“You would know what I'm feeling if someone wrote the same things about your kids as what is being written and said about me!” Yuvraj Singh's decibel level while he made this angry statement indicated the level of his agitation.
And yes, it was surprising. Yuvraj in the news for all the
wrong reasons isn't exactly uncommon, but his response this time was.
Generally, the India batsman tends to take criticism of his colourful ways in stride. This time though, the speculation about him not giving his best after being stripped of the captaincy and the insidious rumours that he has been responsible for a rift in the Kings XI Punjab side have clearly got to him.
“You can write whatever you want about my poor form but how could you link several other things to it and question my integrity. I am really disappointed,” he thundered at the media, before slamming shut the door of his gleaming Audi.
So why does Yuvraj evoke such extreme reaction? He's either praised to the heavens, or trashed. The answer comes from Kumar Sangakkara, the man he's rumoured to not get along with.
“We all know he's the best T20 player in the world. So he's someone everyone expects to do well all the time,” said the XIP skipper. “They can't take his failure.”
Sangakkara didn't agree that Yuvraj's flamboyant lifestyle left him vulnerable to attack.
“I think as long as you prepare hard and give cent per cent on the field, your private life is your own. Yuvraj is a success not only on the field but off it as well in how positive he is about life and how well he handles pressure. And given his track record, I think his lifestyle and how he behaves has contributed to his success and that of the Indian team.”
So is Yuvraj a victim of circumstances? There is no doubt that the loss of the captaincy probably hurt. He took pride in it and had once actually called it a stepping-stone to the India captaincy. So it's possible his focus may have wavered after losing it. But to suggest that he's deliberately under performing would be hitting below the belt. So he's also perhaps justified in sounding so hurt.