There's much more than what meets Yuvraj eye

Written by: Suhrid Barua
Published: Sunday, October 31, 2004, 15:56 [IST]
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The dumping of Yuvraj Singh from the national side for the fourth and final Mumbai Test has raised eyebrows about the selector's wisdom of slamming the Test door on the left-hander considering that the latter was repeatedly thrust into the opener's role, something he wasn't cut out for.

It was hardly Yuvraj's fault that he kept failing at the top of the order. He is an ideal middle-order batsman, who has showed that he can be an asset when the shine is off the red cherry.

Of course Yuvraj will be guilty of not grabbing the opportunities with both hands. With the amount of talent the dude possesses, he hasn't quite been able to put to optimum use since that talent is not always backed by application.

For the team's cause, the team think-tank asked him to face the new ball music and the latter like a true soldier obeyed the orders and strode out first with Sehwag and when he faltered he was dumped. That's certainly not the way to go about things.

Mind you, one is not trying to defend Yuvraj's poor form. Remember he was the one, who scored a fighting maiden Test century on a grass-tinged pitch at Lahore when India looked headed for disaster. It was he and Pathan, who bailed out us of a potentially embarrassing position and steered India to a score of some respectability.

For any youngster to get his maiden Test ton against an attack which has Akhtar and Sami its ranks and that too on a grassy strip, it's no mean feat. Public memory is short and now that the lad is skating on thin ice, the very people who waxed eloquent on him when he was going great guns with the willow, are preparing the brickbats for him.

The moot point is-- Is the team management is trying to ease Yuvraj out of the team so that he won't be threat to the equally woefully out of touch middle-order batters like skipper Ganguly and Laxman?

It can be safely said though that Yuvraj looks to be the only guy, who can genuinely threaten the likes of Ganguly and Laxman for a berth in the Test side. Of course one can argue that since Ganguly is the captain, there is little possibility that he would lose his spot. Looking at the larger picture, the patience of the selectors would also be tested given the skipper's lean trot.

Honestly, without sounding biased to the Punjab lad, one can't help feel that the five wise men of Indian cricket could have kept Yuvraj in the squad instead of shaking his confidence by showing him the door.

Somehow Yuvrav's axing smacks off a sinister design by certain people to ensure the established ones can hole on to their places by tom-toming about what they had accomplished on tours of Australia and Pakistan last season, which would also them to carry on as if there is nobody to replace them even if they keep failing.

Surely, Yuvraj has every reason to feel aggrieved. He would be tempted to offer a poser as to why his teammate VVS Laxman was spared the axe despite just totalling fifty-odd runs in five Test innings so far.

Things in Indian cricket are not that simple as it may appear on the surface!

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