When all is well with Yuvraj Singh, he hits the ball as clean and long as it has ever been hit. When all is not well, he looks so awkward you forget he can hit the ball clean and long. All is well with Yuvraj more often in limited-overs cricket, where he can be effortless and brutal at the same time, than in Tests. When he started off his athleticism on the field and his canny left-arm spin made him a dream one-day player as Indian cricket went through a makeover at the turn of the century.
Yuvraj's father, Yograj, who played one Test for India, was what Mike Agassi was to Andre. So obsessed was he with Yuvraj's cricket that he took a skating gold medal off his young son's neck and threw it out of the car. "From now on, you are going to play cricket." And from then on he has played cricket. The major shift came when, at 15, he carried kitbags in crowded local trains, living away from his parents and a luxurious life in Punjab. At 18 he was shredding a strong Australian attack, in only his second ODI, in the Champions Trophy in 2000.