‘Even if I die let India win World Cup’: When Yuvraj Singh fought illness to score crucial hundred against West Indies in WC 2011
A year after retirement, Yuvraj Singh is still regarded as one of the best hard-hitting Indian batsmen. The left-hander made a name for himself due to his ability to hit big sixes, and scoring quick hundreds. He also gained the reputation of being a match-winner for India, an ability he displayed in the 2011 World Cup. Yuvraj showed his best performance in the tournament, both with bat and ball, and after India beat Sri Lanka to win the trophy, the Punjab cricketer was rightfully adjudged the player of the series.
One of his best innings in the 2011 World Cup came in a Group Stage match against West Indies on March 20. After India lost a couple of quick wickets early on, with both Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir dismissed cheaply, Yuvraj started building a partnership with Virat Kohli. The duo added 122 runs for the third-wicket before Kohli was dismissed for 59. Yuvraj, however, carried on.
It was a slow Chennai wicket and the runs were hard to come by. Moreover, to add to Yuvraj’s worries, he started feeling unwell. The left-hander vomited multiple times on the pitch, and was visibly ill. Later, in an interview to Aaj Tak in 2014, Yuvraj had said: “I first thought it was because of the Chennai heat. I always wanted a World Cup hundred, which never happened because I had batted at 6. I prayed to God that whatever happens, even if I die afterwards, let India win the World Cup.”
Yuvraj went on to register his maiden World Cup hundred in the match, scoring 113 runs in 123 balls with the help of 10 fours nad 2 sixes at a strike rate of 91.86. On the back of his efforts, India posted a competitive total of 268 before a lower-order collapse triggered in the powerplay overs, ended India’s innings.
But Yuvraj was not done for the day. He came on to bowl during West Indies’ innings and in his four overs, he picked up two wickets of Devon Thomas and the dangerous Andre Russell. He finished the day with 18 runs for 2 wickets in his four overs. For his remarkable performance under pressure, Yuvraj was named the man of the match.