Remember 2000? Y2K? It was also the year that a certain Yuvraj Singh, who turned 39 today, made his debut for India. And he lit up the international scene with his batting, bowling and of course, fielding for the next decade and more. To mark his birthday, we look at five of his most memorable moments on the cricket field.
1. Debut innings against Australia, ICC KnockOut Cup, 2000: When an 18-year-old Yuvraj Singh first stepped on the field during the quarterfinal match of the ICC Knockout Cup in 2000 against Australia, he was under tremendous pressure to deliver as India was losing quick wickets. But he took the fight right to the opposition and scored 84 runs, which helped India to win the match with a total of 265 runs on the board. He also took an absolute blinder of a catch during Australia’s innings. A star had arrived, and how!
2. The NatWest Series Final, 2002: On July 13th, 2002, the hopes of millions of Indians were crushed as Sachin Tendulkar got out at 146-5 with India chasing 325 runs in the NatWest final against England. But Yuvraj Singh stood up to the occasion and delivered one of the most historic chases in cricket along with Mohammad Kaif. He scored 69 off 63 and led the Indian team to one of its most memorable victories.
3. Six sixes off Stuart Broad, T20 WC 2007: Yuvi had a small altercation with England’s Andrew Flintoff during the September 19th, 2007 T20 World Cup match. What followed was a barrage of sixes and a 12-ball 50, which stands as the fastest 50 in any game format. This moment was arguably one of the most iconic in Cricket history.
4. Emotional victory after Mumbai Terror attacks, 2008: Although Yuvraj was considered one of the best in ODIs, he could not cement his greatness in Test matches. But his moment to shine came in 2008. This was just after the horrible terror attacks in Mumbai and an emotional Indian team was chasing the 387 targets set by England. The game was in the balance when Yuvraj came to bat at 224 for 4. He and Sachin came together to build a 163-run unbeaten partnership, thereby sealing one of the most historic and tough chases in Test Cricket. Towards the end of the match, he even ensured that he let Sachin score the winning runs, thereby sealing the win and a memorable century for the Little Master.
5. His performance during the World Cup tournament, 2011: Yuvraj’s biggest and most emotional moment in Indian colours came in 2011 when he gave it his all to capture the World Cup. His best clutch game was against Australia as he led the team to victory with a composed 57* and he also took 15 wickets with his slow left-arm spin in the entire tournament. Yuvi’s World Cup dream became a reality when MS Dhoni hit a six in the final match to capture the victory.