Of all the qualities endowed in an athlete, the ability to fight against all odds endears the most to everyone. The physical and mental strain that the athlete overcomes to achieve glory not only elevates him/her but also those who watch it, and the sport itself on a broader sense. There are athletes who are innately blessed with this ‘gladiatorial characteristic’. These fighters not only make the competition interesting but also inspire the devout fans who watch them in action. Such fighters are not often found. And we simply cannot afford to lose them.
That is precisely why we want Yuvraj Singh to beat one of his most dangerous opponents yet. Facing a spirited Brett Lee in the crucial stages of a World Cup match is one thing. But one should have the nerves of steel to fight out that powerful opponent which threatens to destroy your career. Yuvraj proved better against the former and there is no reason for why he cannot win this one too.
Less than 50 matches into his ODI career, Yuvraj played an important role, along with Mohammad Kaif, in winning one of the most memorable matches ever played at Lord’s. When the team was staring down the barrel after losing four wickets for 134 runs, chasing a mighty 326 runs, it was a determined Yuvi, who put his hand up to put India on top. That innings of 69 he played in the match sealed one of India’s most memorable overseas series wins.
Yuvraj not only plays the anchoring-the-ship role when the team is in dire situation. He can also wreck the voyage of his opponents by absolutely demoralizing them. His exploits in the inaugural ICC World T20 event provide enough testimony. To prove everyone that the ‘you-know-what’ he did to Stuart Broad in the match against England; he breathed fire all over the mighty Aussies (the tournament favourites) to take India to the finals. Or in other words, hurtle Australia out of the tournament.
His ‘just above-par’ stats conceal the level of impact that he brings in to the Indian team. Be it his subliminal batting prowess, his flamboyant fielding or the slow left arm bowling; he acts as the stimulant for the team to raise the level of play. It was this stimulating influence that led India to its second World Cup victory.
But not too long before the World Cup, was he the unwanted child of the Indian cricket team due to his lack of fitness and subsequent lack of form. It was the period when he reached the nadir of his career where the media blamed his lack of respect for the game and portrayed him as the ‘playboy’ of Indian cricket. There was hardly anyone to buy his argument that the poor form was a result of injuries and not because of partying with the IPL cheerleaders. He had to make a roaring return not just to prove others wrong but to prove himself right.
The fighter showed enormous level of character throughout the World Cup. He counter-attacked whenever the side was facing doom. He was the one who took India home against a strong Australian side in that intensely contested Quarter-Finals that provided the much required moral-booster before India went on to win the tournament.
Rarely has there been a player so passionate like Yuvraj Singh in the Indian side. He emotes with sincere aggression which reflects his personality.
Yuvraj Singh is a fighter and we want him back.