India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 1st day December 8, 2007

A touch of Brian Lara

Yuvraj Singh's 169 was outstanding both for the manner in which he scored the runs and for the situation in which they came
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Each one of Yuvraj Singh's three Test centuries has come under trying circumstances against their old rivals Pakistan © AFP

Perhaps the best compliment for Yuvraj Singh, who played one of the finest innings under pressure you can hope to see, would be that he had a touch of Brian Lara. There was the same high backlift, with the bat flowing down from the eye level, the quick hands, malleable wrists, sensational timing and perfect placement. To top it all, there was the part that couldn't be seen, only sensed: the ability to create a bubble where the external factors - a fresh pitch with a tinge of green, the hole that his team was in when he walked in, and the fact that he was playing for Test spot - ceased to matter.

Yuvraj and Sourav Ganguly, for whom no praise can be too high, did for India what Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have long been renowned for doing, but it will be no discredit to Ganguly to say Yuvraj's brilliance shaded his second successive hundred. Not that he would have grudged it a whit: his eyes shone brighter when he celebrated his team-mate's century than when he reached his own. No one present at the ground, even his opponents, could stay untouched by the breathtaking majesty of this innings.

At lunch, India would have felt a touch despondent. They had won the toss and chosen to bat knowing that the pitch, which had been under covers for the best part of the last few days, would be soft and offer seam movement. But given their reliance on spin, in the absence of a full-strength pace bowling attack, it was the only option available. Pakistan's bowlers wasted the first hour somewhat by either spraying the ball wide or bowling too short, but Yasir Arafat changed the course by introducing commonsense, and bowling close to the stumps. At 61 for 4, India were in the danger of having to bowl with the second new ball of the day.

Two significant things happened after lunch. Shoaib Akhtar - is he Pakistan's biggest match-winner or their biggest liability? - went off clutching his back. Far more importantly for India, Yuvraj batted like a dream. He was hit on the head once and played and missed outside off-stump a couple of times, and there was an edge off Danish Kaneria that Younis Khan put down but, rather than being intimidated by the situation, he chose to trust his game. He melted the pressure by allowing himself the freedom to play his strokes and by tea it was the bowling side that looked hunted.

Yuvraj's driving on the offside was sensational, both off the front and back foot, and the bowlers were clueless about what length to bowl to him. Some cover drives were played with the full flourish of the bat and some were punched exquisitely. Initially, Mohammed Sami and Arafat tried to cramp him by bowling straight and he either punched them down the ground or picked them through midwicket, generating velocity with his back-lift and wrists. Ganguly kept him company by piercing the offside either side of the cover fielder and the 127 runs they scored in the middle session changed the course of the innings.

After tea, Pakistan were reduced to damage control. Sami sought to deny Yuvraj by bowling a couple of feet outside off stump while Kaneria chose to bowl his googlies from outside leg. And two men were stationed behind square on the leg side for the top-edge to the occasional bouncer. Yuvraj refused to be baited but neither did he slow down. He stayed away from the wide balls but put away everything in driving range. When the sweeper was posted at cover, he still managed to hit the ball wide of him; his only pull was hit through midwicket, all along the ground. As the day progressed and the pitch eased, fours became inevitable, irrespective of the bowler and the field. At the end of his innings, his wagon wheel offered evidence of his all-round domination: 92 on the onside, 77 on the off, 50 between point and cover, 37 between square leg and midwicket. Ten of his 28 fours were hit though cover and five through midwicket.

Despite his outstanding run in the shorter version of the game, doubts have lingered over the suitability of his technique and temperament for Tests. Yuvraj has banished those misgivings with an innings of such force and pedigree that to keep him out would be a brave decision - and may ultimately be a foolish one

The innings was littered with dazzling strokes but a couple will stay in the mind. The first was a mere push, perhaps a defensive jab, at a full ball from Sami; such was the balance and timing that the ball sped past a bemused mid-on fielder to the boundary. The second was a back-foot cover drive to a ball from Arafat that deserved nothing more than a dead bat. By then, though, Yuvraj was long past his hundred and the merit of the ball had ceased to be of consequence. At that supreme moment, you felt in awe of the batsman but it was difficult not to feel sorry for the bowler.

To Indian fans who have long been riled by the tendency of Pakistan's batsmen to reserve their best for India - Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad have been succeeded by Kamran Akmal (three of his four Test hundreds against India) and Salman Butt (all his four one-day hundreds) - Yuvraj's third Test century against the old enemy would seem soothing retribution. That might be missing the story, because of far more significance is another common thread: each of these centuries have come when his team was in desperate trouble. On a green top at Lahore in 2004, India were 94 for 4 and 147 for 7; at Karachi in 2006, they were 74 for 4 and Mohammed Asif was in the middle of a dream spell, having knocked out Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in quick succession. To each crisis Yuvraj has offered his fulsome and natural brilliance. His stroke-making has always exceptional, but his three Test centuries have demonstrated that he has that special ability to play them all when the chips are down.

His latest hundred has given the Indian management a happy headache. They will have one hell of a decision to make when they sit down to pick the team for the next Test, in Australia. Despite his outstanding run in the shorter version of the game, doubts have lingered over the suitability of his technique and temperament for cricket's most challenging form. Yuvraj has banished those misgivings with an innings of such force and pedigree that to keep him out would be a brave decision - and may ultimately be a foolish one.

There is plenty left in this Test yet, but Yuvraj's innings is potentially series-clinching for India. For himself, it could turn out to be career-changing.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nayaksai on December 12, 2007, 22:43 GMT

    IT WAS GRAEME POLLOCK ALL the way. If anybody asks how G. Pollock use to bat you cansafely say like Yuvi batted during his 169. Barry Richards once said fielders were redundant when Graeme batted and might as well keep stones. Hit a stone no run otherwise a boundary. That's how great Graeme was!!! Yuvi is similar. verry similar! Unlike Lara or Sobers there's not that much finesse in playing square but like Graeme those powerful arms and shoulders bludgen the ball anywhere from point to midwicket. very few deflections but plenty of Power driving!! Unbelievable timing . Hardly any risks(Unlike Clive Lloyd of similar power!). Graeme Pollock's technique was very tight and superior to everybody. Full forward or well back. Yuvi will do good to emulate.

  • RahulNEHRU on December 12, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    I have one complaint for Yuvraj...he is too good! He is well balanced at the crease and watches the ball greatly. His drives were executed with great accuracy and has brilliant placement. One complaint truly would be that he slacks attention from the non-strikers end. Sourav faced a googly which spun from the footmark into him from Kaneria, two overs later, Yuvraj faced a similar which almost had him trapped and resultantly played a defensive shot off the back foot which almost exposed his wicket even more. I believe that he should face the spinners on the full rather than trusting such a pitch.

    His re-entry to the test side should also encourage him to take his bowling seriously. His left arm orthodox should cause problems in Australia. Apart from Micheal Clarke, there are very few similar bowlers there. He should cause some problems if he takes it seriously.

  • gopir on December 12, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Yuvraj's innings was timely and brilliant. However, one must not forget the fact that the Pakistan bowling was hopeless. Would Yuvraj play as well against a bowling attack consisting of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson & Stuart Clark on bouncy Australian pitches? The Indian middle order quartet has shown that it has plenty of batting left in it and performed with great distinction on their last tour to Australia. The only way to include Yuvraj is for Dravid or Yuvraj himself to open the batting with Jaffer.

  • maharishi on December 11, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    yes, its pleasure to watch his batting .yuvraj should have been used more by india and take advantage of his batting in both form of the games, of course he has a capability to reach with brian lara's brilliance. time has come now that india should not wasted yuvi's talent by sitting out.

  • jayadeep_nair on December 11, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Well its not fare enough to keep out a batsman of Yuvraj's calibre from any form of the playing eleven,as far as its cricket! How come a strokemaker of his class does'nt find a place in the squad? Perhaps the team think tank is hinting at the "problem of plenty", which is hard to digest.Dravid,Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman would pick themselves,in the middle order considering their form in the longer version of the game.Then the ploy would be, to go for a make shift opener in dravid along with Jaffer folowed by Laxman ,Sachin,Ganguly and Yuvraj.This would give the inform players a chance to get themselves picked, rather than out of form Dinesh karthik coming in as opener. the probable palying XI for the forth coming Australian tour: jaffer,dravid,laxman,sachin,ganguly,yuvraj,dhoni,pathan/munaf,kumble,zaheer and R.P singh.

  • Achint on December 11, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    That was elegance personified. Yuvraj's ton was more Aussie than what Brian Lara would hae played. The ferocity with which he counter-attacked Pakistan is only seen from Kangaroos, especially Andrew Symonds or Adam Gilchrist. There looks like only one solution to the 'happy headache' that Indian selectors have. Open with Dravid and get Yuvi at number six.

  • Nipun on December 11, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Yuvraj did score a superb hundred in trying conditions,but it is difficult to see how he would get into the playing eleven.The middle order is sealed for good-with Dravid,Tendulkar,Ganguly,Laxman & Dhoni.Yuvraj has to open if he is to play regularly,otherwise I don't see any reasons for dismantling this middle order.I am in favour for Kartik to open-the odd failure in 1 series is acceptable.Ordinary people should remember that they would be the 1st ones to shout about getting Yuvraj out of the team when he is out of form-so keep that in consideration before speaking ! The example is in Australia itself-lets have a look at how Brad Hodge was given a long run even though he wasn't in the best of form against India in the recent ODi series-so why can't Indian selectors follow the same strategy,when they themselves speak of following the Aussie method ???

  • neilc263 on December 10, 2007, 18:49 GMT

    Yuvraj an elegant player with enough talent to become the best player in afew years. He has most certainly shown his quality. He had passion, agression, timing, style and momentum to overjoy the watchers. Fantastic innings. Yuvraj,you beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Only bad point, needs stamina for test matches.

    He mite not be as good as Lara in a few years but overall hes one class act

  • SHIRIN on December 10, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    This elegant left hander is living upto his name! with all his brilliant performances he's shown that he is a 'Yuvraj' in the real sense. with all that vigour, passion and maturity, he has proved his worth in all formats of the game now. its only a matter of time now for the selectors to crown this 'Yuvraj' by presenting him a steady place in the terst team.

  • Ashutosh on December 10, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    Congrats to Yuvraj for compiling a positive and stroke-filled century against a second-string and depleted attack of a weak Pak outfit. But, when u get a half-volley, u still have to put it away - full marks to Yuvraj for taking the half chance in no small measure. What really bugs me is why Dravid's name gets bandied whenever a tough role needs to be executed - an opener in Tests or the finisher in ODIs. As it is, he's lost his place in the ODIs bcoz of the 'constant change' in his batting position. He's himself partly to blame - he should've taken care of himself, when he was the captain, by batting in the 'safe zone' of nos.1,2,3 & 4 rather than in the 'Kaif zone' of nos. 5,6 & 7. To accommodate Yuvraj in the line-up, i think Ganguly should be promoted to open the innings with Jaffer. Ganguly has loads of ODI experience as an opener & will give us a left-right opening pair.

  • Nayaksai on December 12, 2007, 22:43 GMT

    IT WAS GRAEME POLLOCK ALL the way. If anybody asks how G. Pollock use to bat you cansafely say like Yuvi batted during his 169. Barry Richards once said fielders were redundant when Graeme batted and might as well keep stones. Hit a stone no run otherwise a boundary. That's how great Graeme was!!! Yuvi is similar. verry similar! Unlike Lara or Sobers there's not that much finesse in playing square but like Graeme those powerful arms and shoulders bludgen the ball anywhere from point to midwicket. very few deflections but plenty of Power driving!! Unbelievable timing . Hardly any risks(Unlike Clive Lloyd of similar power!). Graeme Pollock's technique was very tight and superior to everybody. Full forward or well back. Yuvi will do good to emulate.

  • RahulNEHRU on December 12, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    I have one complaint for Yuvraj...he is too good! He is well balanced at the crease and watches the ball greatly. His drives were executed with great accuracy and has brilliant placement. One complaint truly would be that he slacks attention from the non-strikers end. Sourav faced a googly which spun from the footmark into him from Kaneria, two overs later, Yuvraj faced a similar which almost had him trapped and resultantly played a defensive shot off the back foot which almost exposed his wicket even more. I believe that he should face the spinners on the full rather than trusting such a pitch.

    His re-entry to the test side should also encourage him to take his bowling seriously. His left arm orthodox should cause problems in Australia. Apart from Micheal Clarke, there are very few similar bowlers there. He should cause some problems if he takes it seriously.

  • gopir on December 12, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Yuvraj's innings was timely and brilliant. However, one must not forget the fact that the Pakistan bowling was hopeless. Would Yuvraj play as well against a bowling attack consisting of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson & Stuart Clark on bouncy Australian pitches? The Indian middle order quartet has shown that it has plenty of batting left in it and performed with great distinction on their last tour to Australia. The only way to include Yuvraj is for Dravid or Yuvraj himself to open the batting with Jaffer.

  • maharishi on December 11, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    yes, its pleasure to watch his batting .yuvraj should have been used more by india and take advantage of his batting in both form of the games, of course he has a capability to reach with brian lara's brilliance. time has come now that india should not wasted yuvi's talent by sitting out.

  • jayadeep_nair on December 11, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Well its not fare enough to keep out a batsman of Yuvraj's calibre from any form of the playing eleven,as far as its cricket! How come a strokemaker of his class does'nt find a place in the squad? Perhaps the team think tank is hinting at the "problem of plenty", which is hard to digest.Dravid,Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman would pick themselves,in the middle order considering their form in the longer version of the game.Then the ploy would be, to go for a make shift opener in dravid along with Jaffer folowed by Laxman ,Sachin,Ganguly and Yuvraj.This would give the inform players a chance to get themselves picked, rather than out of form Dinesh karthik coming in as opener. the probable palying XI for the forth coming Australian tour: jaffer,dravid,laxman,sachin,ganguly,yuvraj,dhoni,pathan/munaf,kumble,zaheer and R.P singh.

  • Achint on December 11, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    That was elegance personified. Yuvraj's ton was more Aussie than what Brian Lara would hae played. The ferocity with which he counter-attacked Pakistan is only seen from Kangaroos, especially Andrew Symonds or Adam Gilchrist. There looks like only one solution to the 'happy headache' that Indian selectors have. Open with Dravid and get Yuvi at number six.

  • Nipun on December 11, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Yuvraj did score a superb hundred in trying conditions,but it is difficult to see how he would get into the playing eleven.The middle order is sealed for good-with Dravid,Tendulkar,Ganguly,Laxman & Dhoni.Yuvraj has to open if he is to play regularly,otherwise I don't see any reasons for dismantling this middle order.I am in favour for Kartik to open-the odd failure in 1 series is acceptable.Ordinary people should remember that they would be the 1st ones to shout about getting Yuvraj out of the team when he is out of form-so keep that in consideration before speaking ! The example is in Australia itself-lets have a look at how Brad Hodge was given a long run even though he wasn't in the best of form against India in the recent ODi series-so why can't Indian selectors follow the same strategy,when they themselves speak of following the Aussie method ???

  • neilc263 on December 10, 2007, 18:49 GMT

    Yuvraj an elegant player with enough talent to become the best player in afew years. He has most certainly shown his quality. He had passion, agression, timing, style and momentum to overjoy the watchers. Fantastic innings. Yuvraj,you beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Only bad point, needs stamina for test matches.

    He mite not be as good as Lara in a few years but overall hes one class act

  • SHIRIN on December 10, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    This elegant left hander is living upto his name! with all his brilliant performances he's shown that he is a 'Yuvraj' in the real sense. with all that vigour, passion and maturity, he has proved his worth in all formats of the game now. its only a matter of time now for the selectors to crown this 'Yuvraj' by presenting him a steady place in the terst team.

  • Ashutosh on December 10, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    Congrats to Yuvraj for compiling a positive and stroke-filled century against a second-string and depleted attack of a weak Pak outfit. But, when u get a half-volley, u still have to put it away - full marks to Yuvraj for taking the half chance in no small measure. What really bugs me is why Dravid's name gets bandied whenever a tough role needs to be executed - an opener in Tests or the finisher in ODIs. As it is, he's lost his place in the ODIs bcoz of the 'constant change' in his batting position. He's himself partly to blame - he should've taken care of himself, when he was the captain, by batting in the 'safe zone' of nos.1,2,3 & 4 rather than in the 'Kaif zone' of nos. 5,6 & 7. To accommodate Yuvraj in the line-up, i think Ganguly should be promoted to open the innings with Jaffer. Ganguly has loads of ODI experience as an opener & will give us a left-right opening pair.

  • carib400 on December 10, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    there is no denying the fact that Yuvraj has rare talent......he has the ability to dominate any attack and that too on any surface......he too have high back lift like Brian Lara.....but talking about comparing him with Lara i won't agree as Brian has dominated the world cricket for 17 years and he had seen several ups and down in his illustrious career....Just because Yuvi has back lift and plays attacking cricket doesn't guarantee him to be compared with Brian Lara.......Yuvraj has been playing for India since 2000 and still he hasn't cemented his place in Test team.....couple of failures then there is every possibility that he cdan be dropped again...so as far as Yuvi is concerned he has to play consistently in the same way against all opponenets ashe played against the hapless pakistani attack in bangalore test. No one can ever fill the boots or match the style and agrression of the great Brian Lara.

  • Kulaputra on December 9, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    This was a wonderful innings and indeed, Yuvraj resembles Brian Lara in his approach. High backlift and an ability to hit the ball hard with great timing are common whereasx there are two areas that make him very different. The first is that he does not pull with the ferocity of Lara and the second he is not such a great player of spin. Yuraj is young and will improve. If one of these days, he touches the heights that Lara did, I would be overjoyed. Yuvraj will delight us for years to come, regardless of whether he is like Lara or not.

  • Sidhu on December 9, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    There is no doubt over that YUVRAJ SINGH deserve a regular spot in tests,yuvi said that we have to understand the presense of the seniors but i like to say that the seniors should understand the presense of youth and should step back from themselves and should ask the youth to play.I want to say that there should be the proper combination of youth & seniors as we have in ODI'S,according to me only 2 of the 4 senior batsman should be the part of final 11(Now its a must for seniors to adapt the rotation Policy esp. in tests) Seniors should too unserstand that now they have nothing much to achieve & the coming generation had to go a long way & the players like Yuvi,Robin,Rohit,tiwary.....undoubtly a deserve chance

  • howizzat on December 9, 2007, 14:20 GMT

    Yuvraj has definitely cemented his place in tests. But in whose place? I feel its not difficult. Promote Dravid to opening slot which he had essayed while leading the side with a great success in the crisis when Sourav and Sachin declined to do so. And it is pretty sad story that both Dravid and Sehwag are being sidelined today for helping out India in crisis. With Dravid and Jaffer to open, followed by Laxman, Sachin and Sourav, Yuvraj can be accomodated at No.6.

  • niraj13 on December 9, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    It would be pre-matured to add Yuvraj in the same class as Brian Lara. Yuvraj, no doubt, has that rare talent and brilliance as a batsman, but Brian Lara was one of the very best batsmen of the game and probably the best left-hander in the business ever witnessed. Yuvraj will have to do more than just hitting a few scintillating knocks to get somewhere close to the level where he could be compared with Lara. This is the problem with the Indian media & journalists these days. If a player delivers a couple of good performances, he is started to being compared to legends. In my view, this is unfair to the players (like Lara in this case) who have done it consistently over a period of 10 or 15 years or even more. Secondly, this puts unnecessary pressure over the emerging young players. Yuvraj's innings deserves nothing but praise and appreciation and he definitely deserves a berth in test sqaud, however the comparison here just seems inappropriate.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on December 9, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    Yes Sambit, i fully second your viewpoint on offering the greatest compliment to yuvraj - that he had a touch of brian lara. Very few players match the majesty of Lara, when he cover drives and Yuvraj comes nearly closer to that. Sometimes i wonder whether it was Lara again, when he played those cover drives and backfoot punches. I ll not be missing the Legendary Lara anymore, if Yuvraj continues to play like this too often.

  • sukantvikram on December 9, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    I totally agree with Mr. Bal. Yes, it is definitely a tough ask to alter this famed Indian middle order but don't we feel that Yuvraj, by his breathtaking display of strokeplay has not only made it a tougher ask to ignore him but also become preciously indispensable for the Test team also. May be it is a high time now that we give the gem a chance to shine. And with due respects to all the great senior players in this side, I would like to confirm that in the last couple of years he has become the single most important player in this Indian ODI team( Guys, let's face the truth). And may be it will be a challenge and a motivation for a Master like Dravid to open in tests for what more does he need to prove at no. 3?Guess it is Yuvraj more who needs encouragement than others.Let us try and accomodate FUTURE......

  • Sulur on December 9, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    I totally agree with the first posting by Srinisekar.Dravid should go in as opener and Yuvi should bat at number 4.We dont need Karthik who is terribly out of form even in Indian pitches.What would he do in Australian pitches?Lets keep the top 5 as Dravid,Jaffer,Sachin,Saurav,Laxman and Yuvi.

  • frozeninusa on December 9, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Yuvraj or no Yuvraj, Karthik should not be in the team. One option is to ask either Dravid or Ganguly to open the innings and have Yuvraj in the middle order. If we want a specialist opener, play Gambhir or Sehwag in place of Karthik. In that case only four among Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Yuvraj can play and that can be decided based on the pitch, the opponent and the form, and can also be rotated until one of the seniors decides to give it up. If we are playing only four bowlers, it makes sense to have Ganguly and Yuvraj in the team. My first choice line-up would be Jaffer, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Pathan/Harbhajan, Kumble, Zaheer, RP. If playing five bowlers, one among Laxman, Ganguly, Yuvraj and Dravid will have to sit out.

  • Srinisekar on December 9, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Yuvi has been doing and done enough to be in the Test Team. The best option will be to ask Rahul Dravid to open the innings, in fact he has been doing the same thing by coming in at one down, and get a firm place for Yuvi at no 6. We will be fools not to capitalise his excellent present form for the Australian Series

    Sekar

  • MaheshSPanicker on December 9, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    Yuvraj for sure is the next big thing in Indian cricket, and now he is on the way to the peak of his game. it will be an utter rubbish move to make him sit out any more. in the present condition, either Dinesh Karthik who has been badly out of form, and VVS Laxman, who is just playing to keep his place in the side than for anything else should be dropped. however considering Laxman's obvious class and his record against Australia, one can only hope that he plays more for the team than for himself. that means Karthik will have to be dropped, and someone else should open. Laxman has done it in the past, and his record at the top is not all that bad. so my side for the boxingday would be. VVS Laxman, Wazim Jaffar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, and RP Singh.

  • deathstrike on December 9, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    He definetly should be in. He is in great form. He has proved many a time about his great ability. He is a very good aggresive batsman and he will also come in handy in Australia too with his power hitting. he has clearly demonstrated his great ability. Karthik should be out. He short of runs and confidence and so he should be rested at least for the Australian tour. Gambhir also should be dropped he is not good enough to play at Test level yet. I think India will haveto also drop one the big three. Dravid is short of runs now. They should do what they did to Dada. That will prove good for Dravid. Yuvi is also a good fielder and with India's fielding problems he will be of great help. He is also a good part-time bowler. So he should be included.

  • ndnookala on December 9, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    yuvraj is no doubt a rare emerging talent. but if you see his record all his centuries are against Pakisthan and in sub-continent. su pulling out Dravid/Laxman/Sachin would be a foolish decision for selectors to take considering their last tour performances and records against Aussie in Australia.

  • cricconnossieur on December 9, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    Mr.Sambit Bal, of all the wonderfully insightful articles that you have written and have gladdened the hearts of cricket connoisseurs like me, this one on Yuvraj Singh is unconvincing to say the least. To say that Yuvraj has a touch of Lara is like saying anyone who plays a beautiful st dive has a touch of Tendulkar. Ever since the Indo-pak series We're bombarded with expert comments on why Yuvraj is indispensable to the Indian team.Nobody reapeat Nobody has been able state where in heavens he would fit in!! Is Yuvraj in such divine touch that he can Open the innings-NO, is he good enough for No.3-NO. Is he better than Sachin, Sourav or Laxman?? Mr Bal, it seemed to have slipped ur memory that Yuvraj's earlier centuries resulted in India losing the matches.He ahd hit out in a crisis situation , did that influence the ultimate result -NO, did it result in a bringing about a close result-NO. We were beaten comphrehensively. The greatest batsmen are those who make there runs count.

  • The.Emperor on December 9, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    I think Yuvraj Should get chances to be a dominant cricketer.He is having gutz more than that ganguly,sachin.Just because he is not mumbian he is nt getting chance. To get in to the team mumbai players need only 1 century .bt others should score century in every game to get jujst a chance.DESCRIMINATION>

  • lsg9618 on December 9, 2007, 3:52 GMT

    Too bad Yuvi will have to wait for the right moment.Tendulkar and Ganguly have played well and deserve to be picked over him.There is no harm in taking him with the team as a rotational player as whwn the situation demands. He is young and I sure he will try and improve on his performance in overseas pitches which play differently. There is no hurry to push him up. Good luck to India in Australia as they will be up against the best in the world. Lall singh Gill

  • v.ilangathir on December 9, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Yuvraj Singh deserves more than a regular place in the side.The seniors,each of them should take turns every game to sit out and accomodate a rare talent in the side.

  • Nakul007 on December 9, 2007, 1:46 GMT

    he can do no more to deserve a test spot but unfortunately our batting line up can't accomodate him. our only out of form batsman is karthik who is an opener and should he be dropped then gambhir would have to come in. ganguly,laxman and jaffer are fresh from hundreds while sachin also scored and 80 in our last match. dravid scored a fifty in the last match and is the most likely to be dropped for yuvraj however i dont see the selectors dropping dravid. he will definitely travel with us to Australia and if dravid does not perform in the first test at the MCG then i would definitely support yuvraj being included in the 2nd test at the SCG as he is such an excellent player of spin.

  • Soumit on December 8, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    Mr. Bal, You say that leaving Yuvraj out of the side would be a foolish one against Australia. But, the question at the moment is who would you leave out in the middle order? Have not each any everyone of the batsmen that are a regular part of the team earned their place? Yuvraj is an outstanding player and will probably be considered among the greats of Test cricket in the future, but for the moment there is no place for him in the playing XI, unless one of the middle order batsmen suffers a dramatic loss of form or injury. Asking him or Dravid or Laxman to open the batting only to give Yuvraj a place in the team would be a gigantic waste of all their talents. It is unfortunate, but that is the game and he is going to have to wait it out....

  • kaiman on December 8, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    i just want to make it clear that there is no one like brian lara, so please don't associate yuvraj batting like him, yuvraj did well today thats great but one innings and you adjudge him like lara, common, get real. anyways congratulations to yuvraj on a wonderful performance.

    kaiman

  • Jacobchikku on December 8, 2007, 22:13 GMT

    certainly he did, its a positive sign for the team management and a nice head ache to have. They got plenty of options now.

    1. Can yuvi open the innings and drop Karthik? 2. Can Irfan pathan open the innings and yuvraj to bat in the middle? Or will they put the nife on Luxman? which they should not do...

    Still droping yuvraj will be foolish and wont do his confidence any good. So the management need to sit together and make the call, hope it will bring the cheer back to the indian fans, as they see the name yuvarj in the playing eleven rather than as a subsitite fielder.

  • sksuram on December 8, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    Of course he has done enough to merit a regular place in Test XI as in what more can he do.But the question is whom will he replace.Well, for me the only solution out is to have Rahul Dravid open the innings and have Laxman at 3.

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  • sksuram on December 8, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    Of course he has done enough to merit a regular place in Test XI as in what more can he do.But the question is whom will he replace.Well, for me the only solution out is to have Rahul Dravid open the innings and have Laxman at 3.

  • Jacobchikku on December 8, 2007, 22:13 GMT

    certainly he did, its a positive sign for the team management and a nice head ache to have. They got plenty of options now.

    1. Can yuvi open the innings and drop Karthik? 2. Can Irfan pathan open the innings and yuvraj to bat in the middle? Or will they put the nife on Luxman? which they should not do...

    Still droping yuvraj will be foolish and wont do his confidence any good. So the management need to sit together and make the call, hope it will bring the cheer back to the indian fans, as they see the name yuvarj in the playing eleven rather than as a subsitite fielder.

  • kaiman on December 8, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    i just want to make it clear that there is no one like brian lara, so please don't associate yuvraj batting like him, yuvraj did well today thats great but one innings and you adjudge him like lara, common, get real. anyways congratulations to yuvraj on a wonderful performance.

    kaiman

  • Soumit on December 8, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    Mr. Bal, You say that leaving Yuvraj out of the side would be a foolish one against Australia. But, the question at the moment is who would you leave out in the middle order? Have not each any everyone of the batsmen that are a regular part of the team earned their place? Yuvraj is an outstanding player and will probably be considered among the greats of Test cricket in the future, but for the moment there is no place for him in the playing XI, unless one of the middle order batsmen suffers a dramatic loss of form or injury. Asking him or Dravid or Laxman to open the batting only to give Yuvraj a place in the team would be a gigantic waste of all their talents. It is unfortunate, but that is the game and he is going to have to wait it out....

  • Nakul007 on December 9, 2007, 1:46 GMT

    he can do no more to deserve a test spot but unfortunately our batting line up can't accomodate him. our only out of form batsman is karthik who is an opener and should he be dropped then gambhir would have to come in. ganguly,laxman and jaffer are fresh from hundreds while sachin also scored and 80 in our last match. dravid scored a fifty in the last match and is the most likely to be dropped for yuvraj however i dont see the selectors dropping dravid. he will definitely travel with us to Australia and if dravid does not perform in the first test at the MCG then i would definitely support yuvraj being included in the 2nd test at the SCG as he is such an excellent player of spin.

  • v.ilangathir on December 9, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Yuvraj Singh deserves more than a regular place in the side.The seniors,each of them should take turns every game to sit out and accomodate a rare talent in the side.

  • lsg9618 on December 9, 2007, 3:52 GMT

    Too bad Yuvi will have to wait for the right moment.Tendulkar and Ganguly have played well and deserve to be picked over him.There is no harm in taking him with the team as a rotational player as whwn the situation demands. He is young and I sure he will try and improve on his performance in overseas pitches which play differently. There is no hurry to push him up. Good luck to India in Australia as they will be up against the best in the world. Lall singh Gill

  • The.Emperor on December 9, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    I think Yuvraj Should get chances to be a dominant cricketer.He is having gutz more than that ganguly,sachin.Just because he is not mumbian he is nt getting chance. To get in to the team mumbai players need only 1 century .bt others should score century in every game to get jujst a chance.DESCRIMINATION>

  • cricconnossieur on December 9, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    Mr.Sambit Bal, of all the wonderfully insightful articles that you have written and have gladdened the hearts of cricket connoisseurs like me, this one on Yuvraj Singh is unconvincing to say the least. To say that Yuvraj has a touch of Lara is like saying anyone who plays a beautiful st dive has a touch of Tendulkar. Ever since the Indo-pak series We're bombarded with expert comments on why Yuvraj is indispensable to the Indian team.Nobody reapeat Nobody has been able state where in heavens he would fit in!! Is Yuvraj in such divine touch that he can Open the innings-NO, is he good enough for No.3-NO. Is he better than Sachin, Sourav or Laxman?? Mr Bal, it seemed to have slipped ur memory that Yuvraj's earlier centuries resulted in India losing the matches.He ahd hit out in a crisis situation , did that influence the ultimate result -NO, did it result in a bringing about a close result-NO. We were beaten comphrehensively. The greatest batsmen are those who make there runs count.

  • ndnookala on December 9, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    yuvraj is no doubt a rare emerging talent. but if you see his record all his centuries are against Pakisthan and in sub-continent. su pulling out Dravid/Laxman/Sachin would be a foolish decision for selectors to take considering their last tour performances and records against Aussie in Australia.