstay in India’s middle order, gave many memorable performances. Yuvraj played a key role in India’s triumph at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, contributing both with bat and ball for which he was awarded Man of the Tournament.
He was also a key member of the young Indian team that lifted the first ever ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. A match-winning player, Yuvraj Singh could take the opposition to cleaners on his day, as is evident from these five memorable performances.
ICC KNOCKOUT, 2000
Yuvraj Singh made the cricket world sit up and take notice of his batting talent when he scored 84 of just 80 balls, in his first ever ODI innings no less, against a top- notch bowling attack of Australia which had already sent India’s three batting maestros— Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid - back to the pavilion. His innings, which included 12 elegant boundariesm helped India win the quarterfinals to eventually reach the finals of the tournament.
NATWEST TRI-SERIES ENGLAND, 2002
Perhaps the most memorable chase completed by an Indian side was when they scored 326 to defeat England in the final of Natwest Tri-Series of 2002 and the man at the centre of it all was Yuvraj Singh again.
He established his reputation as a match-winner when he, along with Mohammad Kaif, snatched a historic win from England. Batting first, England had posted a huge 325 score on the board and it took a Yuvraj Singh special for India to make highest chase in a tournament final.
Having sent India’s top batsmen— Saurav Ganguly, Virendar Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendular – back to the pillion, the English team was well on course for a victory when Yuvraj and Kaif put on a 121-run partnership. Yuvraj got out for 69 after hitting nine fours and a sixer while Kaif scored 87 not out to ensure a thrilling two-wicket victory for India, which led to the famous shirtless celebration by Ganguly .
ICC WORLD T20, 2007
India had been struggling in limited overs cricket for the year prior to the inaugural World T20. Many senior players had decided to sit out after the team’s lackluster performance in the ODI World Cup, giving Yuvraj Singh yet another chance to showcase his match-winning abilities in the shortest format. In their second super-eights match against England, India were 136 for zero when they lost three wickets for 19 runs, leaving Yuvraj Singh in the thick of action with newly-appointed captain MS Dhoni.
Although Yuvraj Singh got into a verbal tiff with England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, it was the young Stuart Broad who had to bear the brunt. Broad was smashed for a huge six on the first ball, followed by five more maximums, for a record six sixes in an over in a T20 international. It took Yuvraj just 12 balls to score the fastest ever T20 fifty. Yuvraj’s crucial two innings in the tournament helped India win a cricket World Cup after 24 years.
Mumbai Test vs England, 2008
While Yuvraj would always be remembered for his limited overs career, his knock in the Mumbai test against England would rank as one of his best innings, not just for its brilliance but also for his timing. The match was staged soon after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, and the Test Match had become the tool to ease the nation’s pain. But not all had gone according to plan in the match as the visitors set a stiff target of 387 for India on a crumbling wicket.
A defeat looked inevitable, but a brave effort from Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh turned the tables as India notched up one of the most memorable wins. Tendulkar’s counter-attacking 103, amply supported by Yuvraj who remained unbeaten on 85, had paved the way for the 4th highest run-chase of all time in the fourth innings of a test.
ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP, 2011
Yuvraj Singh won the Man of The Tournament for helping India lift its second ODI cricket world cup. His most crucial performance in the tournament came during India’s quarter-final match against the Ricky Ponting-led Australia. Facing a target of 261, India were left needing 74 off the last 12 overs against the likes of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson. Batting with newcomer Suresh Raina, Yuvraj saw India through with an unbeaten 65-ball 57 and a signature cover drive off Brett Lee to knock the Aussies out of the tournament and win his fourth Man of the Match award.