Yuvraj Singh is considered one of the greatest white-ball cricketers to have played for India. He was one of the key players for India in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the Player of the Tournament in India’s historic 2011 World Cup win at home. The all-rounder featured in as many as 304 ODI games for India and in 58 T20I matches. But Yuvraj also had a red-ball career, a rather promising one, which fans seldom talk about.
Having made his debut in 2003 in Mohali against New Zealand, Yuvraj played 40 Tests for India scoring 1900 runs at 33.92 with three centuries and 11 half-centuries. Overall, he had 26 first-class tons and 36 fifties. However, the former India cricketer feels he did not get a longer rope in the format.
“If you compare that era to today’s era, you can see players getting 10-15 matches,” Yuvraj said in an interview on ‘Home of Heroes’ on Sports18 explaining the Indian middle order back in his days was so strong. “You look at that era, you could open like the way Viru started it. After that Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly, and Laxman. I got a hundred in Lahore and in the next Test I was told to open.”
Yuvraj had actually made a promising start to his Test career scoring a 59 in Multan in his first ever Test in Pakistan before following it up with a knock of 112 in Lahore. He ended the 2004 tour with a fighting 119-ball 47 in Rawalpindi. A year later, he notched up two scores of 70s against Sri Lanka at home before going back to Pakistan to score 122 in Karachi.
The India great did admit that on many occasions he failed to convert his starts to big scores which he feels was the main reason behind his short Test career.
“Eventually, when I got opportunities to play Test cricket after Dada’s retirement, I got diagnosed with cancer,” he said. “It has just been bad luck. I tried 24×7. I wanted to play 100 Test matches, face those fast bowlers, and bat for two days. I gave it everything, but it was not meant to be.”
Yuvraj played his last Test in 2012, almost five years before his last international game for India.