Among the few glitches in Yuvraj Singh‘s illustrious career has been the 2014 T20 World Cup. Yuvraj was the star player for India in the 2007 T20 World Cup and was the Player of the Tournament in the 2011 ODI World Cup, both of which India won to script respective pieces of history. However, his go-slow knock against Sri Lanka in the 2014 T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka was immensely criticised. And eight years hence that knock, Yuvraj opened up on the pressure he faced during the entire tournament amid the lack of support from the management. He further opined that now many players like MS Dhoni have been lucky enough to find support from the management during the end of their careers.
Speaking on Home of Heroes on Sports18, Yuvraj recalled that he was low on confidence during that entire tournament owing to his form and he felt he might even get dropped from the team.
“During the T20 World Cup in 2014, I was very low on confidence. There was an atmosphere that I could get dropped. It’s not an excuse but I wasn’t getting enough support from the team. From the time of Gary, I was in Duncan’s era and things had completely changed in the team,” Yuvraj said.
He then recalled his knock in the final where he scored only 11 runs off 21 balls as India managed a below-par total of 130 for 4. Sri Lanka had chased down the target comfortably with six wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare.
He added, “When the final came, I just couldn’t hit the ball. I tried to hit the off-spinner and I couldn’t hit it and it went for dots. I tried to get out, I didn’t get out….Everybody thought my career was over after that. I also thought my career was over. But that’s life. You have to accept that. If you accept glories, you must accept your defeats as well and you must move forward.”
The former India cricketer opined that few players have been lucky enough like Dhoni to have found support in Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, who took him to the 2019 World Cup. He admitted that the Indian dressing room witnessed a change after 2011 and many great players like Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman failed to find support from the management.
“Definitely when you have support from the coach and the captain it helps,” Yuvraj said.
“Look at Mahi (MS Dhoni) towards the end of his career. He had so much support from Virat and Ravi Shastri. They took him to the World Cup, he played till the end, and went on to play 350 games. I think support is very important but in Indian cricket everybody will not get support.
“There have been great players like Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Gautam Gambhir who didn’t get that (support). When you are batting out there and you know that the axe is hanging on your head how will you concentrate and bat and give your best. It is not an excuse but with different coaches and after 2011 times are very different,” he added.