On 29 March 2004, Virender Sehwag became the first Indian to score a triple century but it was also the day when then captain Rahul Dravid stunned one and all by declaring India’s innings against Pakistan as Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 194.
Yuvraj Singh, who was at the centre of this episode, literally, batting with Tendulkar then, has now recalled the whole incident that made a lot of headlines back in 20004.
“We got a message in between that we had to play fast, and we were going to declare,” Yuvraj recalls in an exclusive interaction on Home of Heroes, Sports18’s newest offering.
Soon after reaching his maiden Test fifty, Yuvraj got out and skipper Dravid immediately declared with Tendulkar stranded on 194.
“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,” says Yuvraj who witnessed Tendulkar’s disappointment at Dravid’s call from close quarters.
“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,” says Yuvraj.
Yuvraj went on to score a century in the next Test at Lahore and scored over 200 runs at an impressive average of 57.50 in the three-Test series. But he never made his mark in Test match cricket. Despite piling up 26 First-Class hundreds, Yuvraj feels he did not get a long rope in Test cricket.
“If you compare that era to today’s era, you can see players getting 10-15 matches,” Yuvraj says explaining the middle order was so strong then. “You look at that era, you could open like the way Viru started it. After that Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly, and Laxman. I got a hundred in Lahore and in the next Test I was told to open.”
Yuvraj, though, admitted that on many occasions he did not convert the 60s to hundreds which restricted his Test career to just 40 matches.
“Eventually, when I got opportunities to play Test cricket after Dada’s retirement, I got diagnosed with cancer,” says Yuvraj.
“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 says.
/ 1 year ago
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