1st March 2016, we witnessed the 7th Asia Cup match between India and Sri Lanka held in Bangladesh where Sri Lanka made 138 runs giving a target of 139 runs for India. India won the match by five wickets and also won a place in the finals. But to be honest India’s win over Sri Lanka wasn’t much talked about as was the comeback performance of Yuvraj Singh.
“It’s the old swagger now. I can see it. I haven’t seen this in a long time. Look at the way Yuvraj is walking, like he owns this place. He’s back.”- Dean Jones (commentator for the match)
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Yuvraj Singh made 35 runs in 17 balls and got out on the 18th ball. Forgetting the score, the way Yuvraj Singh played surely marked a comeback performance which was much needed not for him but for all the people questioning his capabilities about being back in the team and also for those who have never given up on him. If you closely watch Virat Kohli in the 17th over, you can see the motivational spirit he is showing towards Yuvraj Singh and encouraging him by uttering words like ‘Come on’. His performance was heart-warming for all his teammates. He made 35 runs including three fours and three sixes and got out for not being able to react to a bouncer.
Well, we also noticed the encouragement and trust MS Dhoni showed in Yuvraj Singh. This was evident from his after match speech. After the match between India and Pakistan which was the 4th Asia Cup match held on 27th February 2016 and India had won the match with 5 wickets, Dhoni was quick to point out that he was satisfied with what he was seeing from Yuvraj. But after this performance against Sri Lanka, Dhoni was the one to praise him. “I have already told that the more time he gets the better for him. When you return to international cricket there is a lot of pressure from yourself, there are people’s expectations as well. Then the first few matches go out in just figuring out what to do. Whether you want to go out and play the big shot. The problem being that if you don’t do well in the first couple of innings then there is more pressure on yourself. I felt that his approach has always been very good. He gave himself two or three balls before playing the big shot. And as you saw, he’s someone who can hit sixes at will. So if the same thing continues gradually, he will be in a very good position before the ICC T20 World Cup,” said Dhoni in his speech after the win against Sri Lanka.
Yuvraj Singh’s entry in the match between India and Sri Lanka was followed with rise in the proceedings. He had used the time he had spent in the middle in this tournament so far which had given him experience to him to be in form and play his best. Yuvraj’s self-belief worked in this match and he gave an answer to all those who questioned him being in or out of form.
Well, not forgetting the performance of Virat Kohli, whose splendid performance in the match India vs Sri Lanka is worth mentioning and complementing. He made 56 runs of 47 balls. He had his full control over the match. His performance in the whole Asia Cup 2016 tournament so far has been worth applauding for.
But, on 1st March 2016, India didn’t just win the match against Sri Lanka, India also won Yuvraj Singh. Like Dhoni said, that Yuvraj innings was not just important for him, it was important for the whole team. We hope to see similar performance from India in the upcoming ICC Twenty20 world. And for all the Yuvraj Singh fans we hope we did justice to this article, if you have any comments to add, then please reply in the comments section below