1. While playing Pakistan
India v/s Pakistan, cricket’s most enjoyed rivalries is due at the ongoing Asia Cup. For an occurrence which seldom comes out of cold storage, it’s going to be a treat for fans as the arch-opponents are going to clash twice within a week. The high-voltage battle will miss a formidable general from India’s battalion, Yuvraj Singh. With over 1200 runs at an average of 46+ against Pakistan, his love for his Punjabi neighbours is apparent. His bold cover-drives against Shoaib Akhtar who was at his peak in the ’03 World Cup and his 107 not-out at Karachi in ’06 are reasons why Pakistan would be slightly relieved at his absence.
2. When Pune Warriors take guard
IPL 2012 is around the corner, and you might not pick the one-league-old team Pune Warriors among your favourites simply because its strike force, Yuvraj isn’t around. Sahara’s squad might not have won too many matches (4) last edition, but keen opponents found ominous energy between the boys, thanks to Yuvraj helming it, with his years of T20 experience.
Pune might have two left-handers of the most exquisite quality – Ganguly and Graeme Smith, and their newest catch, Luke Wright of Big Bash fame, but it will be the inspiring services of their captain that they will miss most.
3. During middle order collapses
Let’s face it. Despite India being the world’s best batting team on paper, those moments when they’re 100-odd for 4 in the 20-something over occur often. After the openers fall cheaply and the famed middle order comprising of the most dashing batsmen fails to recover, it is often Yuvraj Singh whose measured flamboyance anchors a comeback and eventually builds a score that erases all signs of the debacle the innings started with.
With Rahul Dravid’s retirement, the team lost the greatest one-down batsman ever and now with Yuvraj away on leave, the middle order looks vulnerable. Hopefully, the Virats, Rohits and Rainas won’t give us many chances to miss Yuvraj in the middle.
4. After an upper cut at Point
Imagine a raging batsman slashing a short ball from Umesh Yadav towards off. Virender Sehwag or Suresh Raina, fielding at Point, manage to get a hand to it but it still hobbles away to the boundary. We’re not demeaning his colleagues, but when Yuvraj Singh fields at Point, the scene usually culminates in him pulling off a stunning catch with the ball inches off the ground and sprinting about in glee.
Having made the team realise the significance of half-chances and saved runs in the field, Yuvraj Singh provides that electric energy the bowlers dream of. And though Virat now does a neat job, we’d like to see the ‘owner’ of the position back in his element soon!
5. In times off the field
Agreed, he’s a newsperson’s nightmare thanks to his deadpan face and drab responses to interviews, but we all know Yuvraj Singh can be a thorough entertainer when he’s not doing any of the above too! Be it his once-famous hugs with former team owner Priety Zinta or his quotes about Bollywood link-ups or his appearances at entertainment shows and advertisements, the man is India’s true sports star. Besides, we don’t really enjoy his chemotherapy pictures or his that dark TVC selling insurance, do we?
The moment we hear his mother talking about his marriage prospects again, we will know that all is well with Yuvraj Singh!
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