Friday, March 25, 2011

Zaltzman on Yuvraj's magnificence not reflecting in his stats

Here's a compliment for His Gloriousness Yuvraj Singh from the unlikeliest of quarters - cricket comedian Andy Zaltzman.

Yuvraj is one of those few fascinating cricketers who combine majesty with vulnerability. As a Test player, he has mostly disappointed, the average of 35 that you see in the record book at odds with the left-hand Wally Hammond that you see at the crease. That GraemeFowleresque, ShivSunderDasian figure of 35 is often used by atheists, when set alongside Graeme Smith’s equivalent of 49, as an aesthetic argument that proves the non-existence of god.

Even Yuvraj’s distinguished ODI career had taken a pronounced downturn over the preceding 18 months. This tournament, the visual splendour of his stroke play has been matched by its assurance and determination. 57 not outs rarely glow like beacons on scorecards, but in a match that was not merely spell-binding, but presented witchcraft’s top 20 recipes boxed up in a commemorative gold-plated folder, and that was played in the tightest margins between defeat and victory with big players on both sides exerting significant impacts on the drama, Yuvraj decisively broke the Australians.

I was touched by that note from Andy. This rather special couple of paragraphs, and their perspective, befits a cricket historian like Ramachandra Guha, or a cricket romantic like Neville Cardus.

I always knew all along Yuvraj has been stealing many more hearts with this batting than his stats would ever, EVER suggest.

Like he stole mine 5 years back.
First with his performance (blogged here at the time)...
Then with his opulence. Sorry, no blogs on it - for lack of words to make posts on what he makes me feel with that arc of bat swing he paints when he is in unrelento-creato-destructo mode.

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