Arguably the biggest match-winner for India in white-ball cricket, Yuvraj Singh hanged up his boots after serving the nation for 19 years. The charismatic left-hander played the game on his own terms and laid the foundation of many monumental victories for the Men in Blue. He was the biggest reason behind the team's glorious campaigns in the 2007 World T20 and in the 2011 ODI World Cup.
From the battle against cancer to fightbacks in international cricket, the southpaw became an inspiration to many all around the world with his dedication and hard work towards the game and the country.
In the past few years, Yuvraj has struggled with the bat but his hunger for runs never dried up. The left-hander last played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2019 where he scored 98 runs in 4 matches in their title-winning campaign. He didn't play many matches for the MI camp but his presence in the dressing room led other players to grow under his guidance. The Punjab-born player has never given up a single time in his career and has fought his way back from every slump, be it a poor form or even cancer. Here are some of the instances when Yuvraj not only inspired his team but the whole country with his warrior-like attitude.
5. 2002 Natwest Series final
13 July 2002 is the date when India witnessed the rise of Yuvraj Singh. He scored a monumental 69 runs in the finals of the Natwest Series against England at the iconic Lords and led India to victory. It was a big finale for the visitors and they got to a good start while chasing the mammoth target of 326, but a middle-order collapse brought the English team back into the contest. But, it was the day when India got what they were longing for - a middle-order maverick in Yuvraj. The southpaw led the charge with Mohammad Kaif and ran riot over his favourite opponent England.
4. 2007 T20 World Cup
After the massive failure in 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, India went to South Africa later that year with an underdog tag in the inaugural World T20. Before the big-ticket tournament, the Men in Blue had only played one T20I match, but during the course of the tournament, Yuvraj gave them the belief by single-handedly winning matches for the team in the knockout stages against England and Australia. The 2007 World T20 will always be remembered in the history books for his iconic six-ball 6-sixes against England's Stuart Broad.
3. 150 vs England in 2017
After playing for more than 15 years, Yuvraj registered his highest ODI score in 2017 against England. Before that match, his place in the team was in doubt, but he shut his critics down with a solid 150 in Cuttack. Yuvraj and England have a special connection as most of his iconic knocks came against the English team. The Punjab-born player smashed 21 fours and three sixes in his innings and showed the world that there is some cricket left in him.
2. 2011 World Cup journey
Nobody in the country disagrees with the statement that it was Yuvraj who won the World Cup for India and became an inspiration. The all-rounder played the tournament with cancer and didn't let the disease come in his way. He was so determined and selfless that he took India to many victories in the tournament with both bat and ball. Yuvraj was chosen Man of the Tournament for his unbelievable stats, he scored 362 runs for India with the average of 90+ and picked up 15 wickets to inspire India to the World Cup glory after 1983.
1. Comeback match after beating cancer
The warrior prince of Indian cricket defeated cancer like a boss and made a comeback to the Indian team in 2012 and smashed 34 runs off 26 balls against England in a T20I match and was applauded by the cricket fraternity. Yuvraj's road to comeback took him to 2012 World T20 where he was the highest wicket-taker for India but was not up to the mark with the bat. The southpaw's journey of battling cancer has inspired many and his comeback made it even more special.