Eight years Yuvraj Singh went without making the IPL final, and with the left-hander shifting teams after every season in the recent past, it looked like the chance to have a crack at the IPL title might elude him. Then, after a disappointing season with the Delhi Daredevils, when he was released after being the most expensive buy in the IPL 2015 Player Auction, the Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him, not for over-the-top money, with the left-hander happy to go under the radar, as the likes of Shane Watson and Pawan Negi bagged the auction headlines.
It took Yuvraj a while to make his SRH debut, after the ankle injury, which ruled him out of the World T20 midway through the tournament, took a while to heal. Yuvraj finally played his first match of IPL 2016 on May 6, against the Gujarat Lions, and the start wasn't great, with the left-hander, while being decent with the ball, struggling greatly with the bat, scoring just five runs in 14 balls.
It got a lot better in the next game, as Yuvraj scored 39 from 23, and while the veteran blew hot and cold from there, there was little doubt the balance and stability he brought to the SRH middle order, something that was missing while he was out injured.
With David Warner in the kind of form that he was in and the SRH bowlers in fine fettle, Yuvraj suddenly found himself in a potentially-title winning side, and so it proved to be as the Sunrisers finished third in the league stages to qualify for the playoffs, before going on to beat KKR in the Eliminator and Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 2 to make it to the IPL 2016 final.
A partisan crowd supporting their opponents RCB awaited in that final, but the Sunrisers Hyderabad played the pressure situations much better to lift their first ever IPL title.
"It is an amazing feeling to win an IPL trophy," Yuvraj, who scored 38 from 23 balls in the final, told the IPL's official website. "I have won the World Cups, but never won an IPL trophy.
"I have been playing this tournament for eight years now but never won it. (This time) that moment has finally come.
"I had never tasted the sweetness of an IPL trophy and this is something really amazing. At the moment this trophy will go right on top in my trophy cabinet. This one will go along with my World Cup victories."
That just shows how important a win this was for Yuvraj, whose career eulogies have been written time and again in the recent past. But, the left-hander, who finished with 236 runs in ten matches, showed with this IPL win that there is plenty left in the tank yet, and it will be far from a surprise if he comes in next season, plays a few typically-Yuvraj-like innings to fire SRH to another title.