Yuvraj Singh: The Hero of the Indian Cricket Team

Sports are all about battling your demons, defeating them and always coming out on top like a warrior on the battlefield. It is about a never give up attitude and the will to battle out any adversary. We see so many sportspersons and cricketers showcasing that mindset of the indomitable will, but no one has ever showed more class, the drive to play the sport and the will to make the biggest sacrifice than one of Indian Cricket Team’s gems, Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj was one of the most dominant players across the three formats, a brilliant all rounder and for some years from 2007 - 2011 was the face of Indian Cricket. Beyond the boundaries, he faced a foe more formidable than any opponent on the pitch, cancer. Yet, in the dark times of adversity, Yuvi not only fought off this unseen adversary but also, astonishingly, conquered the sport’s summit by steering India to glory in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. From blood pukes to winning the tournament’s player of the tournament, Yuvi’s story is one of cricket’s most underrated ones.

Yuvraj Singh celebrates with a roar after knocking Australia out of the 2011 World Cup

Credit: Getty Images 

In this article by ZAP, let’s explore more about the life and career of Yuvraj Singh.  

Yuvraj Singh Birthday, Age, Early Life and Introduction to cricket:

Yuvraj Singh was born on 12 December 1981 (currently age 42) into a Punjabi Sikh family in Chandigarh. He is the son of the former Indian cricketer Yograj Singh. Yograj Singh also coached Yuvi in his early years sharpening his talent at a very young age. During his childhood, Yuvraj's excelled at both, tennis and roller skating. He even won the National Under-14 Roller Skating Championship, but his father threw the gold away and instructed him to focus only on cricket instead of skating.

Yuvi started his early career at only 13 years and 11 months of age playing for the  Punjab U-16s. He was soon selected for the U-19s Punjab team a year later after some great performances in the U-16s. Shortly after his, he made his first class cricket debut against Orissa but got out on a duck in the first innings.

Remember that scene in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story movie, where Sushant Singh Rajput (Dhoni) talks about his encounter with Yuvraj Singh in a tournament, where he alone outscored an entire team. That actually happened in reality, and that game was his breakthrough moment in his first class cricket career. In the 1999 Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy Final, Yuvraj batted at number three for Punjab and scored 358 runs alone, 1 run more than the entire Bihar Team's 357 which MS Dhoni played for.

A young Yuvraj Singh with his U-19 World Cup Captain Mohammad Kaif

Credit: DNA India

Yuvraj was named Player of the Tournament for the 2000 Under-19 World Cup which India won and was called up to the national side. 

Yuvraj Singh's International Cricket Debut and Indian Cricket Team Career:

Yuvraj Singh bats in his debut game for India against Kenya

Credit: Hindustan

Yuvraj's outstanding Under-19 team performances earned him a spot in the Indian team for the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy (now the Champions Trophy). He made his international debut against Kenya in the pre quarterfinal of the tournament. Next, only in his second match for the India against the Australian team, he was awarded a man of the match for his innings of 84 off 80 balls. He played this important innings facing a pace attack of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, and Jason Gillespie. 

From 2002 to 2007, he went through fluctuating period marked by notable performances and occasional struggles. Even though Yuvraj had form setbacks during several series, he showed his talent and determination. Among his memorable moments were his important innings against England and Pakistan during India's final run in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. In 2003, Yuvraj also made his Test Match debut and later in the same series against Pakistan scored his maiden Test Century. 

He had ups and downs in his form and a decline in his Test form. Yuvraj's determination shown by his incredible comeback in the 2006 ODI series against Pakistan, where he was named player of the series. But he still had problems with cricket injuries and inconsistent performances, which kept him out of several series.

He was even selected for the 2007 ODI World Cup marked by highs like his impactful innings against Bermuda but ending in disappointment as India exited the tournament prematurely.

Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 T20 World Cup:

Yuvraj Singh celebrates a half century in the 2007 ICC World Cup

Credit: Hindustan Times

2007 T20 World Cup was an important tournament India was going to play after an early and disappointing exit from the 2007 ODI World Cup. A young and un tested Indian side was sent to South Africa by the BCCI for the tournament, with MS Dhoni as the captain. There were many youngsters in the side and we were massive underdogs, and the senior players had to step up their game to get anything out of this tournament. Yuvi did just that and etched his name in cricket history with a breathtaking display of power hitting. During India's Super 8 match against England, he did the seemingly impossible by smashing six consecutive sixes off Stuart Broad's bowling playing an innings of 58 runs off 16 balls. In just 12 balls, Yuvraj reached the fastest fifty in T20 internationals, a record that still stands. Despite missing a game due to injury, Yuvraj made a stellar comeback in the semifinal against Australia, scoring 70 off 30 balls which even included him hitting the longest six of the tournament. India went on to win the tournament after beating Pakistan in the Final and Yuvraj Singh was included in the Team of the Tournament.

Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup:

Yuvraj Singh celebrates a wicket with Suresh Raina in the 2011 Cricket World Cup

Credit: SportsCafe.in

In the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Yuvraj Singh was rose as the hero of the Indian Team. He scored a whopping 362 runs, including a century and four fifties, and took an impressive 15 wickets. Yuvi became the first all-round player to score more than 300 runs and take 15 wickets during a single World Cup. In spite of health issues and breathing problems, Yuvraj's bravery and outstanding performances like his crucial partnership with Suresh Raina and his score of 57 runs and 2/44 against Australia in the quarterfinals cemented India's place in the semi finals. India went on to win the Finals at the Wankhede Stadium and Yuvi was named the man of the tournament for his brilliant performances throughout the competition.

Yuvraj Singh Career Runs, Wickets and Centuries:









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Yuvraj Singh IPL Career:

Yuvraj Singh batting for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL

Credit: NDTV Sports

Yuvi had multiple highs and lows playing in the Indian Premier League where he played for multiple franchises. He started with Kings XI Punjab in 2008 and 2009, captaining the team in the first two seasons. He achieved a T20 hat-trick in 2009. In 2011, he joined Pune Warriors as captain but the team finished ninth. In 2014, Yuvraj was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for 14 crores. He later played for Delhi Daredevils in 2015, becoming the costliest player then at 16 crores. Yuvraj joined Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016 and played a crucial role in their IPL victory with SRH. In 2018, Kings XI Punjab bought him back for 2 crores, but he struggled with only 64 runs in 6 innings. Mumbai Indians picked him in 2019 for 1 crore, where he became a champion once again, when Mumbai beat Chennai Super Kings in the final. But hist time with MI didn’t last long and he was released before the 2020 IPL Auction. Overall, Yuvraj had ups and downs in the IPL, playing for various teams and contributing with both bat and ball.

Yuvraj Singh’s Batting, Bowling and Fielding:

Yuvraj Singh bowling

Credit: Sportskeeda

Yuvraj Singh was the ICT’s best all rounders for more than a decade he played for the team. He was a left handed batsman who could also bowl left arm off spin bowling. In terms of energy on the field too, he was one of the most athletic and energetic fielders. He usually stood at the point and covers fielding positions, where usually the best fielders in the team stand and had an amazing fielding technique with an accurate throw at the stumps. He was a natural stroke player and his batting technique was explosive and had an impressive strike rate of over 150 in T20Is. His best shots were the flick shot, the pull shot and the punch through the covers. When in good touch and form, there were no boundary that he couldn’t clear and his six hitting ability was effortless.

Yuvraj Singh’s Cancer Treatment – The Warrior:

Yuvraj Singh's cancer fight in 2011 was an incredible example of bravery and resiliency. He was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his left lung and received three rounds of chemotherapy in the US as treatment. Despite facing breathing difficulties, nausea, and even vomiting blood, Yuvi showed incredible strength. His cancer went into complete remission, and he finished the course of therapy with the intention of playing the sport again. Yuvi's return at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 was a real monument to his spirit and demonstrated his will to overcome adversity. He received unreal support from people for his courageous journey from being diagnosed with cancer to returning to the cricket pitch, and he continued to inspire others with his tenacity and warrior-like spirit.

Yuvraj Singh’s Cricket Records and Achievements:

  • First man to hit six sixes in an over in T20Is
  • First player with 300-plus runs and 15 wickets in a single World Cup edition
  • Only bowler to take two hat-tricks in a single edition of the IPL
  • Youngest Indian to score a 50 in an ICC event
  • First player to score a half century and take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match
  • Only player to win the Man of the Series awards in both U-19 and senior 50-over World Cups

6 Sixes in an Over:

In a match between India and England Team in the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvi and Andrew Flintoff had a brief faceoff after which Yuvi got instigated and furious. But he channelled his aggression in the right direction and gave us one of the most iconic moments in cricket history. He smashed Stuart Broad, for sixes all round the ground on every ball of his over and became the first batter to do so in a t20I game. 

Yuvraj Singh 12 ball 50:

In the same game after in which Yuvraj Singh hit his 6 sixes, he broke the record for the fastest half century and reached 50 runs in just 12 balls, to create a record that still hasn’t been broken by any batter. 

Yuvraj Singh’s Autobiography – The Test of My Life:

"The Test of My Life," is Yuvraj Singh's autobiography, where he shared about his experience with cricket. The book traces his journey from a timid beginner encouraged by his father to becoming a cricketing icon. The book is split into two halves. The first portion highlights the greatest moments in his career, including the World Cup of 2011. The second part gets emotional as it unveils Yuvraj's brave fight against cancer in the USA. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, he was crucial to India's World Cup victory. The book isn't just about scores; it's about life's twists. Co-authored with Sharda Ugra and Nishant Jeet Arora, it's a tribute to Yuvraj's mom, his rock through thick and thin.


What is the bowling style of Yuvraj Singh?

Yuvi was a part time spin bowler and used to bowl left arm off spin.

How many sixes did Yuvraj hit?

Yuvi hit 251 sixes in International cricket, 22 in Test matches, 155 in ODIs and 74 in T20Is.

Did Yuvraj Singh won IPL?

Yes, Yuvi is a 2 time IPL winner with Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016 and with the Mighty Mumbai Indians in 2019.

Now that you have read about Yuvraj Singh, here are some more cricket legends we recommend you read about:

Sachin Tendulkar | AB de Villiers | Shane Warne | Gautam Gambhir

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