'Was a bit of a shock': Yuvraj Singh on having to be 'careful' around Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Kumble
Yuvraj Singh admitted that he was quite intimidated by the senior figures in the Indian dressing room in his initial years.
Yuvraj Singh was among the younger players for many years in an Indian dressing room that had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Yuvraj played in the captaincy of three of them and he said recently that the aura around these players was such that he was reluctant to even sit next to them in the dressing room.
“After 20 years, I still have to be careful about what I say in front of him (Kumble). I think it was a bit of a shock, to be honest. There's Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar, and the likes of Ganguly (in the dressing room),” said Yuvraj at a Viacom18 Sports event in Mumbai for the launch of South Africa's new franchise league SA20.
Yuvraj was talking about how the Indian Premier League (IPL) has made younger players feel more comfortable around the big stars. He said that younger players used to be far more afraid of the big stars in the dressing room in their early international matches.
"There are all these guys you're watching on television as a kid and straightaway, you were in the dressing room with them. You had to ask the coach to not be seated next to them. The coach used to say they're your teammates so you have to sit next to them. So, it took a while to start talking to them. But what the IPL has done is that the youngsters are now more comfortable around the players," he said.
Yuvraj spent a number of years with the senior players before himself becoming a senior to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He was a protagonist of India's T20 World Cup win in 2007 and ODI World Cup victory in 2011. Yuvraj won the player of the tournament for the latter for his all-round performances.