Yuvraj joins the No. 4 race, again
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In cricket, and indeed in life, Yuvraj Singh has ridden the crests of ever higher waves, only to be swiftly reminded that the troughs are never far away. A powerfully built left-hand batsman whose natural ball-striking ability was honed over thousands of hours of forced practice by an overbearing father, Yuvraj learned to love cricket simply because he was so good at it. The signs were apparent early on, when Yuvraj was player of the tournament in India's under-19 World Cup triumph in 2000, a feat he would reprise 11 years later at the senior level. In ODIs, few Indian players, if any, have come close to being the package Yuvraj is. Smart at the crease and capable of shepherding almost any chase, clever with the ball in hand when sending down seemingly innocuous left-arm spin, and tigerish at point till repeated injuries wore him down, Yuvraj was the core of the Indian ODI unit for several bright years, culminating in the World Cup triumph of 2011. Just when it seemed as if Yuvraj was in a good mental space to try, yet again, to resurrect a flailing Test career that yielded only three centuries from 37 attempts, came a shocker. Still shy of his 30th birthday, Yuvraj was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (mediastinal seminoma) and had to drop everything to spend 11 weeks in the United States of America undergoing intensive and specialised treatment. A team of specialists, including Dr Lawrence H Einhorn, who managed cyclist Lance Armstrong's treatment and recovery, helped Yuvraj fight back the disease and return to India. His career is on hold, but Yuvraj insists he will fight his way back to the game when the time is right.