Off The Field

‘I couldn’t read Muralitharan at all, asked Sachin, ‘how to counter him?’: Yuvraj recalls Tendulkar’s crucial advice

Written by Rohit Pawar

Yuvraj Singh was known for his exuberant style of play. The former cricketer played a key role in the side’s victories at the T20 World Cup in 2007, and the ODI World Cup four years later on home soil. During his prime as an international cricketer, Yuvraj was widely regarded as one of the best player of the spin and boasted of a huge array of shots – of which the sweep was one.

However, now he has revealed that he was all at sea when he came up against the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan.

“From my childhood, my father prepared me to play on the fast tracks. He used to bowl me with wet tennis balls, wet leather balls on a 17-yard wicket. He knew to play the fast bowlers at the international level you need to have a heart. He prepared me for this challenge that’s why I could face that kind of pace. Initially, the innings against Australia and South Africa gave me a lot of confidence.

“Then I went to Sri Lanka to Sharjah and there was Muralitharan. I was a decent player of spin bowling but playing world class spinners was completely different. You are a young guy who was learning about the game, and I couldn’t read him at all,” Yuvraj added.

The former India cricketer then revealed that it was batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who asked him to learn the sweep shot.

“I spoke to Sachin on how to counter these guys, how to play spin bowling? He told me to learn to play sweep shots. Initially I got out several times trying to play these kinds of shots but later I started to dominate the spinners,” said Yuvraj.

The left-handed batter ended a scintillating international career in 2019 with 8,701 runs in 304 ODIs, and 1,177 runs in 58 T20Is. He also took 111 wickets in the fifty-over format, while adding 29 T20I dismissals to his name. He also represented India in 40 Tests.

About the author

Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.