The Complete Story
The left-handed batsman was at the peak of his form during the 2011 World Cup and entertained his fans all over the world with his magical match-winning performances throughout the tournament. He received the ‘Man of the tournament’ award during the closing ceremony of the World Cup 2011.
Yuvi revealed that it was before the 2011 World Cup when he started experiencing the symptoms like acute breathlessness, but he kept on ignoring all these to keep the full concentration on the game.
“Playing for India was more important than my health, and for a few months, I chose to ignore the symptoms and decline in my stamina." – Yuvraj Singh
But, with the bat and ball in hand, the Punjab born all-rounder was always a charming personality who still shows the fighting spirit on the field. He has proved this trait plenty of times in big tournaments like the 2007 T20 world cup and most importantly in 2011.
World Cup 2011 Campaign
Talking about his 2011 World Cup campaign, then he knocked off some decent scores with the bat in almost every match and played an essential role with the ball at the crucial moments when the team was amid a fuss. With 362 runs and 15 wickets, the 37 years’-old all-rounder proved his temperament, potential, and the caliber he possesses. In the opening game of the tournament against Bangladesh, he was not needed as Virendra Sehwag, and Virat Kohli stole the show.
However, in the next match against the Englishmen, he showed that he would be the go-to man for the team in the tournament. His fierce knock of 58 runs in Bangalore against England, followed by half-centuries against Ireland (50 runs) and Netherlands (51 runs) were the indications from the player for (of) the same. Against Ireland, he also took his first five-wicket haul of (his) One-Day career.
There is a saying, “Life tests everyone all the time, some say ‘why me?’ and others say ‘try me,’” and the people from the latter category become champions. A substantial hundred and two wickets against West Indies under severe pain has increased respect for the batsman in the whole cricket fraternity. With his brilliant performance, team India registered a comprehensive victory against the Windies to get the second spot in the points table.
“It’s only once I accepted cancer that I could beat it. When life knocks down, you have a choice — to get up. So I thought to myself, ‘get up and do it again." – Yuvraj Singh
Now it was Knockout stage, and in the quarterfinals, India faced defending champions, Australia. Yuvraj Singh’s all-round performance with the figures of 2/44 and brilliant 57 runs in 65 balls at the end finished Australia’s 12 years’ influence in the World Cup. The winning shot came from the left-hander’s bat when he smashed a four to Australia’s speed gun, Brett Lee in the cover region.
After this victory, India inched to the semi-finals to take on arch-rivals, Pakistan. In the semi-finals, he suffered a first ball-duck with brilliant in-swinging yorker by Pakistan left-arm pacer, Wahab Riaz. But, with the ball, he dismissed Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan at an important stage to make India grab the historic finale ticket.
In the finals against the Lankan lions at Wankhede stadium, Gautam Gambhir’s and MS Dhoni‘s terrific innings won millions of hearts. Former skipper, MS Dhoni pushed himself up to the batting order for the big final. Although the left-hander didn’t have the same impact in the final, however, Yuvraj Singh was at the other end, when MS Dhoni hit that memorable six to Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on. Yuvraj Singh’s tears after that showed what that win meant for him.
After the win, Yuvraj Singh quoted, “This is unbelievable. The Under-19 World Cup, then the World Twenty20 but this is the most special. For Sachin, for everyone else.”
Everything had gone right for him as a player. However, he has played the entire tournament in pain. He faced breathing problems; blood vomits during India’s historic win. Soon after he was detected with cancer, he proceeded to undergo chemotherapy treatment in Boston and Indianapolis. The champion fought off disease and wore the Indian team jersey after one and a half year. He was also a part of the team when they lifted the 2013 Champions trophy in England.
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