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Yuvraj calls Tendulkar his 'guardian angel', challenges him to a golf game on 50th birthday

Updated on: 22 April,2023 05:02 PM IST  |  London
mid-day online correspondent |

Yuvraj Singh has been one of Tendulkar's closest friends in the Indian dressing room and for him the maestro is no less than a life coach

Yuvraj calls Tendulkar his 'guardian angel', challenges him to a golf game on 50th birthday

India’s Yuvraj Singh (R) playing for the Rest of the World team gestures to India’s Sachin Tendulkar after Tendulkar bowls an over to him during the Lord's bicentenary match between the MCC and Rest of the world (Pic: AFP)

Sometimes a cricketing idol, and on other occasions a 'guardian angel' who would offer incredible solutions and lessons in times of crisis, both on and off field. That's Sachin Tendulkar for Yuvraj Singh. The 41-year-old has been one of Tendulkar's closest friends in the Indian dressing room and for him the maestro is no less than a life coach.

"When I played international cricket, we had coaches but if I faced any technical issues with my batting, he was my 'go-to' person. He provided solutions but he wasn't just my cricketing idol," Yuvraj, currently vacationing in the UK, told PTI ahead of the legend's 50th birthday.

"Beyond 22 yards also, he is like a guardian angel for me. Whenever I have faced any personal crisis or dilemmas in life, Paaji would be one of the first persons that I would dial. And he would always have the best life lessons and advice for me," he added. Yuvraj recalled how concerned Tendulkar was when he was having sleepless nights and regularly coughing and vomiting during the 2011 World Cup, which he singlehandedly won for India with more than 350 runs and 15 wickets.

"Even I didn't know it was cancer. Sachin would regularly check on me and also during my treatment in the US, he was always concerned about my recovery."

He also fondly recalled when he met Tendulkar for the first time and it was the legendary Kapil Dev, who introduced the teenager Tendulkar to schoolboy Yuvraj.

"I think Sachin had then just started playing for India and had become a sensation. It was Kapil Paaji, who took me to Sachin and I shook hands with him for the first time," smiled Yuvraj.

Also Read: Sachin Tendulkar and his 1991 cake-cutting memory

Ask him about his favourite on-field partnership with Tendulkar and Yuvraj remembers a very 'special Test match'.

"If you look back at the scorebook, Sachin and I haven't had too many long partnerships in ODI cricket as he generally opened and I batted at No. 6 for better part of my career. But in Test cricket, we had a 150 plus stand against England in Chennai back in December, 2008. We were chasing 387 and won the game during late afternoon. Sachin scored a hundred and I got 80 odd (85)."

"But that Test remains special as it was the first match after 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai. The country was coping with the tragedy and we were all very emotional and overwhelmed with so many innocent lives lost. And that Test happened within a fortnight. For Sachin, coming from Mumbai, it was even more deep and personal. That partnership on the fifth day and to chase a near 400 target will remain special. I was so ecstatic that I lifted Sachin once the chase was complete," Yuvraj said.

Tendulkar is known to be a prankster among his close friends and Yuvraj has often been a 'victim' of his numerous practical jokes.

"Sachin loves Japanese food and I was then a junior in the team. So he took some of us out for dinner and I tasted sushi for the first time. But a disaster happened after some time. Sachin told me to taste another cuisine Wasabi and promised me it was sweet in taste. I started chewing and I was a mess as it was compete opposite."

So what will be his wish on his role model's 50th birthday?

"Obviously long and healthy life and keeping us entertained. But on his 50th birthday, I just want to challenge him to beat me in a game of golf," he concluded in jest. 

(With PTI inputs)

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