Yuvraj Singh has been India’s biggest match winner in the shorter formats, barring Sachin Tendulkar. He was the man who gave us joy and euphoria when India won the T20 world cup in 2007 and 50 over world cup in 2011. To see him struggle to put bat to ball against a not so great Sri Lankan attack and labor to 11 of 21 balls was a painstaking watch.
This was a guy who had smashed six sixes in an over against Stuart Broad on a pacy South African track at Durban. Also his 70 against Australia in the quarter finalgave a clinical win to India and also ensured India’s passage to the finals. Similar was his effort against Australia in the 2011 world cup semifinals, where he in the company of Raina drove India to safety. As Dhoni has said I can tell you one thing, “You talk about the anger of the fans and all; you know it’s always the individual who is more disappointed than the fans, “As a player you go through more because you have your expectations and everything else. So I think that’s not the statement you should talk about. Yes, fans get angry but you should also think about the individual. Nobody wants to really play bad cricket. In front of 40,000 people you don’t really want to drop a catch or misfield. It’s part and parcel of the game. And we have seen it happen to some of the international athletes, not just cricketers. Let’s get rid of it. Yuvi tried his best, it was an off day for him, at the same time it is not easy for a batsman to go out there and start slogging”.
People easily forget this is the same man who has won us countless matches before and we have to accept the fact that even the best of players do have off days. Nobody could have forgotten the epic semifinals between Australia and South Africa in 1999 world cup, when Allan Donald stood his ground without realizing Lance Klusener had run half way to the pitch. This resulted in South Africa losing the semifinals and that was the best shot they had at winning the world cup. It was one of the most tragic moments in world cup history and Donald had to live with it even though he has produced several match winning displays on either side of the match. Even Herschelle Gibbs might be feeling the same after his dropped catch in the league match resulted in a Steve Waugh century and an Australian win. The win which came back to haunt them after the semifinal tie!The same thing could also be applied to Marlon Samuels in the semifinal against the Sri Lankans. This was the same guy who had won the West Indies the world cup in 2012, when he played a blinder of an innings and rescued a tottering team at 32/2 at the end of 10 overs. The way he hit Malinga and pushed West Indies to 122 runs which was even less than the 130 India put on board yesterday. But West Indies had the bowling supplies and Sri Lanka lost their nerves which ensured the WI victory. Cut back 2014, the same Samuels was responsible for West Indies loss against Sri Lanka in the semifinals. 18 runs of 29 balls, he could not get going and left too much in the last six overs. Rain intervened, even if it hadn’t it would have been difficult for Sammy and co to pull of 15 runs per over.
A relatively lesser known Chetan Sharma got his name etched in history as the unfortunate bowler to get smacked by Miandad for a six in a Sharjah cup final. He went on to take a hat trick later in his career, but unfortunately he will be remembered for that six. We don’t want Yuvraj to suffer the same ignominy. We want the match winner in him to resurface again and not get bogged down by this defeat.
Dear Yuvi,we the Indian fans are with you, irrespective of your performances yesterday. Even though we suffer from short term memory losses, we will not forget your past performances and start bashing you all over. You are a true champion who has fought for his country and survived a traumatic personal problem as well. This low is just a blip and will make you emerge stronger and help us lift the world cup in 2015.
True Indian Fan