Prior to 2008, the word ‘pie-chucker’ didn’t feature in our collective lexicon. And prior to 2008, Yuvraj Singh was generally referred to as Punjab da Puttar and other nice things. But then came Kevin Pietersen. At first, Yuvi thought he’d earned a respectable sobriquet. Then, he went around asking people what it meant. The ‘discovery’ didn’t please him. His ‘comeback’ was even poor. ‘Useless’ — that’s the best Yuvi could come up with.
More than four years after the Englishman uncharitably branded Yuvi’s bowling “left-arm filth”, he has fallen to him on enough and more occasions in all formats of the game.
But that tu-tu-main-main only brought the two champion cricketers together. They exchange stares and words on the field but off it, they are thick as thieves.
There are many similarities between the two. Both are World Cup winners. In fact, both have earned the ‘Man of the Tournament’ award at the biggest stage — KP at the 2010 World Twenty20 in the West Indies and Yuvi you know when.
Also, KP was one of the first superstars who took to Twitter to express his sadness when Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer in the recent past. What’s more, he even visited the now-cured southpaw soon after his homecoming from the United States. You sure saw that picture Yuvi posted, again on Twitter.
On Tuesday, Pietersen named his ‘frenemy’ (just kidding) as India’s point man in the upcoming five-match ODI series. Speaking in the capital, Pietersen said, “Yuvraj is the most destructive batsman in the Indian line-up. We need get to get him early, or else he can take away the match from us.”
When asked about their ‘rivalry’, he added, “We are rivals on the field, but away from it we are all good friends. On the field he will be looking to dismiss me — and I will also try to do the same.” Really? Wonder if Alastair Cook thinks so too.
Yuvraj, on his part, said India would be seeking revenge for their humbling in the four-match Test series late last year.
“England defeated us in the Test series recently. They are a good unit,” he said. Yawn! Isn’t that obvious? “We have to play well to defeat them in the upcoming ODI series and avenge our loss.”