Grow up, Yuvi

Someone get a message across to Yuvraj Singh, please: the captain’s armband is not an uber cool accessory. It is not the ultimate chick magnet; nor is it a means to pump up your brand equity with the sponsors. It is rather a sign of the added responsibilities the wearer assumes — and it is conferred on those ready to assume those responsibilities and the hard work that goes with it.

Throughout season 2 of the IPL, Yuvraj was content to swan about as the captain while Sangakkara and Mahela ran the ship, both during the training sessions and on the field. Most times, he scrounged around at point with a distracted air, while the two Sri Lankans made the bowling changes, set the field, and did all that Yuvraj was supposed to do, but wouldn’t.

It was no wonder then that KXIP decided to officially confer the captaincy on Sangakkara this season, or that when the captain was benched for a game due to slow over rates, to have Mahela, not Yuvraj, stand in.

Yuvraj’s reaction has been to indulge in one massive sulk. One massive sulk too many, in fact. He has been lackluster throughout this series; yesterday, when for once his team looked somewhat competitive, his attitude contrasted oddly with the animation of his mates. For the entirety of the Mumbai Indians innings, Yuvraj strolled casually from position to position, displaying all the fervor of a misogynist at a sangeet.

It is not the first time, either — there was the earlier occasion when he felt he had been passed over for captaincy of the national ODI team, made some carping noises [aided and abetted by doting daddy] and generally stirred up bad blood.

“Attitude problems” is a diagnosis used too often in recent times, often with little or no basis. In the case of Yuvraj, though, that diagnosis is IMHO merited — and the treatment is a swift kick in the behind. The player has gotten too used to being considered a vital cog in the Indian limited overs and T20 machines — a fact that, he believes, gives him sufficient room to behave like a spoilt brat.

Maybe it did, till a couple of years ago. But maybe it is time for Yuvraj to look around him — at the half dozen or so young talents that are shining bright  in the IPL arc lights. They’ve been batting better than Yuvraj and crucially, fielding way better than him to the point where Yuvi’s two USPs are no longer his to boast about.

When the batting bench was under-staffed, the Prince of Sulks could get away with riding his luck and playing the odd game-breaking innings once or twice a season to keep himself in the frame [when I brought up his name in a recent chat with friends, two of them were quick to go ‘Remember his six sixes?’]. That, I suspect, is a luxury he can no longer afford.

The question is, does he know it yet?

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40 thoughts on “Grow up, Yuvi

  1. Pingback: The World Cup hangover « Smoke Signals

  2. You know, for some strange reason I am actually feeling sympathetic to Yuvi. His attitude as you describe, has been consistent for most of his career. So its not like he became a bad boy over night, and neither is he going to start behaving dignified like Sachin over night. I think it comes as part of the package, and the fact hat he is not considered captaincy material in any format, for any team must be hard for a man who had big dreams. All said and done his attitude has never been as terrible as that os some one like Sreesanth, whom we still tolerate.

    Injury is laying him down big time, and perhaps that’s why he is so fat and not the same fielder any more. Perhaps, just perhaps, it is possible that this man is going through genuine physical pain, and not actually plotting at letting his team down as it has been portrayed across sections of the media.

    I have never found his attitude good enough, and hence have never been a big fan, especially in tests.. But that didn’t matter when he was consistent in ODIs and hitting 6 sixes in T20s, and actually showing improvements in tests in the recent past.

    May be some time off to take care of his injury and get fully fit would do him wonders, and his record for India in ODIs and T20s, is still terrific. KXIP are not going to win any trophy anywhere even with a fully firing Yuvraj, so it’s also a question of the other team members contributing.

    Come on folks, whether you like him or not, show some support to the 6 sixes man! India needs a fit and in form Yuvi for the shorter formats of the game.

    Cheers!
    Vasu

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  4. I don’t think there is any need to panic about Yuvi right now … he needs a motivation to play good which he gets while playing for his country … ipl definitely doesn’t motivates him at all … even when he had a poor run at ipl 09, looking bored as well, he performed really well at t20 wc, looking purposeful and motivated … i don’s think its about his ego as well though I well be wrong.

  5. The way I see it, it is the coaching staff and management that is to blame for the debacle of Punjab. Here’s why:

    1. Yuvraj is not captain material. He may want to be be captain but he is not fit to do so. That should have been made clear to him right at IPL 1. He is a great brand ambassador and he will fill the stands. Take away the pressures of captaincy and let him focus on his game. He should be made to understand that. The stick will not work with Yuvi, the carrot always does. Feed his ego. What has hurt him is the way he was stripped of captaincy and the person it was handed to.

    2. Sangakarra is a great captain but here his judgment is clouded by his friendship with Jayawardena. There is no way that Shaun Marsh should have sat out a single game so Jaya could play. A jet-lagged Marsh is any day better than a fully awake Jayawardene in T20.

    3. If Sanga couldn’t play, then Yuvraj should have been captain. Jayawardene is not the Sri Lankan captain because he can’t handle the pressure. If Yuvraj was the captain his ego would have been slightly assuaged and for all you know he would have turned in a decent performance.

    4. For all his lazy attitude, Yuvraj remains the only batsman in the line-up who can win a match on his own. Now that Marsh is there, the pressure eases off, but someone has to dangle the carrot in front of Yuvi.

    5. The owners of the team should stop talking in public about selling majority stake in the team. It shows that they are not serious about a long term committment. If they don’t care why should the players? Mohali may be a good stadium but the stands have never been full. if Yuvraj doesnt perform, the numbers will reduce further.

    6. We saw what happened to Kolkata after an Australian coach tried to screw around. In Australia, it works because their domestic system creates a back up of very competent players who can step up if the stars dont perform. Our domestic system is not good enough to create a Mitchell Johnson who can fill 80 percent of McGrath’s shoes. So treat your players right and they will perform.

    7. Moody should understand that Reetinder Sodhi is a better player than Karan Goel. He can bat, bowl and is a livewire in the field. But Moody was not present for the training camp. What sort of an idiot coach is that?

    8. Sreesanth should play. His last game, his figures read 3 overs, 20 runs. Not bad at all.

    And to those who think Yuvraj is better than Sachin. Reall?? Get a life. If Yuvraj was half as mature as Sachin, this problem would have never arisen. He would have been batting like the star he is and Punjab wouldnt have been in so much shit. He would have been complimented on his professionalism.

  6. There is no doubt that Yuvi needs to get fitter. He has a beer belly nowadays, and that shows that he is not working enough on his fitness.

  7. Though I am an admirer of Yuvi for his batting talent and sweet golf swing of the bat a.l.a Brian Lara, his attitude had always been questionable. I could never forget the incident in the first IPL when he did not bother to remember name of his own team-mates. Such an attitude might be acceptable from a team member, but certainly not from a team leader and smacks of arrogance and condescendingness. Now his form also taking a nose-dive, his arrogance is only making things worse and deserves to be given a “Rest” from international cricket.

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