Yuvraj Singh is on the brink of yet another comeback as he returns to the Indian team for the ODI series against Australia to be played at home. This was inevitable after a series of good scores for India ‘A’ and also captaining India Blue to victory in the recently concluded Challenger Trophy. There could be no better team than Australia for him to make his comeback, since this is the team against which he made his dream debut back in 1999. Besides, every Indian remembers the last time he played Australia at the 2011 World Cup quarter final, where he guided his team to a nail biting victory. The memory of him getting down on his knees to celebrate the win after hitting the winning runs is unlikely to be forgotten in a long time.
Since losing his place in the Indian side, after making his well documented comeback from cancer, it would have been very easy for him to give up, with the selectors also concentrating on youth. But Yuvi is not one to throw in the towel so easily. Behind this latest comeback is a story of toil and undying commitment to the game, which saw him fly to Paris, France to undergo a strenuous training program along with his good friend, Zaheer Khan so as to be able to push for a return to the team. The six week stint was more oriented towards building up endurance and physical strength , but at the same time also working on his cricketing skills. To show how committed he was to the cause, he even requested his mother not to come there as she would pamper him with her food and distract him from his training regime.
With Dinesh Karthik not able to cement his place in the side at no.4 after being given numerous opportunities, it was only a matter of time before he got back into the side based on his recent good performances. Now with a completely fit and raring to go Yuvi back against the Aussies, the Indian side looks like a stronger unit as he provides that all round ability which is essential to any team. A strong performance with bat and ball in the upcoming series could see him take a huge step towards playing another World Cup in 2015 and also pushing for a place in the Test team, which he has always stated is his ultimate goal.
This latest comeback of his would go a long way in silencing the critics who had said his place in the team was given to him on grounds of sympathy and past performances after his cancer comeback. At the same time, it can also be looked at as a last chance to deliver the goods or lose his place to youngsters in the run up to the World Cup. His role in this relatively young and inexperienced team could yet prove to be vital as he could play a guiding role to the youngsters. He also offers Dhoni the option of playing the extra batsman as he is capable of getting through his quota of overs, especially in Indian conditions.
Yuvi’s story is the stuff of legends which should be looked at as an inspiration for not only sports persons but all human beings. From not being able to even hold a cricket bat during chemotherapy to returning to the highest level of international cricket, all this within the span of a year. A journey of falling from the highest of highs, after a Man of the Tournament performance in the World Cup to the lowest of lows, being diagnosed with cancer soon after and then having the strength and courage to rise from the ashes and make a fairytale comeback. The moral being that there is always hope as long as you have the self belief and the passion to return to normal life, to return to what you love doing. As the man himself said, “Cancer is like a yorker, you have to hit it for a six” and that is exactly what he has done. We are all looking forward to seeing the Yuvi of old times in the upcoming series, smashing the Aussies to all parts of the ground and then going on to write another chapter in his already illustrious career.
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