Yuvraj Singh has been involved in several match-winning moments for Team India, but the left-handed batsman, who boasts of an illustrious career on the pitch, never got to lead the unit.
In a recent episode of ’22 Yarns’ podcast with Gaurav Kapur, the former India cricketer went on to share many tales from his cricketing days. During the chat, Yuvraj also went on to mention, how he expected to wear the captain’s arm-band ahead of MS Dhoni, with senior players Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly already out of the equation.
“So, basically, India had lost the 50-over World Cup, right? I mean there was quite a turmoil in Indian cricket and then there was a two-month tour of England and there was also a month tour in between with South Africa and Ireland. And then there was a month of T20 World Cup so there were like four months away from home. So probably the seniors thought that they need a break and obviously, nobody took the T20 World Cup seriously. I was expecting to captain India in the T20 World Cup and then it was announced MS Dhoni will be the captain,” the 39-year-old said.
Yuvraj, however, affirmed that he has always been a team player and supported the captain in whatever way he could. He also narrated a funny incident involving Zaheer Khan, as the latter decided to sit out for the tournament.
“Yes, obviously, whoever becomes captain you got to support that guy whether it was Rahul, whether it was [Sourav] Ganguly, whoever in the future, end of the day you want to be a team man and that’s how I was.”
“So, anyway, the seniors took a rest – Ganguly, Dravid, Sachin. So Zak [Zaheer Khan] says ‘I also should take rest, it has been a long tour’. I remember the first game was between West Indies and South Africa, right? And Chris Gayle hit a hundred off 50-55 balls. So Zak sends me a message in the night and he goes ‘Thank God! I rested for this tournament.’ and when we won the tournament he said ‘Oh no! I shouldn’t have rested’,” Yuvraj further said.
He has scripted some of India’s most iconic cricketing moments. His batted his way into folklore and bowled India to the World Cup.
And now, he’s spinning some new yarns!
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Yuvraj then also shared the mantra behind India’s success at the inaugural edition of the T20 World.
“But anyway, starting for the 2007 World Cup, we were a young team. We didn’t have an international coach or really big names. Lalchand Rajput was our coach and I think Venkatesh Prasad was our bowling coach and we were just a young team under a young captain which just landed in South Africa. I don’t think we had too much of a strategy, no one had a clue about T20 strategies because it was the first tournament. So we thought ‘Let’s just go and play the way you know’,” said the left-handed batsman.