On the occasion of Yuvraj Singh’s birthday on December 12, wishes flew from all corners of the country. One birthday wish that hasn’t gone over well with fans, however, is from Gautam Gambhir. The former India opener, who landed crucial blows in the 2007 T20 World Cup Final and 2011 World Cup Final, called Yuvraj ‘the best white ball cricketer India has produced’ in a tweet. fans objected to it and disagreed with Gambhir’s view.
With nearly 10,000 runs over ODIs and T20Is, Yuvraj was easily one of India’s all-time leading match winners, but to call him the greatest ever is a matter of debate. Indian cricket has produced some of the most majestic cricketers – from Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble MS Dhoni to Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah – and some of them have racked up unheard of records of . So while Yuvraj is certainly one of the best India has produced, putting him above all else was something fans didn’t quite agree with. Some fans even pointed to a tweet from earlier when Gambhir had also used the exact words for Rohit Sharma on his birthday.
Yuvraj, who made his India debut in the 2000 Champions Trophy in Nairobi, announcing his arrival with a solid 84 batting – one that remains arguably the best non-century innings on debut – became a two-time World Cup winner. In the first-ever T20 World Cup, Yuvraj lit up the tournament with back-to-face half-centuries against England – where he hit those six sixes in an over-off by Stuart Broad – and then against Australia in the semi-final.
Yuvraj’s stocks skyrocketed from there and for the next four years he was at the top of his game, his glorious form culminating when India won the 2011 World Cup in which the former all-rounder was named Player of the Series for scoring 362. runs and takes 14 wickets. During the tournament, Yuvraj became the first player to score a fifty and pick up a five-for in the same match in World Cup history, and with that bat his innings against the West Indies and against Australia in the quarter-final were game-changers.
After the World Cup, Yuvraj was sadly diagnosed with cancer, but he pulled through like a fighter. He returned to India in 2012, but just wasn’t the same player as before. Battling form and fitness, Yuvraj was in and out of the team, missing the flight to Australia and New Zealand for the 2015 World Cup. In 2017, Yuvraj scored his first century for India since the 2011 World Cup when he scored 150 against England – his highest score in ODIs. A few months later, Yuvraj played his last game for India – against the West Indies – before announcing his retirement in 2019.