King’s XI Punjab’s Virendra Sehwag celebrate the wicket of Yuvraj Singh during their IPL 7 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. (PTI Photo)
It’s been heartening to watch Yuvraj Singh make runs in the last two matches. It has been a difficult last few years, and it is a tribute to his character that not only did he recover, he is out there playing competitive cricket at the highest level.
What has kept Yuvraj going is an addiction to cricket in general, and to the kind of knocks he has played of late in particular. Yuvraj is involved in charitable activities, but nothing gives him greater satisfaction than scorings runs and winning matches for his team.
The way Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders went after him in the auction would have instilled a sense of worth. It’s this demand for his services that has acted as a trigger.
It is unfair to compare his remuneration to his performance, but when Yuvraj produces knocks like he has in the last two innings, everyone will accept that he is worth every rupee.
It has helped Yuvraj that his base is the Chinnaswamy Stadium, which is essentially a batsman’s paradise. The shorter boundaries and quick outfield mean the batsman believes everything is possible.
Yuvraj, of course, doesn’t need small grounds when he is on song, but such is the beauty of the mind that the shorter boundaries can act as a huge spur.
The expectations from Yuvraj will remain enormous but he may not be able to produce knocks of this nature in every innings, but he will deliver every three or four games, now that he has regained the taste for big runs.
A Big name
There can be no question of not playing someone like Yuvraj even if he doesn’t score runs for a few innings.
It will be testing times for the team management if Yuvraj doesn’t perform for four or five games on the trot, but he can offer you instant victories, so you have to trust him to snap out of a lean trot quickly.
What also compels one to hold on to players like Yuvraj is that they are the ones who have been in big finals and performed on those occasions. They know what it takes to deliver on the big stage.
This and the fact that even when he is not scoring runs, he has a psychological hold on the bowler, add to what he brings to the table.
Then, when he plays like he did against Rajasthan and Delhi, you know that as an investment, you couldn’t have chosen a better option.
The writer is a former India pacer