Yuvraj Singh remembers Sourav Ganguly's prank ahead of his first game
- Yuvraj Singh had a sleepless night before his debut innings after being duped by then-India captain Sourav Ganguly
- Ganguly asked Yuvraj whether he wanted to open for India before his debut innings in the ICC Knockout competition in 2000
- Yuvraj said that the morning after Ganguly admitted to duping him, he was selected to bat at No. 5
There is a sense of anxious exhilaration before one's first game for the country. The joy of finally being able to realise the dream and the anxiousness of having to give it your all on debut. But what if you are duped by the team's captain before the first game? Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, had a sleepless night after being duped by then-India captain Sourav Ganguly.
Ganguly asked Yuvraj whether he wanted to open for India before his debut innings in the ICC Knockout competition in 2000. Yuvraj, a nervous man, was taken aback by the concept before responding that he is open to it. Yuvraj acknowledged to former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar on Sports18's Home of Heroes that the talk with Ganguly had caused him to have a restless night before his debut.
"Yeah, if you want me to open, I’ll open," he responded. "Whole night I didn’t sleep."
Yuvraj said that the morning after Ganguly admitted to duping him, he was selected to bat at No. 5 for India against Australia. India accumulated 265 points, topped by a stroke-filled 84 from the rookie, who was dumped on 37.
"I was batting at No. 5, very nervous. But when I went into bat, focus turned to watching the ball," Yuvraj said of confronting Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and the usual Aussie sledging. "If I today would’ve scored 37 on my debut against Australia, I would’ve been very happy because of the attack that I was facing," Yuvraj remarked.
In response, the speed three of Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, and Venkatesh Prasad picked two apiece to bundle out Australia for 245 in the quarterfinals in Nairobi to advance to the semis. After defeating South Africa by 95 runs in the semi-finals, India finally fell to New Zealand in the final.