Yuvraj Singh, the former India all-rounder, and 2007 T20I and 2011 ODI World Cup hero, feels the current Indian squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup is looking balanced and strong, and the team has a good chance of adding a second World T20 trophy after 2007 to their decorated cabinet.
Warm-up games are instead used to gauge individual players and how good they are feeling about themselves and are usually not precise parameters to judge the form of a team. However, they do offer an insight into how confident a certain outfit is. Considering the two warm-up matches that India has played are anything to go by, the Men in Blue could well be the team to beat in this edition of the T20 World Cup.
Yuvraj Singh: T20I Format Is Very Unpredictable, But India Has The Same Depth As Mumbai Indians
India pummelled England and then Australia in the warm-up games and are now all set to begin their ICC World T20 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday. Team India won the inaugural World T20 title in 2007, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. This edition, meanwhile, will be the T20I captaincy swansong for current skipper Virat Kohli who will retire as skipper from T20Is after the conclusion of the T20I WC.
Questions arise whether Virat Kohli, who has a junior ICC title to his name (ICC Under-19 World Cup win in 2008), win his maiden senior ICC trophy and become the second Indian captain to take India to the T20 World Cup title.
“It is not only about the captain; the whole team needs to perform. Then only you can win the title. I feel India has a great T20 side but the T20 format is very unpredictable. One session of five overs can take away the game,” Yuvraj Singh said.
“I feel Team India has the same depth as Mumbai Indians. They have 5,6,7 and 8 as allrounders. The left-right combinations. Hardik, Krunal, Pollard are there. They have depth in their batting. They have allrounders. We do have a side like that.
“If you look at Jadeja, Hardik, and Rishabh, we have a strong side. New guys are also coming in. We have a strong batting lineup. We have all-rounders. We have a strong batting lineup till number 8 and we have a mix of extra bowlers,” the 39 year old further said.
One crucial aspect of this World Cup is that it is being played in the UAE, where the pitches are generally slower and do assist spin. In that context, sub-continental teams might have the upper hand over other opposition. But, on the other hand, any team with quality spinners and a variety of them should feel rather confident about themselves.
“I feel we (India) have a very good chance. The UAE wickets can get slow in the second half. So, spinners come in very handy. So, we have a really good, balanced side,” Yuvraj Singh, who was part of the MS Dhoni-led 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team and scored 148 runs in 6 matches at an average of 29.60, further said.
In a warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener KL Rahul for 39. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.
Against England, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.
Yuvraj Singh: Hitting Six Sixes Of Stuart Broad A Historic Moment And Greatest Memory Of Career
Yuvraj Singh is one of the biggest match-winners Indian cricket has ever produced. He played multiple unforgettable knocks in his career. But the one thing that he will forever be synonymous with will be hitting 6 sixes in an over-off England pacer Stuart Broad.
“We just smile at each other (when they meet). The good thing was that the monkey was off my back because two weeks before that match, I got hit for five sixes in an ODI match vs England. I had bowled the 50th over. Getting hit for five sixes and then hitting sixes was a big relief doing against the same country (England).
“The monkey was off my back and it is obviously one of the greatest memories,” Yuvraj Singh, who scored over 11,000 runs and took 148 wickets in international cricket across all formats told TimesofIndia.com.
“I realised the importance of that memory over the years because every time September 19 comes, people start celebrating that moment. It is one of the historic moments of my career and I will always cherish that,” Yuvraj Singh, who played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs, and 58 T20Is between 2000 and 2019, signed off.
During the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh took Stuart Broad to the cleaners in the 19th over of the Indian innings, whacking him for 6 sixes and taking India’s total past the 200-run mark. India defeated England by 18 runs in that game.
Yuvraj Singh featured in two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195. In the tournament, his 12-ball half-century against England remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad.
With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, he was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup Win after a hiatus of 28 years, and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award.