Yuvraj Singh is one of the sweetest timers of cricket ball, in the history of the game. Over the years, we have seen Yuvraj aka Yuvi play some of the most unbelievable match-winning knocks for India. Ever since he made his debut in 2001, Yuvraj has proved time and again that he is one of biggest match-winners in the history of Indian cricket. In 2007 ICC World T20, Yuvraj Singh played a key role in India’s successful campaign. And yes, you all remember those 6 sixes in an over off Stuart Broad.
Four years later, in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, he played like a champion and won the ‘man of the series’ trophy. Yuvi played an instrumental role in India’s victorious campaign. However, immediately after the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh faced the biggest challenge of his life. Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer, but as always, he fought his way back. But, since his return after overcoming the disease, he hasn’t been at his best.
It must be said that Yuvraj is a fighter and doesn’t believe in giving up, but the illness has had its impact and he has been a shadow of his past. Yuvraj has played some good knocks after his return but he hasn’t been able to do it consistently over a long period of time.
His hitting powers have diminished and he look very uncomfortable against the moving ball. But, irrespective of his inconsistency, Indian selectors and captain Virat Kohli are sticking to him. We can’t argue why because when he scored his highest individual score in ODI cricket against England earlier this year, he was looked as good as ever. But, the problem, once again, is consistency.
In this post, The Cricket Lounge’s Divey Chawla lists 5 middle-order batsman who can replace Yuvraj Singh in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
1) Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey has been a part of India’s squad for a while and proved that he is fit to play in the middle order in limited-overs cricket. Pandey announced his arrival at the international level with a match winning hundred against Australia, in Australia.
Pandey also has a very good record in the Indian Premier League. The Karnataka batsman has showed a lot of promise in ODI cricket and he is someone who can do the job at number 4 or 5.
2) Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is arguably the most exciting young batsman in India. He is a very versatile batter who can adjust his game to any position in the top 6.
Pant is naturally a very aggressive batsman who likes putting the pressure back on the opposition with his gutsy display of batting. Pant is surely someone who can do the for India at number 4, 5 or 6, according to the need.
3) Suresh Raina
Not long ago, Suresh Raina was one of the most reliable batsmen for India in limited overs cricket. His ability to play counter-attacking cricket under pressure has helped India win many matches. However, in the last couple of years, Suresh Raina has had some health issues and struggled to make a comeback to Indian cricket team.
He was ignored by the selectors for all may home and away series, and he was also not given the central contract by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). In IPL 2017, Raina worked extremely hard on his game and fitness, and was among the top 5 run-getters in the tournaments. Considering ordinary and inconsistent performances by India’s middle-order batsmen, it won’t be a surprise if Raina is called back to the ODI squad
4) Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is a very explosive top-order batsman, but, in his career so far, he has batted at many different positions. Rohit aka Hitman is a versatile batter who can adjust his game according to the need to of the position he is batting on.
With the likes of KL Rahul pushing the selectors for the opening spot, it won’t be a surprise if Rohit dropped down the order at number 4 and Rahul is asked to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan.
5) Krunal Pandya
Hardik Pandya’s brother and Mumbai Indians’ all-rounder Krunal Pandya has impressed one and all with his gutsy style of batting and very effective left arm orthodox spin bowling.
Krunal is a proper all-rounder who can bowl his quote of overs and float in the batting order, as per the demand of the situation.
6) Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana was one of the biggest surprise packages of IPL 2017. In the first half of the tournament, he was at his explosive best and won many matches for Mumbai Indians, almost single-handedly.
Nitish plays domestic cricket for Delhi and he is rated very highly by veteran Delhi cricketers like Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. He is someone who can add more fair and flamboyance to India’s middle-order, just like Yuvraj did in his young days.