Coming into the Indian team dressing room bloated with superstars like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, and especially the ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar, can be a daunting proposition for any youngster. There is nervous energy, there are goosebumps of finally witnessing your childhood heroes in person. And, this is exactly how Yuvraj Singh felt when he first broke into the Indian team back in 2000.
Yuvraj Singh made his debut in the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy along with pacer Zaheer Khan. The two time World Cup-winning all-rounder, in a video uploaded by Netflix titled ‘Story Behind The Story’, reminisced about his first meeting with his childhood hero Sachin Tendulkar, revealing that he just didn’t want to take shower after the legendary batsman had shaken hands with him in the team bus.
“In 2000, I made my debut for India. I just went with the flow and After Playing for U-19, suddenly I was playing with my heroes. Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Anil Kumble, Srinath – big players in the team and suddenly I was like ‘where am I,” Yuvraj Singh said.
“I was a backbencher in my class, I was a backbencher in the bus. The moment he came in, he came and shook hands with me, Zaheer Khan, Vijay Dahiya, the new guys. I remember when he turned back and went back to his seat, I rubbed my hand all over my body. I just didn’t want to take a shower because I shook hands with Tendulkar.” he added.
‘I could talk about life with Sachin Tendulkar’- Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh went to hail Sachin Tendulkar as the Michael Jordan of Indian cricket, drawing comparisons between the greatest-ever batsman and the NBA icon, highlighting how they always used the right motivational tools to bring the best out of themselves.
Yuvraj developed a personal bond during the course of his career with Sachin and it was to an extent that the southpaw felt pretty comfortable in talking about life with him,
“He’s someone who had that weight on him for India to always win. And every time you would watch him, if Tendulkar got out, India would fall most of the time. When things are not going well, you always look for advice, for a senior to guide you. I have seen his demeanor over the years and how he presented himself off the field, so I had a relationship where I could talk about life,” Yuvraj recalled.
‘When I was dealing with my illness, my injuries, I spoke to him about and I said ‘I’m really struggling with my performances and I’m working very hard’ he said to me ‘Every time when a storm is about to come, the sea goes silent. You will matter when it matters the most.’” he recalled.