Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Yuvraj Singh was always optimistic about Team India comeback
With the help of Yuvraj's 25-ball 58 which included five fours and five sixes against the attack comprising Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, India posted 284-6 before bundling out Australia for 114 in 34.5 overs to register a 170-run win
Yuvraj Singh's retirement came as a surprise to his fans. Ditto former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Hailing from the same state of Punjab, Sodhi and Yuvraj played a lot of cricket together since their childhood.
"He was optimistic about his comeback to the Indian team. He was fighting for it. I met him in the Maldives before this year's IPL but he didn't mention anything about retirement. Maybe, he thought this is the right time," Sodhi, 38, told mid-day yesterday.
The pundits hail Yuvraj's performance in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 World T20 and rightly so, but it shouldn't be forgotten that Yuvraj also played a leading role in India's 2000 U-19 World Cup triumph in Sri Lanka where the southpaw was man of the series.
Sodhi, who was vice-captain of that U-19 team, said: "I remember we had a poor run-rate when we batted first against Australia in the semi-final [202-2 in 42.5 overs]. Yuvi was supposed to bat next at No. 4 and before going out he told me: 'Tu fikar mat kar, main chhaddanga nahi unhe [you don't worry. I won't spare them]'. He started playing aggressively from the word go. He smashed huge sixes and ball travelled a long distance when he was hitting those sixes. He had self belief and confidence and he carried these same qualities throughout his career." Sodhi figured in 18 ODIs for India.
With the help of Yuvraj's 25-ball 58 which included five fours and five sixes against the attack comprising Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, India posted 284-6 before bundling out Australia for 114 in 34.5 overs to register a 170-run win.
"We had a small fight during that World Cup and when I bowled to him in the nets, he played some very aggressive shots. He has that sort of attitude - if you fight with him, he will cause you trouble with his game," Sodhi signed off.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
World Cup open letter: Will Kuldeep Yadav be the new Yuvraj Singh for India?