Karan Singh Bora, EE, 2nd year, pens down the illustrious cricketing career of the great Yuvraj Singh, post his announcement of retirement from all forms of the game.
7th October 2000:
“That one is out of the ground! Super start to an over and the ball just kept going up.”
The story of one of the greatest players of the game began on a similar note in his debut batting stint against a bowling attack consisting of McGrath, Gillespie and Brett Lee, whose names are enough to send a shiver down the spine of any batsman.
An Under-19 WC hero with a staggering domestic record, his international career was off to a flying start with a crucial half century against Australia. He had entered the big leagues and was on the threshold of a fantastic nineteen-year long journey.
13th July 2002:
“Another sweet shot. No more than a dismissive flick off his legs and the ball arcs deep into the crowd”
India had lost early wickets and needed a solid partnership in the Natwest Series encounter with England on foreign soil. India needed a hero and that’s when he proved himself and built a solid 121-run partnership with Mohd. Kaif to lead India to an unforgettable win. He knocked the English bowlers all over the ground and made the monumental 325-run chase seem like child’s play.
22nd September 2007:
“He’s hitting them everywhere. He steps to the leg side and sends the ball flying over the ropes.”
He was in tremendous form and had become unstoppable when on the pitch. He had accurately earned his reputation and was a key player in the Indian squad for the inaugural edition of the T-20 World Cup.
Facing Australia in the semi-finals, the man in form unleashed his fury on Symonds and Clarke, hitting them for boundaries with a brilliant array of shots. He went on to score 70 off 30 deliveries and India marched into the final of the tournament with ease.
15th December 2008:
“The bowler changes sides but the result remains the same. He steers it over backward point and it clears the boundary again.”
He was performing spectacularly in every format of the game. He was the most complete player in the squad with finesse in his shots, grace in his fielding and depth in his bowling. It came as no surprise when he took the centre stage with the legend Sachin Tendulkar in the run chase versus England, during the first test match of the series. He played an essential role and flawlessly scored an unbeaten 85 in the second innings to once again successfully help his team grab a climacteric triumph.
24th March 2011:
“Down on one knee and knocked over midwicket. It went high, disappearing in the night sky before dropping with a thud in the ecstatic crowd.”
India were again put through an arduous challenge as they faced a fearless Australian side in the quarters of the 2011 World Cup. Having the tournament of his life, he once again stepped up to score an unbeaten half century against the then current champions. His thunderous roar after scoring the winning runs was enough to let the world know that if you mess with the bull, you will get the horns. India went on to the lift the coveted trophy and he was named Player of the Tournament.
19th January 2017:
“It was meant to be a maximum the moment it left his bat. It has been achieved for the first time in a T-20 international. Six sixes in an over!”
He was always meant to achieve astonishing feats in his career. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, this man was not ready to give up. Just like any other bad delivery, he shot it out of the park and scripted to what was, and probably will remain the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport.
After a few stints since the recovery, he showed his prowess in the second ODI against England, scoring his first century since the 2011 World Cup while ruthlessly bludgeoning the English bowlers alongside M.S. Dhoni.
As the cricket superstar calls it a day, his glorious moments will forever remain etched in the heart of every cricketing fan for generations to come. He will forever be remembered as the man who delivered whenever his country needed him, the lionhearted hero hailing from Punjab- Yuvraj Singh.
(Italicised text credits- www.espncricinfo.com)