Former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh has recalled the infamous declaration from then captain Rahul Dravid in the 2004 Multan Test between India and Pakistan, saying Sachin Tendulkar should have been allowed to get his double century.
According to Yuvraj, the visitors had enough time in the game to force a result and revealed that he and Tendulkar, who were batting in the middle, were told to get to their milestones at a quicker pace.
India declared their first innings on 675/5 soon after Yuvraj’s fifty. Imran Farhat dismissed Yuvraj for 59 in the 162nd over and it was then Dravid called the two batters back to the dressing room, which left Tendulkar stranded on 194 not out.
“We got a message in between that we had to play fast, and we were going to declare,” Yuvraj told Sports18.
“He could have got those six runs in another over and we bowled 8-10 overs after that. I do not think another two overs would have made a difference to the Test match.
“If it was the third or the fourth day, you have to put the team first and they would have declared when you were at 150. There is a difference of opinion. I think the team could have declared after his 200,” he added.
As it turned out, India bowled out Pakistan twice for 407 and 216 to win the Multan Test by an innings and 52 runs.
Yuvraj Singh played a key role in India’s maiden Test series victory on Pakistan soil in 2004, amassing 230 runs, including a century and a fifty.
While Yuvraj looked set for a great Test career back then, things didn’t work out for him going forward. The southpaw finished his red-ball career with 40 matches and scored 1900 runs, including 3 hundreds. His last appearance in whites was way back in 2012.
“Eventually, when I got opportunities to play Test cricket after Dada’s retirement, I got diagnosed with cancer.
“It has just been bad luck. I tried 24×7. I wanted to play 100 Test matches, face those fast bowlers, and bat for two days. I gave it everything, but it was not meant to be,” Yuvraj said.
(With Sports18 inputs)