'Where's the Yu, Vi used to know?' a rather imaginative Amul advertisement questioned the 'always in form' Yuvraj Singh. And as if in reply, Harsha Bhogle, the inimitable commentator said: "we may have seen the last of Yuvraj Singh as an India cricketer".
However, Gautam Gambhir and Kevin Pietersen disagree. The two IPL stars defended Yuvraj's infamous 21-ball 11, saying it was unfair to point fingers at an individual who has been a match-winner for India.
Yuvraj had played a key role in India bringing home the title in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup. After being around the match-winner, who can steal the thunder from anyone on any given day, Gambhir knew who he was talking about and aggressively defended the southpaw.
"Yuvraj has been the greatest match-winner for India and he still is," Gambhir, the KKR captain, said. "Kolkata Knight Riders went berserk in the auction to get Yuvi but lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore. I maintain that if there was an auction today, I will still go all out to have him in my team.
"I don't think any of the current players think he was the sole reason. The ex-cricketers and media need to be careful while targeting an individual and need to know that 11 players win or lose the match for a team."
Cricket experts, such as Kris Srikanth and Ravi Shastri, have been harsh on Yuvraj's performance in the 2014 World T20 final against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Pietersen also defended the player and stated, in his own style, that ex-cricketers need to understand the situation better.
"You can't always be good. It's very easy to say things when you stop playing," the Delhi Daredevils skipper pointed out. "I see a lot of players talking who don't even play international cricket and wished they were playing, have a lot of things to say. Because criticising is the easiest thing to do."
Having once called Yuvraj a "pie-chucker", Pietersen has now come to Yuvraj's defence labelling all criticisms as unwarranted. "I think that it was unwarranted and he did not deserve this."
Yuvraj's fans are angry, no doubt. But the only question that bothers them now is whether or not the Yuvi we knew would be back in IPL 7 with all his weapons intact in the armoury. Can this season's highest paid IPL player make it count? Only time will tell.
(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)