After reducing India to 25 for three and especially sending the Indian captain Virat Kohli back to the pavilion, England would have started dreaming for an easy run chase. But Yuvraj Singh, who was making a return to the Indian ODI side after three years, had other plans.
Playing in his 295th international 50-over contest, the 35-year-old scored career best 150 out of just 127 balls to take his side a mammoth 381. He last scored an ODI century during India’s successful 2011 World Cup campaign.
The middle-order batsman had been itching to bat along Mahindra Singh Dhoni after the latter stepped down from the captaincy role in the ODI and T20I. The duo put up a massive 256-run stand in 38.2 overs to give India 2-0 lead in three-ODI series.
“We try to be positive whatever the stage is,” Yuvraj said in an interview to Star Sports. “The positivity is the reason me and Mahi were able to get the rhythm going.”
Once set on Cuttack’s wicket, Yuvraj unleashed his repertoire of strokes to ensure his side’s dominance in the innings. Speaking about the initial phase of his innings, the Chandigarh-born said: “I just tried to get a partnership. They [England] bowled really well upfront and we just wanted to rotate the strike and get into the rhythm, and take our time. There was a lot of time. I just wanted to play down the ground and not take many risks.”
Yuvraj termed his innings to be “one of his best”.
“Probably, one of my best - my highest score in ODIs. The last time I got a hundred was the 2011 World Cup; I am pretty happy that I played a good innings.”
With the series settled in India’s favour, England will look for a consolation victory during the dead-rubber contest at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Sunday.