Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dear Yuvraj Singh haters, my old friends

13th Dec, 2005

First I would like you to take a look at a few figures:
79*, 0*, 103, 4*, 53, 49 - aggregate 288, average 96.

Of course this is a sequence of scores handpicked by me to showcase a purple patch. The selection could hardly be any more partisan. But a search for the last six scores of Yuvraj Singh in ODI's will give you the source.

I profess this nice productive sequence to be a best ever for the left hander and sure enough you think of good fortune more than fulfilment of age-old potential. This betters a previous-best string of 69, 139 and 47 recorded in the Aus-Zim-Ind VB series 2 years back. Genuinely moderate achievement this, considering he has played over 5 years of international cricket principally as a specialist batsman.

I can sense you turn your back on me with a dismissive shrug no sooner than I observe that the current string features a rare solo masterpiece, one that conjured up a fighting and rather unimaginable 249/9 from a paltry 35/5.

Indeed there is no reason to award any extra points on his fielding which, sure as daylight, has already earned this inconsistent package named Yuvraj Singh some valuable 'last opportunities' in the Indian XI. A return of 4 run-outs (including 3 direct hits) over the last 3 one-day series, however, narrates a whole new story you would hate to listen. Essentially that the erstwhile sharp catcher of the point region is metamorphosing into a complete fielding great.

Dear sceptic, a mention of any of the above to your ilk may be the surest way to make them speak at length about the devious ways adopted to showcase a purple patch, or allot undeserving extra points where none is due. Twisting truth can be as easy as coming in to bat in a Test match with a healthy lead on board, some would snigger.

Sri Lanka are a decent Test bowling attack under the conditions prevailing at the Kotla. The restraint and fluency that Yuvraj simultaneously exhibited during his relaxed innings of 77* indicates that the early promise shown during his ICC trophy debut against Australia in 2000 has borne belated fruit. And yet those very runs would struggle to earn an appreciation from you for being 'scratchily accumulated fair weather stuff'.

The purpose is not to start an argument, friends. Being an old mate I just wanted to warn you that the new Yuvraj is here - looming large in front of you, ready to suck you in as he has done to me over the last couple of months. I was unsuspecting, you need not be.

Did I utter 'belated' there? His biological clock struck 24.00 yesterday as he remained unbeaten at stumps. Today happened to be the dawn of Yuvraj Singh by elementary laws of nature; it was time.

Over the past 5 years many of us had cursed Yuvraj's skipper for sticking by him. Planted, nurtured, watered and protected adoringly by the former leaseholder of Team India estate, Yuvraj Singh today is among the most valuable saplings in the orchard of skipper Rahul Dravid.

And I do not care if you have stopped listening. I parted ways with the group a month back.

[cross posted at]

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