London, Nov 15 (IANS) Yuvraj's decision to use a runner because of a back injury in Friday's one-day cricket match against England has been greeted with a degree of cynicism in the British media.
"This would have been one of the great one-day innings even without Yuvraj Singh's back strain. With it, credulity was stretched to the limit," said the Guardian in its match report Saturday.
"He did not seem overly indisposed as he made 138 from 78 balls, with 16 fours and six sixes, reaching the eighth fastest ODI hundred (64 balls) along the way,' it said.
"Let's just say he would not have qualified for incapacity benefit," it added in reference to a state allowance that Britons can access if they are unable to work.
The Daily Telegraph said, "While many might question the pain threshold of a man unable to run, but capable of striking the ball a long way with power and precision, England did not."
The Times added: "Kevin Pietersen, the England captain, was happy to take Yuvraj on his word and allow him a runner, though eyebrows may be raised if he is fit for the second game, in Indore Monday."
Pietersen has said, 'I can't see whether someone is in pain. You have to trust him. I don't think he would have got a runner on if there wasn't a problem.'
The Independent rejected the scepticism. "Much will be made of Yuvraj's back injury and his use of a runner for the majority of his innings. The ailment did not appear to affect his strokeplay and there were many quizzical looks as he lithely sent the ball flying to and over the boundary.'
"Some will feel it was a calculated decision so that he remained fresh. It is hard to believe. A runner normally causes huge mix-ups that often result in a run-out, and Yuvraj would not have wanted to be dismissed through no fault of his own."
Nevertheless, every British media heaped fulsome praise on Yuvraj's knock. The Telegraph said: "All he seemed to do, to create shots possessed of the grace of Garry Sobers, the power of Clive Lloyd and flair of Brian Lara, was to wave his bat somewhere in the vicinity of the ball."
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