It came as no surprise when Yuvraj Singh hit two sixes and three fours in a 21-ball 38 against England in the Twenty20 International in Pune on Thursday (December 20). What didn't come as too big a surprise either was the fact that he made the difference with ball in hand - after all, he has been the go-to man for Mahendra Singh Dhoni in limited-overs cricket for some time now, and has delivered more often than not.
The thing is, however, that no one quite knew why he picked up as many wickets, or why it was so difficult to score off him. Ask Eoin Morgan, the England captain, at the end of a match where Yuvraj picked three wickets for 19 runs in a four-over spell, and all he could do was laugh. "I've got no idea really," said Morgan eventually, having considered the question carefully. "He just did a great job, as he has done for years."
Ask analysts and they will talk about the high-arm action, wicket-to-wicket lines where he hit when the batsman didn't, changes of pace and length and so on. They must be right, of course, but Yuvraj himself wasn't any more sure about his bowling than Morgan was. "Even I am not sure why I get so many wickets," he said, laughing louder than Morgan had.