India’s pioneer at the 2011 ICC World Cup, Yuvraj Singh, announced his retirement from International cricket earlier on Monday after 17 successful years representing the Men in Blue. He was a part of both of India’s big triumphs on the global stage in recent times - the 2007 ICC World T20 as well as the 2011 World Cup. Singh has played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and T20 Internationals for India since making his debut almost two decades ago in 2000 against Kenya.
While the stylish southpaw has given the Indian side several cherished memories over the years, we list the five most memorable performances of Yuvraj Singh.
58 (16) vs England, 2007
One of the most famous knocks of his career, Yuvraj came in to bat with the score reading 155/4 after 17 overs. Almost immediately, he began his onslaught with back-to-back fours off Andrew Flintoff’s over. But the best was yet to come! He followed that up by hitting a record-breaking six sixes off the next over which had a young Stuart Broad at the receiving end of it. That blitzkrieg knock meant that Yuvraj reached his 50 in a mere 12 balls, the fastest ever in T20 Internationals - a record that remains intact till date.
50* (75) and 5/31 vs Ireland, 2011
At the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh was at the peak of his finesse and one of his finest nights in a blue shirt came in a World Cup group stage game against Ireland, where his all-round display stole the show. Firstly with the ball, Yuvraj achieved his first and only five-wicket haul to ensure the Irish batsmen were all-out for 207. He broke the back of that Irish middle-order by dismissing Kevin O’Brien, Alex Cusack, Andrew White and John Mooney, while also dismissing opener William Porterfield, who was their top scorer in the game. Then with the bat in hand, Singh played a composed knock and anchored the innings to ensure India got across the line. He ended with 50* to create history as being the only Indian to take five wickets and score a fifty in a World Cup game.
1 - Yuvraj Singh became the 1st left arm spinner in World Cup history to take a five-wicket haul. Piechucker.— OptaJim (@OptaJim) March 6, 2011
69 (63) vs England, 2002
In the NatWest Trophy final of 2002, India were chasing a steep target of 326 and found themselves in a spot of bother at 146/5, with experienced players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid back in the pavilion. However, up stepped youngsters, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, building a solid partnership of 121 to get the Indians back into the game. Although it was Kaif who stole the show on the night with his unbeaten 87* which helped India clinch a historic win at Lords, Singh played the perfect supporting act with his knock of 69 runs, that included nine fours and a six.
85* (131) vs England, 2008
While Yuvraj has been more of a limited-overs specialist for India, he was also a quality Test batsman and showed his versatility in the first Test match held in Mumbai after the 26/11 terrorist attacks. Having been set a stiff target of 387 in the fourth innings, India were 224/4 on a turning day five wicket at the Wankhede Stadium. Although it was Sachin Tendulkar who was the top scorer with a brilliant century, Yuvraj held fort from the other end and finished at 85*, as India managed to record the fourth highest successful run chase in Test history.
70 (30) vs Australia, 2007
In the semi-final of the inaugural ICC World T20 championship, Yuvraj was a class apart yet again as India managed to outclass one of the title favourites, Australia in the semi-final. He scored a blistering 70 off just 30 deliveries against a bowling attack that boasted the likes of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken. That quickfire knock proved to be the difference between the two sides as India emerged victorious by 15 runs.
Photo Courtesy: AFP Photo/ Money Sharma