New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh is still relevant. That's what the 34-year-old made of himself with a match-winning knock against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2016 Indian Premier League Eliminator on Wednesday in Delhi.
His 44 runs in 30 balls was one of the defining performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad. At 71/3, a top-heavy Sunrisers were in a spot of bother against a disciplined Kolkata bowling attack. But, the arrival of seasoned left-handed batsman in the centre swung the match in Hyderabad's favour. He looked confident and hungry.
His look at Deepak Hooda, when the later got himself run-out needlessly, and a similar look at Naman Ojha after a farcical mixed-up reflected a determined player's bid to stay in the middle as long as possible.
And Hyderabad can only hope for Yuvi to stay as long he desires.
Besides his batting prowess, he is still a livewire in the field. His direct throw from point to get rid of Colin Munro was indeed a rare sight, and it tilted the match towards Hyderabad's favour.
In the post-match interview with the organisers of the Indian Premier League, KKR captain admitted that Munro's run-out was the moment which changed the course of the match.
Thanks to brilliant bowling efforts from the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman and Moises Henriques, SRH never required Yuvi the bowler.
When they meet Gujarat Lions in the Qualifier 2 on Friday for a place in the final, SRH will hope their star player to come good with. If he fires, Sunrisers are sure to become one dangerous side.
Yes, IPL 9 can become the perfect swansong for one of India's most celebrated players. It's indeed the trophy which has eluded Yuvraj.