The tale of Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing career has been a mixture of some breathtaking moments and below par ones, but the stylish southpaw continues to remain as one of those under-achievers the game has seen. He burst on to the scene in international cricket with an exquisite 84 against Australia in Nairobi in a Champions’ Trophy game, and the lad had promise written all over him. In fact, he still owns the kind of repertoire every batsman dreams of.
But somewhere along the lines, his career hasn’t quite reached the kind of horizons every cricketer would wish for. He’s 32, and it’s hard to see him continue playing for India with the kind of form he’s in at the moment. But, what really is causing the problems for him? Is it his gargantuan bat-lift that comes down hard on the ball, or is it his initial trigger movement that curtails his bat coming down in a straight line? Will do my best to dissect it for you. Read on!
Yuvraj Singh has never relied heavily on his foot-movement, but that hasn’t deterred his exquisite shot-making ability, and that’s also the reason why I don’t think that his lack of foot movement is causing him the troubles. All great stroke makers have a high bat-lift, but in case of Yuvraj Singh, it’s that bit more pronounced, and the ageing factor is kicking into the southpaw’s system as well.
One of the reasons why Tendulkar faced a dip in the number of sixes he hit during the later half of his career was because he lowered his bat-lift, and consequently became more reliable on pure timing to pick up runs. Albeit I can’t say whether Yuvraj should take a similar cue, I believe that his bat-lift is causing him the major problem. He is not quite able to bring his bat down in time, and that’s the reason why the full-pitched delivery has been his biggest predicament lately.
The player in the picture above, Rahul Dravid, brought his bat down at an angle as well, but he never was a mauler of the cricketing ball. His style of batting was never about the big heaves and hoicks, and he was grateful to his much more subdued approach to batting that helped him garner the number of runs he did. This is yet another area that Yuvraj Singh has to cast his mind towards. He doesn’t have his bat coming down at an angle like Dravid’s, but the varied batting style acts as a positive for one, and negative for the other.
Also, at a psychological level of things, Yuvraj has got into the frame of mind that the bowlers are going to direct the delivery at his throat, and hence not committing forward to the deliveries that are pitched on a length or further fuller.
To pull the curtains on this analysis, it’s a mixture of a very high bat-lift, and the minor angle at which his bat comes down, that are proving to be the major adversaries as far as Yuvraj’s dismissals are concerned. And to further compound problems, he’s at that stage of his career, where he can no longer continue being the hard-hitting batsman, and expect to accumulate runs the way he has until now. Yuvraj has to either curb his attacking approach on the build-up to meeting a delivery, or he has to get a lot, lot straighter with his bat lift, and the range of strokes he wants to play.
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