Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We hardly knew ye

Siddarth Vaidyanathan offers this thoughtful piece on the failure of Yuvraj Singh to live up to his potential. India's new youth brigade, arguably, showed up first at the ICC Nairobi tourney in 2000 (see, I don't remember which tournament it was, possibly the Champions? but I do know it was a one-day tournament). I remember that cup clearly, partly because I was living in Sydney, and always needed to go to pubs to watch most cricket on FoxSports (Channel 9 covered the domestic season, and some overseas tours), but mostly because of the debuts that Yuvraj and Zaheer made. To be honest, I thought the next generation had well and truly arrived. Yuvraj looked very feisty, fielded well, and was a lefty - what more could one ask for? And Zaheer? Well, all of a sudden, India had a quick who was a left-armer, who hit the 140s, who also didn't lack in aggression. Well, seven years have gone by. Zaheer has opened a restaurant in Bangalore; I'm not sure if Yuvraj has opened a pub in Chandigarh. But their cricketing careers have been a series of frustrations: injuries, inconsistency, the occasional dazzlers (to be fair to Yuvraj, he has at least put in stellar performances in a couple of famous Indian one-day wins) and in sum, a failure to live up to their 'potential' (I use scare quotes because I'm not sure what that means). The other youth brigade, which included Kaif, Balaji, Pathan, Raina, Nehra etc is also gone, perhaps never to return. I don't know where young Indian hopefuls go after their brief careers; is there a large island somewhere off the Coromandel Coast where they live in some gated residence? I miss you all; send us a postcard sometime, and please tell Zak, Yuvi and the rest that you wish they don't join you on that island.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. Zaks and Yuvraj are the sole survivors of the youth brigade roped in by imperious Saurav Ganguly. Blame it on the sudden stardom or the over expectations on this young rookies, they might have faded for the time being, but hope that a few of them come back with the likes of Kaif, Pathan and Sehwag yet capable of making comebacks to the team. I still feel the 2003 WC team was the best Indian team in the ODIs, if you pull Mongia out........

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tournament you mention was indeed the 2000 ICC knock out trophy, where Yuvraj and ZK made their mark with superb 84* against Aussies and ZK nailing Steve Waugh and Andrew Hall with superb yorkers.......

12:18 AM  

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