Yuvraj @300: Decoding one of India's greatest ever ODI players
He was a storehouse of talent at the onset, a rare blend of grace and power, but for the better part of his 17-year-career, Yuvraj Singh has been an enigma as well as a paradox in Indian cricket. Standing on the cusp of his 300th One-day International, it still remains a difficult task to describe Yuvraj in a nutshell. He is only the fifth Indian cricketer — after Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid — to achieve the rare milestone.
The 40 Test matches that he has played will not be able to tell the story of a cricketer, who, inarguably, will rank among India's greatest ever match-winners in limited overs cricket. And that list isn't too big. Kapil Dev, Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the names that immediately come to mind when one talks about match winners in the shorter versions. And that's the paradox. At times, it seemed as if there were two Yuvrajs residing in one single player. On one hand, there was a 'Yuvraj 1.0', who, as an 18- year- old, who was not intimidated by Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie at their peak in his first ODI innings.
That was the Yuvraj, who won India a Natwest Trophy final at the 'Home of Cricket' when all seemed lost. And remember in 2002, chasing 320 plus total was a departure from the set norm of what were considered impossible in 50-over cricket back then. And that was the Yuvraj, who scored a classic 139 at Sydney against an attack comprising Lee, Gillespie and Andy Bichel.