Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh recalled how then skipper Sourav Ganguly pranked him ahead of his maiden ODI innings against Australia.
Yuvraj Singh made his ODI debut for India in 2000 against Kenya in a knockout match of the ICC Champions Trophy. He, however, didn’t get a chance to bat as his side completed a comfortable 8-wicket win.
Team India were next slated to face Australia. Ahead of the match, skipper Ganguly asked Yuvraj if he would open the innings in the important clash. Captain’s word left the young 18-year-old confused and he couldn’t sleep that night.
In a conversation on Home of Heroes, Sports18’s newest offering, Yuvraj Singh recalled how Sourav Ganguly pranked him by asking him to open in the match against Australia.
“Yeah, if you want me to open, I’ll open. The whole night I didn’t sleep,” Yuvraj Singh said.
In the match, it turned out to be a prank as Ganguly himself opened the innings and Yuvraj batted at No.5. He faced the likes of Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, and Jason Gillespie. He impressed many with his stroke play and scored 84 runs, which earned him the Player of the Match award. Although he was dropped on 37, it didn’t affect him as he was focused and played a match-winning knock.
Yuvraj recalled he was nervous but today he’ll take 37 runs on his debut, considering the kind of bowling attack he faced.
“I was batting at No. 5, very nervous. But when I went into bat, focus turned to watching the ball. If I today would’ve scored 37 on my debut against Australia, I would’ve been very happy because of the attack that I was facing,” he said.
Yuvraj talked about his inning and said that it was a big moment for him to beat Australia and get the Player of the Match award.
“Luckily, I went on to score 84, I don’t know how, just watched the ball, hit the ball. It was a very big moment for me, to beat Australia and get the Man-of-the-Match award,” he said.
Not only with his bat, but Yuvraj was also brilliant in the field as he grabbed a stunner to send Ian Harvey back and affected a direct-hit to run out Micheal Bevan to win the match for his side
(Sports 18 inputs)