Nothing should take away the fact that Yuvraj Singh has shown he has nerves of steel to score a first-class century on his return to the longer game after reportedly conquering cancer.
Even though the opposition may have been Central Zone, cricket to batsmen, can be a one-ball game. What is disappointing in the overall picture is that the Duleep Trophy is the third domestic competition to be held in this season’s calendar (after the Irani Cup and Challenger Series) not to have the presence of regular stars. Yuvraj is gracing the tournament primarily because the Pune Warriors did not qualify for the ongoing Champions League in South Africa.
Somehow, the mighty BCCI cannot adjust their calendar in such a way so that the big guns figure in home competitions.
Some would argue that the IPL is a domestic tournament which attracts the cream of Indian cricket. But it is a Twenty20 tournament and not the greatest test for a cricketer’s skill and temperament. Even if they are available for the odd domestic tournament, the stars decide to keep away. That is sad because even their mere presence can change a junior player’s passion towards the game and there is complete truth in the watch and learn philosophy.
In Australia, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are making their presence felt for Tasmania and New South Wales respectively on the domestic scene in their quest to prepare well for the forthcoming home Tests against South Africa while India are preparing for a tough Test series against the Englishmen by playing the Champions League. Of course, it must be noted that even Australians have not resisted the lure of the rand and are part of the Champions League, something which has upset their chief selector John Inverarity.
A lot of cricketers talk about how Test cricket still remains their priority. But preparation to succeed in the toughest form of the game must be a priority too.
Meanwhile, Yuvraj Singh has everything to play for. A few more good scores in the longer version of domestic cricket will do his Test chances no harm.
He deserves a pat on the back.