Yuvraj Singh may be the greatest limited overs cricketer India has ever seen. You may say that Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli might upstage him due to their popularity, but the impact Yuvraj had on India’s wins in ODIs and T20Is is immeasurable. No one can forget a 18 year old laying into the likes of Glenn McGrath and a young Brett Lee in Nairobi or making a brilliant Test century against Pakistan in Lahore in 2006 on a green wicket. Neither can one forget him playing through cancer during the World Cup in 2011 and becoming the Man of the tournament.
Injuries have played their part in him missing a chunk of action as much as bad form, but Yuvraj has made comebacks from everything numerous times and this time he made a big statement with his brilliant 150 against England. Yuvraj recounts the trials and jubilations of his career with an interview with Wisdenindia.com. Here are few excerpts from the interview.
On being asked about the biggest lesson that cricket has taught him, Yuvraj said,” The biggest lesson I have learnt is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I think that’s what I have learnt — to appreciate what cricket has given me. Appreciation is very important. You must not regret that ‘oh, this could have happened, that could have happened’. You should also look at the positives that have come out of it.”
He also reminisced about the time when he got injured during one of his purple patches. He said,” I got a knee injury when I was really doing well in my career. I was actually getting a permanent Test place at that time. I think the knee injury (in 2006) made me fall behind by 6-8 months. Every time my career was taking a high, I was unfortunate with either picking up an injury or being diagnosed with cancer. It has been always been that high, and quickly that low coming. It has always been up and down, it has never been stable for me.”
Yuvraj Singh also said that he lost his peak as a cricketer, which are the years from 28-33, due to his battle with cancer and the subsequent rehabilitation process to get back to full health. He said that he needed the Cuttack hundred (the 150) in order to prove to himself, that he still had it in him. He said,” It was more proving it to myself and the battle within — that I can still do the impossible. That was the belief I had and it actually came true with all the hard work I put in and the belief I had maintained over the last three years. It was more of an inner battle in terms of doing it again in life — coming a long way with my health issues and when people thought my cricket is over.”
Yuvraj said that currently his mind was on the IPL, where he plays for the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. He said,” The IPL obviously is a big tournament in India and then we have got the Champions Trophy, I have got to be fitter. I am getting better at fitness, that’s what my goal is — work hard on my fitness and deliver what the situation demands from me.”