Mumbai, April 29: Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has revealed how his then-captain Sourav Ganguly scared him so much by pranking him the night before his debut at the 2000 ICC Knockout tournament that he couldn’t sleep the whole night .
The fresh-faced 18-year-old Yuvraj dominated an Aussie attack led by the likes of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee with his 80-ball 84, full of magnificent strokes and movement, taking India to 265/9. The score proved too much for the Australians as they were eliminated by 245 with Indian winning the ICC Knockout quarterfinals in Nairobi on October 7, 2000.
The night before the clash, Ganguly asked Yuvraj if he would start in the biggest game the next day. “Yes, if you want me to open, I will open,” Yuvraj told his employer. But in a conversation on Home of Heroes, Sports18 on Friday, Yuvraj admitted that he couldn’t sleep all night.
“I didn’t sleep all night,” Yuvraj revealed.
On the morning of the game, the captain confessed to throwing a fastball and started the innings himself. “He was batting at No. 5, very nervous. But when I came up to bat, I focused on looking at the ball,” Yuvraj recalled.
But the day was destined to be Yuvraj’s, as he fell to 37. “If I had scored 37 today on my debut against Australia, I would have been very happy about the attack I was facing,” said Yuvraj.
“Luckily I scored 84, I don’t know how, I just looked at the ball, hit the ball. It was a great moment for me, beating Australia and getting the Man of the Match award.” “, said Yuvraj, who remembers the importance of being left without Michael Bevan.
After impressing with the bat, Yuvraj also showed his fielding prowess as he dived to rip off a stunner that sent pinch-hitter Ian Harvey back, but the direct hit to knock out Bevan sealed Australia’s fate.
Yuvraj’s interview on Sports18 can be seen tonight at 7:00 pm