Indian cricket has had a topsy-turvy run along its history. Even as prowess on the field was never a point of concern, it’s some unwanted controversies that kept turning detrimental. Those dreadful occurring threatened to push their cricket into oblivion.
However, over the course of their journey, they have produced cricketers, who preferred to stay grounded, ignoring any personal gains. The acts might not have done any benefits to them, statistically. Nevertheless, the players have gone on to earn a significant amount of respect from the fans and the pundits.
In fact, in 2019, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the Spirit of the Cricket award for extending his support to Steve Smith in the World Cup. There have been a number of events in the past from which India can take a lot of pride.
In the article, let’s take a look at five selfless acts in Indian cricket: –
1. Gautam Gambhir sacrificing his Man of the Match award
Back in 2009, Virat Kohli, the current Indian skipper, was taking baby steps into cricket at the highest level. At the same time, Gautam Gambhir was an established name for the Men in Blue. At the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, both combined to give India a seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.
Chasing a daunting 316, the hosts lost the early wickets of the openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. But then, Gambhir and Kohli put on 224 for the third wicket to bring India right back into the game. Even as Virat got out on 107, Gautam remained unbeaten on 150.
Being the top-scorer, Gambhir was given the Player of the Match award. However, he came forward and asked presenter Ravi Shastri to hand it over to Virat. Gambhir reckoned that Kohli’s role was essential in the triumph.
2. MS Dhoni dead-bats one for Virat Kohli
Chasing at a rate, starting close to nine, can be a daunting task in T20Is, more so in a knock-out game of a world tournament. Not for Virat Kohli though. The right-hander mauled the South African bowling and took India to the final of the World T20 in Bangladesh.
At the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Virat churned out 72 off 44 with the help of five fours and two sixes. He also hit the winning shot off Dale Steyn, but it wouldn’t have been possible with MS Dhoni.
With one run required, Dhoni dead-batted one off Beuran Hendricks in the last ball of the 19th over. Kohli took only one ball to finish the match off with five balls to spare. Later, Virat said that it was a gift for him from the then Indian skipper after his Man of the Match performance in the crunch game.
3. Rahul Dravid’s retirement
Rahul Dravid’s tireless approach on the field has inspired many young cricketers over the years. He was a man of wisdom and someone, who was an epitome of patience and perseverance. But 2011 turned out to be a tough one for him.
India slumped to a couple of horrendous series defeats at the hands of England and Australia. Dravid’s one form wasn’t the best and he felt the need to take a call. On March 2012, he decided to retire from the game. He put forth the announcement at his home ground, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
In a room filled with 200 people, including his family and mates, The Wall of Indian cricket said how he wanted the next generation of cricketers to take over. For Dravid, it was all about playing with dignity and upholding the spirit of the game.
4. Javagal Srinath helping out Anil Kumble
Back in 1999, the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi was a witness to a miraculous occurring. Anil Kumble became only the second bowler to get a ten-wicket haul in a Test innings. Chasing 420 in the fourth innings, the Pakistan batters had very little clue about Kumble, who wasn’t a huge turner of the cricket ball.
He also broke the 101-run stand between openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi. When Kumble picked up his ninth wicket in the form of Saqlain Mushtaq, there was a fair bit of anticipation all around.
Javagal Srinath was operating from the other end he started bowling wide outside the off-stump. In the end, Kumble nipped out Wasim Akram to reach the milestone and script a 212-run triumph for India. Later, Srinath said his bowling tactics to help Kumble was a unanimous decision.
5. Robin Uthappa guiding Rohit Sharma through
In 2014, Rohit Sharma notched the highest ODI individual score- a record that has remained unscathed until now. He smashed 264 off 173 with 33 fours and nine sixes and lit up the Eden Gardens in the game against Sri Lanka. The entire Lankan batting scored 251, showing the ferocity of Rohit’s knock.
But then, it could have been tough for Rohit to reach that far without Robin Uthappa. When Uthappa walked out in the 41st over, Rohit was batting on 155 with India’s score at 276 for four wickets.
At that point in time, eyes were on the opener to reach the double ton. Uthappa played only 16 out of the next 58 balls, allowing his partner to take most of the strike. He scored a run-ball 16 in a 128-run stand with Rohit. The Men in Blue, comfortably, won the match by 153 runs in Kolkata.
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