It was 2007, India were playing against England in the T20 World Cup. Yuvraj Singh was at the crease and Stuart Broad was given the ball to bowl the 19th over. The world witnessed the devastation that Yuvraj was capable of. He clobbered Broad for 6 sixes off 6 consecutive balls and raced to his 50 off just 12 balls. This was one of his many scintillating performances for India. Yuvraj played a vital role in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup triumph and World Cup in 2011. He was named the man of the tournament in 2011 World Cup on account of his all-round performances for the Indian team.
Yuvraj has been a comeback king of sorts in Indian cricketing arena. He has been dropped a number of times and every time he has made a strong comeback. To get a perspective of this consider this. He impressed everybody by making vital contributions for the Indian team in the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy, but in the tri-series involving Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and India, Yuvraj failed miserably and scored just 55 runs in 5 innings prompting the selectors to drop him.
However, he made a comeback of sorts in the 2001 Coca-Cola cup against Sri Lanka as he took 8 wickets and made 98 runs in one of the matches. He was again dropped after the triangular series involving South Africa, India and Kenya where he scored a paltry 69 runs in 6 innings. He went back to his Ranji Team and scored a double hundred and was quickly drafted back in to the ODI team for the last two ODIs. He contributed both with bat and ball and helped India secure a series victory. Yuvraj’s biggest moment in his career at that time came when Yuvi along with fellow youngster Mohammad Kaif took India to vitory in the Natwest tri-series in England. He carried on his ODI form in to the 2003 World cup and regularly featured in most of the matches after that.
Fast-forward to the 2011 Yuvraj had an amazing 2011 World Cup but a series of respiration related injuries made him pull out of many series. Yuvraj was dealt with a blow when he was told he had a golf ball-sized non-malignant tumor in his lungs. It was later re-diagnosed as a cancerous condition called “mediastinal seminoma”. Thus began a painful 1 year long rehabilitation which involved chemo-therapy. Some predicted that it would be impossible for Yuvraj to ever make a comeback. But Yuvraj proved everyone wrong and in 2012 he again made a comeback and had a good 2012 T20 World Cup in England. Since 2012 he has been in and out of the team and hasn’t been able to find his hitting form that he was once known for.
In the current scenario, Yuvraj doesn’t really have a chance in the test team which has Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha. India doesn’t really have a need of another all-rounder in the test team as Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja have been able to produce worthy performances with both bat and ball. However, Yuvraj does have a chance to make it to the ODI team. Yuvraj has had a decent 2016 and it was widely speculated that Yuvraj will make it to the ODI team for the series against New Zealand but for reasons unknown the selectors overlooked him and picked up Hardik Pandya and Suresh Raina for the all-rounder role.
Yuvraj will turn 35 in December and he has vowed that he will make a comeback soon. Yuvraj needs some matches under his belt without the threat of been axed to gain back his confidence. We all know how destructive Yuvraj can be when he is in-form. It needs to be seen when and where that impending comeback comes. If he does make a return then he will be the senior most player in the team and will have to handle the burden of inspiring a young and energetic team. We all can just pray that the “Comeback King” will be back in the Indian team soon. All the best Champ!