Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are two people who have gone down in history as absolute legends. Their contributions in cricket are extraordinary as they played memorable roles in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup. These players have paired up when the team needed them the most, which is what makes them so amazing for India and Indians all over the world. Holding partnerships is not easy, to say the least. Both the players need to give their undivided attention to the game, but at the same time, they also need to keep track of the movements and body language of the other person on the opposite side of the crease. They need to have a good rapport among themselves so that they can work with each other with full efficiency. Here are some of the most memorable partnerships from the iconic finisher duo.
India Vs Zimbabwe, 2005
India was at 91 for 5 when Yuvraj and Dhoni took the crease in the Videocon Triangular Series to chase down 251 runs. The team was crumbling and in need of a desperate partnership. The duo added 158 runs to the scoreboard securing a milestone win for their partnership. This was especially hailed, as this was just their fourth Test together.
India Vs Pakistan, 2006
Team India under Rahul Dravid had already sealed the series with their wins. However, this was an especially important game for Pakistan, as General Parvez Musharraf, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was present at the Karachi International Stadium to witness the match. The game started off pretty well for India, and the score was 141 for 2 when MS Dhoni stepped into the crease. The target that Pakistan had set was 287 runs, which was a winning total back then. However, the Yuvraj-Dhoni partnership added an unbeaten 146 runs to secure the win. The match ended with Yuvraj scoring 107 runs in 93 balls and MS Dhoni scoring 77 off just 56 balls.
India Vs Australia, 2007
India won their first match in the five-match series against Australia against their arch-nemesis Pakistan by five wickets with three overs remaining back in 2007. The score was 113 for 3 when MS Dhoni stepped in, knocking an unbeaten 63 runs, while Yuvraj on the other end got out for 58, adding a 105 total in their partnership, hence winning the game.
India Vs Australia, 2009
In the third ODI match in the seven-match series against Australia, India was at 37 for no loss but quickly dropped to 53 with three down, losing crucial players. At this stage, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped onto the crease and delivered a partnership with Yuvraj scoring 148 runs, securing the win for India. Yuvraj Singh scored 78 runs while MS Dhoni scored 71.
However successful we become, we attribute some amount of it to luck. Success is always a reflection of your hard work and persistence, but luck is also a factor that cannot be ruled out. However, big cricket celebrities may be to the common man; they are also simple human beings at the end of the day. They also have superstitious beliefs that they might think might help them perform better. Here are some of the superstitious beliefs of some famous Indian cricketers.
Sachin Tendulkar Wore His Left Pad Before His Right
The God of Cricket himself, the great Sachin Tendulkar, was a person who believed in superstitions. He thought that wearing his left pad before wearing the right one brought him better luck while playing. The player is no doubt a legend, and there is no correlation between that and his superstitions, but he believes it, and he shows it is worth it too. His wife Anjali also had a superstitious belief. She would sit at the exact same spot while Sachin was at the crease.
Anil Kumble’s 10 Wicket Haul
Anil Kumble, India’s highest wicket-taker, took all ten wickets against Pakistan in 1999 making him the second-ever cricketer to do so. However, the veteran player attributes this luck to something that he did. He believed that he would get a wicket every time he handed over his cap and sweater to Sachin. This trend continued throughout the match, and Kumble thought it too.
Saurav Ganguly And His Guru
Sourav Ganguly is a name that has gone down the history of cricket unfazed. Yet, he was yet another cricketer who had superstitions. He carried a photo of his Guru in his pocket, something he believed brought him success. He also used to wear rings and necklaces like a good luck charm.
The Missing Jersey Number of Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag started off his career with the number 44 on his jersey. However, he removed it on the advice of his numerologist. Numerology has nothing to do about his success, but he believes so.
Rahul Dravid and His Right Pad
Rahul Dravid’s face might be the one on those no-smoking ads, making him seem like a man with a modern outlook. However, he too was a superstitious person. He believed that wearing his right pad before his left pad gave him good luck. He was also said to have not used a fresh bat while at the beginning of a series.
Zaheer Khan’s Lucky Handkerchief
Zaheer Khan became India’s key bowler after Kapil Dev retired, but the left-arm pacer was not without his superstitions. He used to carry a yellow handkerchief with him as he believed that it brought him good luck.
Here is a detailed list of the top 6 paid cricketers in India.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a captain that has led the men in blue to unparalleled success in white-ball cricket. He assesses every situation perfectly, and remains calm and composed during adverse conditions, earning him the nickname Captain Cool. Under his leadership, India won all three titles including ICC T20 World Cup, 50-over World Cup, and the Champions Trophy. His net worth is estimated to be around 150 million dollars.
The God of cricket needs no introduction. Sachin Tendulkar was the complete batsman, a determined run-getter, and the most celebrated icon in cricket history. The most capped player in Test and ODI cricket, Sachin is the only person to hit 100 centuries in international cricket. He also holds the title of getting the most runs in both ODIs. The 46-year old’s current net worth is little over 120 million dollars.
Arguably the greatest batsman in all formats in modern-day cricket, Virat Kohli’s contributions towards the game are unprecedented. The Indian Test team under Kohli has grown from strength to strength. The Indian skipper has set the current benchmark for world cricket fitness and is also a youth icon. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the 31-year old’s net income is a whopping 92 million dollars and is one of the top-tier cricketers on the contract list of the BCCI.
Widely renowned as the Dada of Indian Cricket, Sourav Ganguly is one of the most polarising figures in Indian cricket. He was one of the captains who revived Indian cricket from the match-fixing scandal’s deep dark days. In 2008, Ganguly announced his retirement from international cricket. However, he continued to play in the Indian Premier League and never lost touch of the game by taking up coaching roles.
He became President of the BCCI in October 2019. Ganguly’s net worth is 55.5 million dollars, which includes the money he gets from his endorsements from companies as well as his IPL salary.
This once-energetic left-handed batsman is yet another cricketer who played a massive role in helping lift the T20 World Cup back in 2007 and the 50 overs World Cup in 2011. Having joined Lok Sabha in the General Assembly Elections, Gautam Gambhir has assets worth 20 million dollars, making him the richest out of the 349 candidates in contention. Gautham Gambhir has an income of 170,000 dollars. His movable and immovable assets are cumulatively valued at 15 million and 3.8 million dollars, respectively.
One of the confrontational, aggressive opening batsmen that India has ever seen, Virender Sehwag is affectionately called Viru and the Nawab of Najafgarh. He is only one of the two batsmen to have passed 300 runs twice in Test cricket. He has a net worth of 40 million dollars presently. He also makes about 4.1 million dollars from his endorsements.
India is indeed blessed to have such immensely talented players on their sports teams. If they are the chosen 11 players to represent 1.4 billion Indians, they obviously have to be good. But here are some exceptional players among them that shone through because of their achievements.
Having won all 3 ICC trophies (the Champion’s Trophy, T20 World Cup and 50 Overs World Cup) under his captaincy, MS Dhoni deserves all the admiration and love that he gets and tops the list for India’s ODI match winners. Team India’s win under him in the 2007 T20 World Cup is believed to be the reason for the massive success of the IPL. He played 350 One Day International matches and scored a total of 10,773 runs at an average of 50.58.
One of the best all-rounders India has ever seen, Yuvraj Singh truly is the ‘Prince’ of Indian Cricket. He had knocked critical runs for India when the team was struggling, making sure that the team saw victory when he was at the crease. He has played 304 ODI matches and scored 8,701 runs, while also taking 111 wickets in the format. People still hail him for his magnificent effort in the 2011 World Cup, playing while being diagnosed with cancer.
Sachin is undoubtedly one of the most proficient ODI players in the world. Knocking 49 of his 100 centuries in ODIs, his score in the format totalling an unparalleled 18,426 runs. Being the first person to ever score a double hundred in the history of the game often overshadows the fact that Sachin also has 154 wickets to his name in the format.
Sachin Tendulkar might have introduced the world to an ODI double hundred, but Rohit Sharma was the one who owned it. Even though he has only half the runs Sachin scored (9115), he holds the record for being the only person on planet Earth to have 3 ODI double hundreds to his name. He is also the highest individual run-scorer in ODI with 264 runs. He is referred to as the ‘Hitman’ of India for his incredible performances in limited-overs cricket. However, MS Dhoni was the one who suggested that Rohit Sharma should open for India because of his explosive nature. The rest is history.
When it comes to limited-overs cricket, the one-down current Indian skipper is one that needs no introduction. Kohli’s resolve for excellence is a real inspiration for the youth of India, which is reflected in his scores. He is the fastest person to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket in a record 205 innings.
The never-say-die attitude of India and their heroics in the India-Australia test Series 2021 ensured that they rewrote history by beating the Aussies at their home ground at Gabba, where they had reigned unbeaten for 32 years. The West Indies was the only other team to beat them there, which was way back in 1988.
Pujara’s stubborn resistance and his able support to assist Rishabh Pant and Shubhman Gill were expected from Team India, but what was unexpected was that the other two senior batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, failed to rise to the occasion. After the epic Kolkata win almost a couple of decades ago, this will surely be one of the India-Australia Tests that will be remembered for centuries to come. Even though they only had a combined experience of four Tests, the pacers of India set the foundation for the team in style. No one thought that India even stood a chance against Australia before they arrived in Gabba. This was further accentuated by a draw the other night, which itself seemed like a massive achievement in helping India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, the young brigade had different ideas from last time and had their own strategy. A draw was probably not even in their mind at all.
The increasing absence of the senior players all throughout the series never reduced the remaining players’ resolve. They had nothing to lose except an opportunity to ensure a long Test career. After the emergence of fearless India under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly against these very same Aussies. This was a team which has made use of every opportunity coming their way, showing that a new India is born again. Ganguly would be incredibly proud and happy watching this team show astronomical self-belief, character, temperament and positive attitude. This Test win is not just a win: it is a message, a message the Aussies can be beaten wherever they play, including at the Gabba. The youngsters rose to the challenge and once again proved why Test cricket is unique and special. This series win would indeed have inspired millions of youngsters once again to take up cricket, that too as a career option. As a matter of fact, this 2-1 victory has certainly temporarily removed the shorter formats of the game from the spotlight and pushed them to the background, for now, much to the pride of every proud Indian. It is a matter of immense pride and prestige that this team retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy not only with a draw but with a record Test win at Brisbane as well as the much-deserved repeat series win in Australia and will rightfully hold their respective heads high.
Cricket is more than a game for many people; it is a passion and emotion for the whole of India. Here are some of the legends of cricket that people look up to even today for their contributions.
Sachin Tendulkar is considered one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He is the highest run-scorer and century hitter in Test and ODI cricket. Sachin holds a plethora of records in his name. He is the first cricketer to score a double century in the history of ODI cricket and has the distinction of appearing in six consecutive cricket world cups, the highest by any individual player. Sachin is the first player to score fifty Test centuries, and the only player to reach 100 centuries in international cricket. He was also the first player to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs and holds the record for most runs in Tests. Sachin crossed the 30,000 runs mark in international cricket on 20 November 2009. For his contributions to the game, he has been conferred India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan award, and India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Tendulkar became the first person without an aviation background and the first sportsperson to be rewarded with the rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force for his efforts.
Kapil Dev is most famous as the Indian cricket team captain who won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Named as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002 by Wisden, Kapil Dev was also the national cricket coach for ten months from October 1999 to August 2000. Kapil Dev’s achievements are very many. He was the leading bowler for India during the time. The right-arm pacer was known as the Haryana Hurricane for his achievements in domestic cricket. Kapil Dev is the only player in cricket history to take more than 400 wickets and score over 5000 runs in the history of Test cricket, making him one of the most proficient all-rounders of all time. On 8 March 2010, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.was also given an honorary Lieutenant Colonel position in the Indian Territorial Army.
Sunil Gavaskar is a former batsman for the Indian cricket team in the 70s and 80s for Bombay and India. Standing just 165cm tall, he showed that height was no criteria for excellence. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen in Test cricket and set world records during his career for most runs and most centuries scored by a single batsman. Gavaskar has 34 Test centuries to his name, a record he held nearly two decades before Sachin Tendulkar finally broke it in 2005. Gavaskar is most renowned for his approach towards the West Indies fast bowling attack, which was considered the most vicious in Test cricket history. He was the first Indian cricketer to hit more than 700 runs in a series, and this 774 runs at a strike rate of 154.80 remain the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman.
Many Indian fans might have been worried about the long list of injured players in the Indian squad that toured Australia. This is arguably the biggest number of injured players, even bigger than those who were battered in the West Indies in 1976 when India lost a match it never even properly contested in the first place. Ajinkya Rahane had come forth as the Indian cricket team captain for the final three Tests in Australia because of the sheer number of absences and injuries.
However, India proved that these injuries were not indicative of cowardice as India braved the repeated bodyline onslaught from the Aussies and showed why Test cricket is so revered and unique. The famous Sydney draw has overshadowed the biggest blow Team India has ever faced, the Adelaide Test fiasco. India was looking totally lost and clueless as they slumped to a shameful 36 for 9. Indeed, that day left more bruises and scars on the image of India and made fans anxious about the country’s struggles overseas. However, if Adelaide was a disaster, Melbourne seemed to turn out as the turning point in the series. The players, the team in general, discovered their lost confidence and form and found their bearings in the absence of captain Virat Kohli. Kohli’s return to India had probably woken them up from their formless slumber and rekindled their commitment, while at the same time taking a lot of pressure off the players. However, this was not the only injury that India had to brave.
- Mohammad Shami suffered a blow to the forearm while batting during the second innings in the Adelaide Test when he was diagnosed with a fracture.
- Umesh Yadav had to walk off the field in the middle of the Melbourne test due to a calf muscle injury.
- A vicious bouncer from Mitchell Starc hit Ravindra Jadeja on his left thumb, dislocating it and forcing him to stop play. However, Jadeja won the hearts of fans as he was padded and ready to bat if the team lost another player to injury despite his broken thumb.
- Hanuma Vihari suffered a Grade 2 hamstring injury during the Melbourne Test, and yet even with the injury, he faced more than a hundred balls.
- India’s backbone pacer Jasprit Bumrah was seen speaking to paramedics during the Melbourne Test. It appeared that he had developed an abdominal strain. Despite this, he played the test but was not risked in the following Brisbane test or the Gabba Test after that.
- Rishabh Pant was injured in the elbow during the Sydney test and did not keep, being replaced by Wriddhiman Saha. However, he returned to bat in the second innings, pushing India to victory by scoring 97 off 118 balls.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced the eighteen member squad for the first two test matches against England that is due to begin on the 5th of February in Chennai. Star batsman and Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli, who flew to India on paternity leave after his first Test match at Adelaide, is back at the helm of affairs. Ishant Sharma who could not play the test series against Australia because of an abdomen strain is fit and back on his feet and recently represented Delhi in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The veteran pacer will be leading the pace attack along with the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Brisbane hero Shardul Thakur. Thangarasu Natarajan, who got three wickets on his Test debut at the Gabba, will, unfortunately, be unavailable for the England series as he is on paternity leave. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who featured only in the limited-overs series in Australia, will also be returning to the most extended format.
The first and second Tests will be played in Chennai while Ahmedabad will host the third and fourth Test respectively. A five-match T20I series and three ODIs will come after the four-match test series, which will conclude on the 28th of March in Pune.
Ranji Trophy triple century scorer Kona Srikar Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, IPL fame Rahul Chahar and Priyank Panchal have been named as standby players.
The playing XI squad for the first two tests are given below:
- Rohit Sharma
- Shubman Gill
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Mayank Agarwal
- Virat Kohli (Captain)
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rishabh Pant
- KL Rahul
- Wriddhiman Saha
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Ishant Sharma
- Mohammed Siraj
- Shardul Thakur
- R Ashwin
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Washington Sundar
- Axar Patel
- KS Bharat
- Abhimanyu Easwaran
- Shahbaz Nadeem
- Rahul Chahar
- Priyank Panchal
- Ankit Rajpoot
- Avesh Khan
- Sandeep Warrier
- K Gowtham
- Saurabh Kumar
The Test series fixtures are as follows
- Test No.1 – February 5 to February 9 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
- Test No. 2 – February 13 to February 17 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
- Test No. 3 – February 24 to February 28 at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad (D/N)
- Test No.4 – March 4 to March 8 at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
The T20I series schedule is as follows:
- March 12: I T20I at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- March 14: II T20I at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- March 16: III T20I at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- March 18: IV T20I at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- March 20: V T20I at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
- March 23: I ODI at MCA Stadium, Pune
- March 26: II ODI at MCA Stadium, Pune
- March 28: III ODI at MCA Stadium, Pune
India’s pacers are incredibly talented. They push the boundaries for Indian cricket every year with their speed, accuracy and control of the ball. Here are seven of the Indian bowlers who have bowled the fastest balls.
The fastest bowler in India till date is Javagal Srinath. Leading India’s pace attack for nine straight years, Srinath tops the list of Indian fast bowlers for his 154.5 kmph ball. For his speed and skill, he is often called The Mysore Express. Even after so many years of retirement, he still remains the only Indian fast bowler to claim 300 wickets in ODI Internationals.
Irfan Pathan was a bowler who set the standard for the Indian pace attack in the modern era. Irfan was the one to take the wickets of 3 important batsmen from Pakistan in the inaugural World T20 in 2007. He also became the first Indian fast bowler to take three wickets in the first over of a test match. The fastest ball delivered by Irfan Pathan is a whopping 153.7 kmph.
Boom Boom Bumrah was the fastest bowler in India in 2019. Selected by IPL team Mumbai Indians’ talent scout team for his odd action and consistency in bowling yorkers at will, Jasprit debuted in the 2015-16 series against Australia, soon becoming one of the fastest bowlers in India beating all others. He claimed the record of being the first Indian pacer to take five wickets in England, Australia and South Africa, all in the same year. Despite his short run-up, he generated power to deliver a ball at 153 kmph.
Ishant Sharma is one of the prime reasons behind India’s historic win at the Lord’s stadium in 2014, after 28 long years. A giant of a man, Ishant Sharma is, without a doubt, one of the best Indian fast bowlers of all time. The right-arm pacer delivered his fastest ball against Ricky Ponting during a Test match in December 2011.
Varun Aaron’s fluid run-up, followed by a short jump gives him the perfect body movement to deliver high-speed balls. His fastest ball clocking in at 152.5 kmph, Varun is probably one of today’s best Indian pace bowlers.
The ICC World Cup of 2015 saw Umesh Yadav as India’s highest wicket-taker. He is undoubtedly one of the most incredible Indian pacers to date. Playing domestic cricket since 2008, Umesh has several records to his name. Many Indian bowlers speak highly of his consistency in high-speed bowling. His fastest ball is recorded at 152.2 kmph.
Ashish Nehra is one of the best bowlers India has ever produced, and the fact that he is the second oldest player to represent India in T20 Internationals stands testimony to it. Even though he faced criticism for his injuries, Nehra is still one of India’s fastest bowlers, clocking in his fastest at 149.7 kmph.
Even though women’s cricket and men’s cricket are not often compared, these players are so similar to their men counterparts that it is difficult not to compare their styles.
Shefali Verma – Virender Sehwag
Shafali Verma, the women’s cricket team’s explosive opener, is often compared to the legendary opener Virender Sehwag of the Indian men’s cricket team. She secured her place in the Indian team at the age of just 15. She has since been breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s records with her breakneck batting pace, but Shafali is mostly compared to Sehwag in the cricket world, the biggest reason being the similarity in how they play. Virender Sehwag did not wait to get set to hit fours and sixes, attacking the bowlers as soon as he took charge. Shafali bats just like Sehwag. She doesn’t wait to set herself in, raining the ground with fours and sixes.
Smriti Mandhana – Rohit Sharma
Women’s opener Smriti Mandhana is compared a lot to Rohit Sharma, the opener of the men’s team. As a matter of fact, Mandhana has made her mark in the last decade as an explosive opener, paralleling Rohit in giving a strong start to the Indian side. The left-handed batter has the right sense of building an inning, and just like Rohit, she is exceptionally renowned for giving a head start to the team, capable of playing some huge shots.
Mithali Raj – Sachin Tendulkar
Mithali Raj is rightfully credited with the development of women’s cricket in India. As a matter of fact, Mithali brought about a paradigm shift in even how people perceived India. Mithali Raj is compared to the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar for a couple of reasons. Mithali, just like Sachin, knows how to build and maintain a long successful inning with an air of sense and maturity. Their style of play is also often compared, because of their known liking for the cover drive shot. Mithali is also at the number 1 position in women’s cricket when it comes to runs in ODI cricket.
Harmanpreet Kaur – Virat Kohli
Indian women’s team captain Harmanpreet Kaur is often compared to Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Both players are known match-winners and have a lot of dependence on them. Just as everyone’s eyes fall on Virat if the openers flop, all eyes will be on Harmanpreet if the women openers are dismissed early. Harmanpreet has been awarded the Arjuna Award as well, just like Virat.
Deepti Sharma – Ravindra Jadeja
All-rounder Deepti Sharma is easily comparable to Ravindra Jadeja, all-rounder of the Indian men’s team. Just like Ravindra Jadeja, Deepti Sharma is known widely for her excellent fielding capabilities. Both of them are all-rounders and can handle the innings as required by the team. They are both left-handed players and are experts in taking wickets in the middle overs for India apart from batting well.