Sachin comes out in Yuvraj's defense

India

Sachin Tendulkar has come out in defense of his former team-mate Yuvraj Singh, who has been made something of a scapegoat for India's defeat to Sri Lanka in the World T20 final on Sunday.

<b>Sachin Tendulkar has come out in defense of his former team-mate Yuvraj Singh, who has been made something of a scapegoat for India's defeat to Sri Lanka in the World T20 final on Sunday.</b>

The big-hitting left-hander struggled with his timing during the match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, making only 11 runs off 21 deliveries as India lost all their momentum setting a target.

The 32-year-old Singh made a name for himself in the shortest form of the game when he hit six sixes off a Stuart Broad over at the inaugural event in 2007, and was a key player in India's World Cup victory in 2011.

"All of us took pride in the heroics of Yuvi when we won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and his outstanding contribution in the ODI World Cup win in 2011 will always be cherished," Tendulkar, who retired from the sport in November after an illustrious career, wrote on his <i>Facebook</i> page.

"Last evening (Sunday), Yuvi had a tough day and he can be criticised. But he should not be crucified nor should he be written off.

"It is the unpredictable nature of the game that makes cricket such an exciting sport.

"As cricketers, we always enjoy the applause when we succeed but it is the support and encouragement from fans, during tough times, that we appreciate the most."

Yuvraj hasn't been part of India's Test and ODI team recently but made an emotional return to the sport two years ago after he was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer in his lungs.

With that in mind, Tendulkar believes his long-term team-mate will emerge from his latest set-back even stronger.

"I have been an admirer of Yuvi's indomitable Spirit which has overcome many challenges, both on and off the field," Tendulkar added.

"Knowing Yuvi's determination and ability to fight adversities, he will emerge stronger, proving his critics wrong, yet again.

"Yuvi, one off day cannot undermine your tremendous contribution in many sweet memories over the years. You may be down today but you are far from being out."

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