As Yuvraj Singh announces his retirement from all international cricket, we look back on the greatest moments from his 17-year-long international career.
84 vs Australia, ICC KnockOut quarter-final, Gymkhana (Nairobi), 7th October 2000
A fresh-faced, 18-year-old Yuvraj Singh dominated an Australian attack led by Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee as his 80-ball 84, filled with crunching drives and powerful flicks, led India to a total of 265/9. It was a score which proved too much for the Australians as they were bowled out for 245.
Yuvraj didn’t bowl, but played a key role in the field nonetheless, taking a superb diving catch at cover to dismiss Ian Harvey, before running out Michael Bevan by a matter of inches with a direct hit from mid-off. His innings was the only half-century of the match. Not bad for his first international innings!
69 vs England, Lord’s, 13th July 2002
After tri-series hosts England racked up their highest 50-over total to date - it would take them three years to top their 325/5 - India fans were expecting a tenth successive defeat in tournament finals.
Their hopes continued to dwindle as they watched their team fall to 146/5, but Yuvraj combined with Mohammad Kaif for a 121-run partnership in 17.4 overs. Yuvraj wasn’t able to see them all the way home, but his innings was vital as India won the game and the series with three balls to spare.
58 vs England, ICC World Twenty20, Kingsmead (Durban), 19th September 2007
An innings which will be forever remembered for a single over. After exchanging some words with Andrew Flintoff, Yuvraj hit six sixes off Stuart Broad, becoming just the fourth player in professional cricket to achieve the feat and the first in T20.
The final six, clobbered over deep mid-wicket, also brought up his fifty from just 12 balls, a record which has since been equalled but never bettered in T20 cricket. Flintoff managed to dismiss him in the final over of the innings, for 58 from just 16 balls, but the damage was done and India ran out winners by 18 runs.
70 vs Australia, ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, Kingsmead (Durban), 22nd September 2007
Just three days later, Yuvraj was at it again at the same venue. Having secured qualification to the knockout stages, India faced a strong Australia team in the semi-final. They again batted first but found themselves in a spot of bother; when Gambhir got out they had scored only 41 runs from the first eight overs.
Yuvraj came in and began the assault immediately as he hooked his second ball from Stuart Clark for the first of his five sixes. He proceeded to smite the ball to all parts during his 30-ball stay to take India up to 188/5, a total which proved out of reach as Australia fell to defeat by 15 runs.
169 vs Pakistan, 3rd Test, M Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru), 8th December 2007
After winning the toss and batting, India soon found themselves in some trouble against their arch-rivals. Yasir Arafat, on Test debut, removed Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman in quick succession to reduce India to 61/4. The dismissal of Laxman brought Yuvraj out to the middle to join Sourav Ganguly, and from then on, the contest changed.
They proceeded to blunt the Pakistani attack with some positive batting, and only parted having added exactly 300 runs together when Yuvraj gave a catch via his leading edge in the dying moments of the first day’s play.
85* vs England, 1st Test, MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai), 15th December 2008
A game played against a sombre backdrop after terrorist attacks in Mumbai which claimed more than 150 lives had threatened to cut England’s tour short. The game went ahead as planned, and turned into a heart-warming thriller. Having limited England to just over 300 after they won the toss and chose to bat, India were themselves rolled for just 241.
In the second innings, Yuvraj claimed the key wicket of England captain Kevin Pietersen, but India couldn’t prevent England from reaching a lead with which they felt happy to declare, setting the hosts a mammoth 387 to win on a turning pitch, and even after a century opening stand and a customary Vierender Sehwag blitz England felt they had a good chance.
Yuvraj eventually strode to the middle with 224 on the board, and a further 163 runs required with six wickets in hand. He strode off unbeaten alongside centurion Sachin Tendulkar, the pair having seen their side home to complete what is still the highest successful chase in India.
57* and 2/44 vs Australia, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup quarter final, Sardar Patel Stadium (Ahmedabad), 24th March 2011
In response to Australia’s 260/6, during which Yuvraj had picked up the important wickets of Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke and gone for just 44 runs from his 10 overs, India looked well set as first Tendulkar and then Gambhir registered half-centuries. Australia were still in the contest though, as both got out soon after reaching the landmark, and when Virat Kohli hit a full toss from David Hussey straight to midwicket, there was still plenty of work to do for new man at the crease Yuvraj.
India still needed 74 runs when Dhoni was out, with 75 balls to get them, and the rate climbed above a run a ball as they struggled along, scoring just three runs from the next eight deliveries. Yuvraj though was not about to let India choke, and he and Suresh Raina took 14 from the 40th over, bowled by Brett Lee, and 13 from the 41st, sent down by an ever wayward Shaun Tait. Yuvraj finished the game with a boundary through the covers off the bowling of Lee with two and a half overs to spare, taking India through to the semi-finals on their route to eventually winning the tournament.
150 vs England, 2nd ODI, Barabati Stadium (Cuttack), 19th January 2017
On the back of a high-scoring first ODI where India had narrowly edged the game chasing 350, England hoped to turn the tables, putting India in to bat first. By the time India were 25/3 in the fifth over England would have been confident of a victory and levelling the series. Yuvraj though had other ideas, as he crafted his way to fifty from 56 balls.
As he continued he accelerated, and together with MS Dhoni put on 256 in 38.2 overs. He finally departed with 150 off 127 balls to his name. India ended with 381/6, which proved just enough to hold off the visitors as they fell short by 15 runs.
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