Yuvraj Singh’s imperious performances in the World Cup have come as a pleasant surprise to many cricket fans who have seen the player slip in and out of the team for many years due to injuries and poor form.
However, one man who’s not surprised by Yuvraj’s brilliant run is the 1983 World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev.Describing the Chandigarh player as India’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the World Cup, the former all-rounder said Yuvraj - a virtuoso talent often shrouded in a cloak of indolence - has not been given his due by the fans.
“Many people have been surprised by Yuvraj’s good run in the World Cup. Over the past year he has had a few injuries and his form wasn’t the best, and many were quick to forget what a unique talent he is. However, I don’t think any cricketer, past or present, ever had the slightest doubt. Yuvraj is a match-winner. He’s been India’s MVP so far,” Kapil told HT on Sunday.
The former India captain was confident Yuvraj - who has scored 341 runs at an average of 113 and taken 11 wickets with an economy rate of less than five runs per over - could again make the difference in the semifinal against Pakistan at his home ground in Mohali.
While he did not wish to make any predictions, he felt India at least had a slender advantage. “Taking a look at the lineup, nobody would have thought Pakistan would reach this far. But, to their credit they’ve played as a unit and shown great teamwork.
“India have the advantage of playing at home. I don’t think it should put any added pressure on them. In fact, playing in front of home fans will work to India’s advantage,” he said.
On what could be the decisive factor, he said: “It will be a test of nerves. The team that manages to keep their composure will win.”