Cricket is an unforgiving sport, especially with the standard and competition of the game soaring up with every passing year. A player’s performance is scrutinized in every match, mounting immense amount on him to consistently perform at the highest level.
Furthermore, with the involvement of media in criticizing a player’s on-field display, he/she is under constant fear of receiving flak. Besides the media’s uproar and scrutiny, there have also been several instances where a former or current player has mocked another cricketer.
This has often led to the criticized player getting infuriated after hearing him being assessed negatively. A player, many a time, has silenced his doubters and faultfinders by delivering an impressive performance on the field.
Here are five such instances when a cricketer gave a befitting reply after getting mocked:
1. Ravindra Jadeja – Sanjay Manjrekar
Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar stirred up a controversy amid 2019 World Cup by calling Ravindra Jadeja ‘a bits and pieces’ player. Manjrekar had told media that he is not a big fan of bits and pieces players like Jadeja.
The Jamnagar-born all-rounder was irked by Manjrekar’s comment and Jadeja, in a tweet, said he has played twice the number of matches than the commentator. He even termed Manjrekar’s comments as ‘verbal diarrhoea’, raking up headlines everywhere due to his befitting response.
Furthermore, Jadeja even replied with his bat by stitching a crucial 77-run knock in India’s semi-final encounter against New Zealand. Once the left-hander reached the score of fifty, he celebrated in his trademark style and directed his celebration towards the media box to silence Manjrekar.
Even Manjrekar bowed down after Jadeja’s batting display as he said that the all-rounder ripped him apart by ‘bits and pieces of sheer brilliance’. However, Jadeja’s heroics went in vain as India were knocked out of the showpiece event as they suffered an 18-run defeat.
2. Denesh Ramdin – Viv Richards
One of the greats of the game– Viv Richards– had criticized Denesh Ramdin for his batting performances, terming the wicketkeeper-batsman as a ‘lost guy’.
Ramdin had delivered woeful batting performances against England in the first two Tests in 2012, scoring 6, 43, 1 and 6 in the four innings. Amid Ramdin’s lean patch, Richards didn’t hold back in scrutinizing the right-hander’s performance with the willow.
“Ramdin just looks out of sorts. When he first came into the game, I felt he was a huge prospect. For some reason, he has deteriorated in such a big way. Just the way he is walking back, he looks like a totally lost guy,” Richards had said.
However, Ramdin responded to the criticism and bounced back in the third Test by smashing a ton. Ramdin, after reaching his century, flashed a note that read– “Yeah Viv talk nah”. He surprised everyone by taking out the note from his pocket and holding it aloft while celebrating his ton against the Three Lions.
3. Hardik Pandya – Michael Holding
West Indies fast-bowling legend Michael Holding, while scrutinizing Hardik Pandya, had said in 2018 that India needs to “find someone who can contribute a lot more to this team right now”.
Holding’s remarks on Hardik Pandya came during India’s expeditions in England, two days before the third Test started. He even said that Pandya has a long way to go until he fills the void left by greats like Kapil Dev. Pandya was nowhere near to Indian legend Kapil Dev, according to Holding.
“I don’t think he does a lot with the ball. He is not consistent,” said Holding while assessing Pandya’s bowling performances on the English soil.
Pandya soon dazzled with the ball by scalping his first five-wicket haul in the traditional format. In the swing-friendly conditions at Trent Bridge, Pandya wreaked havoc on English batsmen to register impressive figures of 5/28. Post his performance, he urged everyone to not compare him with Kapil Dev or anyone.
“Let me be Hardik Pandya, I am good at being Hardik Pandya, I played 41 ODIS and 10 Tests being Hardik Pandya, not Kapil Dev,” said Pandya after delivering with the ball.
4. Virat Kohli- Pat Cummins
Current India skipper Virat Kohli is known for his fiery attitude and commitment while being on the field. He never holds back in giving a befitting reply if anyone tries to sledge him before or during a match.
A similar sort of incident happened in 2018, just ahead of the much-anticipated series between India and Australia. Ahead of India’s tour, speedster Pat Cummins claimed that Kohli will not be able to score a hundred and that Australia will knock over India.
“My brave, bold prediction; I’d say I think Virat Kohli is not going to get a hundred and we’re going to knock them off over here,” Cummins had claimed. However, the Men in Blue, led by Virat Kohli, thumped the Australian side in Test as well as ODI series. It was the first time that India had won a Test series in Australia.
Kohli even flaunted his class at Perth in the second Test, scoring a brilliant ton in the first innings. However, Kohli’s ton came in losing circumstances as India suffered a 146-run defeat. Nonetheless, India were successful in retaining the Border–Gavaskar Trophy by winning the series 2-1.
5. Jofra Archer – Tino Best
The altercation between Jofra Archer and Tino Best happened after Stuart Broad was dropped for the first Test between England and West Indies. Both the sides flagged off international cricket amid COVID-19 pandemic as they played their first Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
However, the omission of Stuart Broad raised many eyebrows as England went with the pace trio of James Anderson, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer.
Former West Indies pacer Tino Best questioned the inclusion of Archer and tweeted that the Barbados pacer wasn’t generating enough pace to be included in the side over legendary Broad. Best’s comment irked Archer as he responded by saying, “With all this knowledge how are you not a coach yet ?”
Furthermore, Archer flaunted his bowling skills in the second innings of the Test and picked up three vital wickets to put West Indies under pressure. However, Archer’s efforts went futile as Jermaine Blackwood steadied his side’s ship and steered West Indies to the victory by playing a 95-run knock.
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