1. 139 vs Australia (Sydney, VB Series, January 2004)
Yuvraj Singh celebrates reaching his century during the one-day international match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, 22 January 2004.
If there was ever an innings so sublime, so rock-solid and yet had a hint of strokeful defiance, it was the 22-year-old’s magnificent knock against Australia in the seventh match of the 2004 VB Series.
Early strikes by Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie pushed India on the backfoot, but Australia’s perennial thorn VVS Laxman stabilized the innings in the company of the young left-hander as they blunted the bowling attack with a combination of dour defense and attacking strokeplay.
Yuvraj hit the ball with amazing precision, rotating the strike and egging on his slower senior partner to keep the scorecard ticking. He finally exploded in the penultimate over, slamming Ian Harvey for 22 runs, finishing with 139 as India posted 296/4.
Rain reduced the game to 34 overs for Australia’s chase, and Gilchrist’s power blast, plenty of twists and turns and a final full-toss hit for six left the young Indian side a dejected lot.
It did not give India a win, but it did show the world the immense amount of talent that Yuvraj Singh possessed.For the sake of the fans, and for the greater good of Indian cricket, it is imperative that he gets back into the national squad soon.
2. 103 vs South Africa (Hyderabad, 2005)
He raises his bat as Yuvraj Singh celebrates after he scored a century during the first One Day International (ODI) match against South Africa at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad
Yuvraj scored three centuries in this season,
and all three came under high-pressure situations. This one also stands out for the fact that it was a carefully crafted innings, bereft of the kind of dazzle that usually accompanies the stylish batsman’s approach to the crease.
India had been pegged back by the initial burst from South Africa’s pace attack as Ntini, Pollock, and Nel reduced them to 35/5 in the 12th over.
However, Yuvraj dropped anchor at one end, combining with Irfan Pathan for a 75-run stand to bring some normalcy back into the innings, then added quick runs with Dhoni and Agarkar, bringing up his century in the process.
He was the ninth man out, falling after holding the innings together till the 48th over. Unfortunately, his watchful knock couldn’t prevent India from losing by five wickets.
3.138* off 78 balls v England, Rajkot, 2006
It had been a year since his last ODI hundred. Yuvraj picked a good occasion to correct that inconsistency, in game one of the seven-match series versus England.
nevertheless patchy form, Yuvraj Singh was sent in at No 4 and with justification from a back brace and a runner in Gautam Gambhir, opened up from a slow start to suspense the fans with a very special century.
A top attack comprising James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff was made to exertion as Yuvraj,
displaying that devastating pick-up, half-arc shot, waded into the bowling. A flat track it was, but the job still had to be done and Yuvraj’s attack on Harmison and Flintoff, in the exclusive, was best.
His 138 needed 76 balls, implied 16 fours and six sixes and took India to 387/3. They won by 158 runs, leaving MS Dhoni to say of Yuvraj: “When he bats like that, there’s nothing much the opposition can do.”
4.113 & 2/18 v West Indies, Chennai, 2011
A pretty 113 from Yuvraj – his 13th ODI century – unbroken a dominant catalyst in India’s extensive win over West Indies, only their second against Test-playing opposition in the World Cup. Yuvraj’s innings, which finally secured him the Man-of-the-Match award, was the key Factor in India’s win.
He came to the crease with his team in trouble after another poor start but proceeded to take the match out of West Indies’ clutches with a defiant century stand for the third wicket with Virat Kohli. A compress from 218/3 to 268, triggered by Ravi Rampaul,
threatened to undo Yuvraj’s good work but India rallied to defend that total on a Chennai wicket which had been the justest of the tournament. Needing 112 to win with eight wickets and 19.3 overs remaining,
West Indies combined to lose those eight wickets for 34 runs, with Yuvraj’s left-arm spin accounting for Devon Thomas and Andre Russell.
5.150 off 128 balls v England, Cuttack, 2017
In his second innings on the comeback, Yuvraj led the way in reviving India’s innings from the loss of three wickets inside the first five overs. He walked to crease in the fifth over after Chris Woakes bowled Shikhar Dhawan as his third wicket, and set about with a molten dues act.
He hit his ninth ball faced for four, a trademark whip off the hips that flew over a class leg, and three deliveries later pulled out the short-arm pull for another boundary.
That Jake Ball over finished with a third four, as Yuvraj flicked with ducky and placement. This brand of boundary-hitting – easy on the eye and strong – had been the prill of Yuvraj’s batting in years past, when he was a vital cog in the middle order.
It all came back that day as he tucked into England’s bowling and ruled a record partnership with Dhoni. Of his first 27 runs, 24 came in six boundaries. Yuvraj Singh got to his first fifty in 1149 days (he made 55 versus West Indies on November 27, 2013) in 56 deliveries, and then cracked his first six, an easy drive over long-off off Ben Stokes.
The century came off his 98th delivery faced and was met with raucous applaud from the cantonment crowd. Yuvraj wasn’t done and moved past his past best of 139 and on to 150. The pull shots, in special, stood out. It had been a long time since he had struck them with that monstrosity.