Yuvraj Singh, India’s own electrifying, rockstar, gobsmacking left-hander batsman is celebrating his 39th birthday today. Ever since he hung up his boots from international cricket, it has been a bit sombre out in the middle. Not only India misses his killer finishing touches, but it also misses a good daunting cricketing figure. Touted as one of the best southpaws to embrace the game, Yuvraj has been influential during his time for the men in blue.
Coming to bat in the middle order, Yuvraj was best known for his scintillating hitting of the white ball. Yet another gem uncovered under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, the Chandigarh born cricketer made his debut in 2000 in ODIs against Kenya. He played 304 ODIs for India and amassed 8701.
Known for his entertaining brand of cricket, he also was a left-arm orthodox spinner. He has 120 wickets to his name in ODIs. He has 14 international centuries and 52 half-centuries in ODIs.
58 v England, Durban, T20 World Cup (2007): One of the greatest modern-day batsmen, Yuvraj rocked the cricketing universe with his six sixes around Kingsmead in Durban during the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. He obliterated England’s Stuart Broad in a single over. Yuvraj sprinted to his fifty in 12 balls (still the fastest in T20Is) and finished with a strike-rate of 362.50.
139 v Australia, Sydney, tri-nation ODI series (2004): The then rising-star, Yuvraj racked up his 2nd ODI century against Australia in Australia. Batting alongside VVS Laxman, Yuvi caught hold of the Aussies’ mighty bowling line up as he smacked them around Sydney. His innings, gave India a much-needed boost to the rapidly changing middle order.
69 v England, NatWest series final (2002): The young Yuvraj revelated his matured side when he struck an important 69 off 63 balls in India’s most memorable ODI victories. Alongside Md. Kaif, Yuvraj power housed India’s chase to reach 326 against England. His brisk innings brought India closer to the target which ultimately finished off in a tense last over.
138* v England, Rajkot, 1st ODI (2008): One of the most inspirational knocks from the Chandigarh born southpaw came against England in 2008. Batting with a strap around his waist, Yuvraj brought up a 64-ball ODI ton, despite facing back issues. He pummelled 16 fours and six sixes, finishing the game with an unbeaten 138 in India’s 387.
57* & 2-44 v Australia, Ahmedabad, World Cup (2011): India’s journey to the 2011 World Cup triumph got a boost with Yuvraj’s presence in the middle order. In another memorable outing, Yuvraj churned out a match-winning performance with the bat and ball. India thumped Australia in the knock-out game and went on to lift their 2nd World Cup. Yuvraj’s performance in the tournament was adjudged the best.