Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yuvraj Singh Faces Career's Toughest Test

The elegant Yuvraj Singh has never been in such a difficult phase of his long career. After just one flop series in Sri Lanka, some have heartlessly brought his career under the scanner. Coach Gary Kristen's statement about Yuvraj's fear of failure has only added fuel to the fire against the left-handed batsman.

In his eight years on the international stage, Yuvi has been on top of his game in one-day cricket nearly all time. But, suddenly one series has raised question marks on his skills and his fate, for good measure. He made just 72 runs in six innings in Sri Lanka, unable to break the duck twice. The mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis was his Nemesis, dismissing him four times in five games.

Clearly, Yuvi would like to forget this series at the earliest. And there is good reason for that. His flop show in the one-day appears to have dented his self-confidence. And the waiting can only add to his worries.

India takes on Australia next month in the Tests – and had he found form in the one-dayers, he may have been staking a serious claim for a batting berth in series. He will now have to wait for either some batsmen to fail miserably for him to get into the squad or be patient till the one-day series against England comes up.

During that one-day series, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendlkar, Gautam Gambhir Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be expected to take five of the six batting slots. Yuvraj will be left to fight it out with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, S Badrinath and Robin Uthappa.

Needles to say, Yuvi has a fantastic career record. And he has proved his credentials often in crucial times. But, this time around, the selectors appear to have plenty of options. Yuvi must definitely get a chance in next series but I believe he will be under pressure to perform. He lost his confidence under pressure and if he were not to regain that soon, his fate will depend on luck.

I believe he has it in him to bounce back from the situation and help himself rid of the doubts that cloud his mind. In fact, I believe all his fans will get together and tell him: "Hey Yuvi, forget Mendis and forget Sri Lanka. You are blessed with so much natural talent. You can do it man, you can do it."

It will be fascinating to see how he copes with the crisis of having fallen from being one of India's most revered batsmen to being another bundle of doubts. They say that a man's character is tested the most by challenging situations. Yuvraj Singh has been known to be a fighter and can come through the test stronger.

No comments: