News: One of the greatest player of Indian cricket team, Yuvraj Singh were out from three years in India’s ODI side, he scored well – 150 off 127 balls – in his 295th ODI, against England in Cuttack. Once he reached his century – his first since the 2011 World Cup in India, where he was Man of the Tournament – Yuvraj thumped his chest and grew emotional. The 35-year-old pressed on to make 150, before edging behind in the 43rd over. His knock was instrumental in launching India from 25 for 3 to 381 for 6, and Yuvraj rated it as probably one of his best.
“Probably, one of my best – my highest score in ODIs,” Yuvraj told Star Sports. “The last time I got a hundred was the 2011 World Cup; I am pretty happy that I played a good innings.
“I just tried to get a partnership. They [England] bowled really well upfront and we just wanted to rotate the strike and get into the rhythm, and take our time. There was a lot of time. I just wanted to play down the ground and not take many risks.”
Yuvraj saw off Chris Woakes’ threatening opening burst (5-3-14-3) and rebuilt the innings with MS Dhoni before unfurling a gallery of shots, including the lofted drive over long-off and the pick-up flick over midwicket. Yuvraj credited his touch to a prolific run in the Ranji Trophy: he scored 672 runs in eight innings at 84, including a career-best 260 for Punjab against Baroda at Feroz Shah Kotla in October last year.
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“I have been hitting the ball well. I have worked hard on my fitness and my batting. Even in the last game I was hitting the ball well. I knew if it’s my day… I just told Sanjay Bangar the way I’m hitting the ball I think I am going to score big. Whatever the stage is, we try to be positive, that’s the reason why me and Mahi were able to get the rhythm going.”
“He [Ms Dhoni ] played a great innings,” Yuvraj said. “He is the most experienced middle-order batsman in the team. He is also a sensational captain. He was more free today, the way he was batting. I have always said when Mahi is not captaining he is more free and you saw the result today.”
Later, at the post-match press conference, Yuvraj elaborated on how the pair had gone about building the partnership: “We two were the most experienced players in the team. He realised that I was getting boundaries. He was just there rotating the strike and our first target was to make a 50-run partnership. After that we wanted to take our partnership further to 100 runs.”
Yuvraj also admitted there was a time after his battle with cancer where he thought “whether he should continue or not”.
“I came back after recovering from cancer, the first two-three years were very hard,” he said. “I had to work hard on my fitness and I was in and out of the team. I was not able to get a permanent spot. There was a time when I was wondering whether to continue or not to continue. Never giving up is my theory. I knew time will change.
“I don’t think about who’s reacting to what nor do I read newspapers. I don’t watch TV too. I try to focus on my game and prove a point to myself that I’m still good enough for international cricket.”