By Debaleena Paul
Born in December 1981 to a former fast bowler and Punjab movie star, Yograj Singh, and Shabnam Singh, the Sikh Jat Yuvraj started his international cricket tenure in 2000, as a middle-order left-hand batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. With a one-day international (ODI) strike rate slightly below 90 and a Twenty20 strike rate of 134.43, he has proven himself time and again as the finest natural stroke player of Team India, progressively building strong middle-order partnerships with some of the best batsmen of the times – Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni. With unwavering improvement in his bowling and athleticism on the field, the national-skating-champion-turned-cricketer rose to fame as an advantageous all-rounder and swiftly became the talk of the country. His linkups to Bollywood beauties are fascinating – Kim Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Riya Sen and the list goes on. Never losing focus however, Yuvi played some massive knocks to entrench his name in the hearts of many. For example, the famous 6 sixes in a Stuart Broad over in 2007 Twenty20 World Cup and the Man of the Series recognition in 2011 ODI World Cup (362 runs, 15 wickets, and 4 ‘Man of the Match’ awards)!
The cricket star turned to a real life hero, when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2011 shortly after the IPL season 4. Endurance, perseverance and his “never say die” attitude, coupled with the support of his family and prayers from all his fans worldwide, ensured that he completed his chemotherapy sessions at Boston, USA and made a comeback to the national team when India took on New Zealand at the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. The nation saluted his true sportsman spirit by conferring him with the Arjuna Award in 2012, the second highest sporting award in the country.
Yuvi has been a key player in the IPL, starting his T20 league journey as the undisputed captain and icon player of Kings XI Punjab. Currently, with 2471 runs in his kitty, he is a part of the much coveted franchise, Pune Warriors India.
Now, moving on to my weekly dosage of IPL updates –
Kolkata Knight Riders is beginning to disappoint its fans, by losing two consecutive matches against Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. It stands at the 7th position on the points table. Royal Challengers Bangalore is clearly emerging a hot favourite under the captaincy of the young heart-throb of national cricket, Virat Kohli. The team now, tops the points table after beating Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils, and is followed closely behind by Sunrisers Hyderabad at the second position. Mahi’s “Whistle Podu” Chennai Super Kings won two out of its last 3 matches (beat Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils, and lost to Pune Warriors India) and is occupying the third position. Delhi Daredevils finally opened its score by defeating the Mumbai Indians by a massive 9-wickets. However, the team has a lot of hard work to put in, before it makes its way up from the last position.
23 Apr 13 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India
AND Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab
24 Apr 13 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians