Gautam Gambhir – A name associated with selflessness, sportsmanship and a person who always puts the interests of the team first ahead of his own interests quitted the captaincy first and then told the next captain to drop him from the team keeping the team’s interest above anything.
Yuvraj Singh – Another person who can be associated with selflessness, a true gutsy, fighting cricketer who was never short of effort and commitment trying to play the highest level of the sports but it seems age has got better of both these players.
Reason behind their omissions
Yuvraj Singh was bought by Kings XI Punjab at his base price which was 2 crore with high hopes. His scores this season have been 12(22) vs DD, 4(4) vs RCB, 20(13) vs CSK and 14(17) vs DD. A total of 50 runs in 4 innings after facing 56 balls. Average of 12.5 and Strike rate of 89 after 4 games is more than enough to get omitted from the team despite your reputation and calibre. In the game against SRH, he was replaced by Manoj Tiwary though he too couldn’t do a lot for the side. Ashwin, the captain of KXIP talked about Yuvi being replaced by Manoj Tiwary when a reporter tried to speculate about Yuvi being injured which shows that franchise has lost faith in him though they’ve not written him off completely.
Gautam Gambhir on the other hand had a very good start to the IPL when he scored a 50 vs Punjab after moving on to Delhi from KKR. He raised hopes after his knock of 55 but then his following scores were 15(16) vs MI, 8(7) vs KKR, 3(10) vs RCB and 4(13) vs KXIP making it 85 runs 5 games at an average of 17 and strike rate of 96. But, it wasn’t like Gambhir wouldn’t have done better than this. Remember 2014, when he started the IPL with 3 ducks in a row and a total of 1 run from 4 gams but ended up scoring 335 runs in the season. Also, the side led by him in this season kept losing matches unlike 2014 where Kolkata Knight Riders lifted the trophy and that put more pressure on Gambhir as he felt he wasn’t contributing enough to stay in the side and thus, he left the captaincy to make it easier for the management. Gambhir also forfeited the salary he was getting which needs a lot of courage.
Yuvi – Gautam : The World cup heroes
No matter how poor the season has gone for these two, they’ll always be remembered for what they did in WT20 2007 & WC 2011 and not for what they did in IPL 2018. Gambhir was the top scorer for India in a triumphant WT20 campaign including the finals while Yuvraj played some invaluable knocks including 58(16) vs England which also included 6 sixes in an over and 70(30) against Australia in the semifinal.
Yuvraj Singh was the biggest reason behind India winning the world cup in 2011 as he was the player of the tournament. Not to forget the contribution of Gambhir who scored an all important 97 in the finals.
Through Ups and Downs
As said above, Yuvraj Singh has been a gutsy cricketer and same can be said about Gambhir. Beating Cancer was the biggest challenge he could’ve faced. He cameback but soon found that life on this 22 yard isn’t as easy as it used to be. His reflexes became slow. In the meantime, he kept playing good knocks here and there but could never become consistent. Opponents started targeting him over his weaknesses which resulted in a dip in performance. Gambhir too had a hard time countering pace in all those tough overseas tours and soon both players lost their places.
Gambhir though was brilliant for KKR in IPL where he led his side to 2 IPL trophies and was arguably the best IPL captain. Yuvraj could never find stability and consistency though he kept making multiple comebacks into the side. He looked promising but couldn’t deliver as much was expected from him. Gambhir too made two comebacks but failed on both the occasions. Yuvi recently told the media to take a call on his future after 2019 WC while Gambhir dropped himself sighting less contribution for the team means one must have very slim hopes from them even though you’re their ardent fans. Unfortunately, it seems like the end of two champion cricketers, two world cup heroes who never got due recognition.