Yuvraj Singh’s father and former cricketer Yograj Singh congratulates his son for a wonderful comeback as the left-handed batsman scored his 14th ODI century against England in Cuttack and helped India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which concluded in Kolkata on January 22.
Speaking to Indian Express, Yograj revealed that when he used to train Yuvraj, “People use to say that I’m being harsh with the nine-year old and said that if he continues to train like this he would die. They use to call me ‘a heartless father’ but somewhere or the other I had a belief that this child has the caliber to achieve great heights. We use to train for 2 to 3 hours everyday and I think the struggle he has gone or the patience he has shown, God has been kind to him.”
“I believe age doesn’t matter, it’s the way you keep your body fit. The way Yuvi, Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni are playing they can play till 40. Yuvraj has won us matches in past, he has played so many match winning knocks. Only thing that hurts me is that we wasted a lot of time. We could have won the 2015 World Cup if he would have been in the squad. Dhoni’s burden could have been shared.”
Yuvraj surpassed his personal best score of 139 which had come against Australia in 2003-04. His knock of 150 is also the highest by any Indian batsman against England.
Recalling his chat with Yuvraj, Yograj said “I told him that you could have scored a double hundred quite easily. Better try in the next game to which he laughed and said dad you had told me the same when I had scored 169 (in a Test match against Pakistan in 2007).”
“The way both of them (Yuvraj and MS Dhoni) batted and rescued India, this had made me forgive Dhoni. The way the duo batted and supported each other, this showed their love for each other, their love for the country.
Yuvraj and Dhoni put on 256 runs for the fourth wicket to help India post a mammoth 381/6 after being put into bat. Both the veterans came together with India in trouble at 25 for three, and put up a record partnership to put their team in a commanding position. Their partnership of 256 is now the second best partnership for the fourth wicket.
“This was the most beautiful partnership I have ever seen, both of them shouldered each other, running between the wickets was superb. I’m glad that Dhoni also scored his century. He deserved it. And with Dhoni and Yuvi in the middle, India can go and win tournaments in future. Both of them are great players and great finishers.”
“And I was never critical about him (Dhoni). According to me, being a captain he should have gone to the selectors and should have said that I need him (Yuvraj) in the middle order. But unfortunately he wasted 2-3 years of Yuvi’s cricket career. Better late than never, he is back and I thank Virat for showing confidence in my son and I’m sure he will go on to win more matches for India.”
Yuvraj, making his comeback after two years, had a disappointing match in Pune. The 35-year-old all-rounder scored 15 runs but found his feet in the second ODI at Cuttack. He scored his 14th ODI ton and his first after World Cup 2011 smashing 21 fours and three maximums in the process.
“When he is in the squad, you have a batsman, finisher, a fielder, bowler who can bowl crucial overs in between or provide you with wickets and more importantly an experienced player with valuable advises. I consider that he still has four-five years of cricket left in him.”
He also heaped praises for his daughter-in-law Hazel Keech and said that she motivates Yuvraj a lot. She follows the same diet, exercises together. By the Grace of God, she has been very supportive and I pray that the bond these two share, never ends.
“I know that my son keeps working harder and harder. I assume ‘mental strength’ of mind is very important and after fighting against cancer he has achieved that. He knows how to stay strong during tough time and I wish him much more success.” concluded Yograj, who feels Yuvraj will finish as one of the greats like Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
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