India's talismanic left-hand batsman Yuvraj Singh is all set to become the 5th Indian cricketer to play 300 One Day International games when he takes to the field against Bangladesh in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy on Thursday.
Yuvi shall join an elite club of iconic Indian cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin who scaled the remarkable milestone in their illustrious career. The destructive yet elegant stroke maker has been one of India's greatest match winners with the willow, that too striking purples patches at major ICC tournaments.
Yuvi's electrifying batting can be best described as a perfect blend of aggression mixed with flair and artistry. Bestowed with tremendous ball striking ability, Yuvraj Singh created a distant mark off his own by hitting those effortless sixes with his sublime timing and exaggerated backlift.
In an era where Indian cricket had a plethora of stalwarts in Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble, Yuvraj has held his own by sealing his spot in the middle order as a finisher par excellence. Yuvraj has certainly brought joy to billions of die hard fans by churning out matchwinning performances with bat and ball on a consistent basis over the last two decades.
Since exploding on the international scene in the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy with a power packed 84 off 80 balls against a quality Australian seam attack, Yuvraj brought in a new lease of life into Indian cricket with his belligerent hitting and remarkable fielding. At his prime, the 'King of Sixes' won many games for India with those whirlwind cameos down the order.
Yuvraj has also been very handy with his left arm spin which affected for more than 100 ODI dismissals. Add to that his electrifying fielding which made him a live wire on the field. But more than his cricketing skills, Yuvi shall be best remembered for being a fighter of a character who turned adversity into success.
Memories are etched in the minds of the 'Billion Blue Brigade' when Yuvraj notched up that matchwinning partnership with Mohammad Kaif at Lords which won India the NatWest Trophy in 2002. Yuvraj again showcased his spectacular ball striking prowess when he tonked English seamer Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over at the 2007 World T20 in England.
Yuvi success and India's successful run at major ICC tournament's went hand in glove with each other. Down with cancer, Yuvi was Down but not out, braved the dreaded disease and made a spirited comeback to play an integral role in India's successful 2011 World Cup campaign. His 362 runs and 15 wickets in the tournament were instrumental in India clinching the glittering world Cup Trophy at home after a gap of 28 years. The 2011 World Cup at home was a dream run for Yuvraj who won four Man-of-the-Match awards and also bagged the Player of the Tournament.
Yuvraj Singh's One Day Record
Matches - 299, Runs - 8622, Average - 36.84 100s- 14 50s - 42 SR - 87.81
Yuvraj's Singh Major career achievements at a glance
#In a 2007 ICC World Twenty20 match, he hit six sixes in a single over.
#He holds the record for fastest T20 fifty by scoring it in 12 balls against England national cricket team during the 2007 ICC World Twenty20
#He became the first all-rounder to score 300 plus runs and take 15 wickets in a single World Cup.
#He was the Man of the Tournament in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
It has been rightly said that Champions step up their game when it matters the most. The same holds good for Yuvraj Singh who has gone by the credo - 'When the going gets tough the tough gets going' We as part of the Billion Brigade have been privileged to witness the glittering career of a special player who delighted the die hard fans with his belligerent strokeplay. Hope to see Yuvi go out with a bang in what is probably going to be his last major outing for India at a major ICC tournament.