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.
The master blaster scored runs in each and every country he set foot in and thwarted every bowling attack he faced with poise and elegance that none else could match. The way he obliterated the best of opposition teams is to date, unparalleled. Sachin Tendulkar used to be the lone saviour and warrior with the bat for the Indian team on a number of occasions. The epitome of his career came in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which India won at home under the able leadership of MS Dhoni. However, he has some records that are yet to be broken.
Most Runs In Tests and ODI
Sachin was an absolute run-getter. Be it any format; the master blaster dominated the best of bowling attacks throughout his career. Tendulkar ended his 200-match career in Test cricket with a record 15,921 runs to his name, while holding an average of 53.71. He is also the only person ever to score 51 centuries in Test cricket. Sachin Tendulkar also made a lot of runs in ODI. He was the first batsman to score a double ton in the format, stirring up amazing numbers in this format of the game. Playing 463 games, he scored 18,426 runs and 49 centuries; doing so at an extremely commendable average of 44.83.
Longest ODI Career
Sachin has played international cricket for 24 years, which is a huge deal in itself. However, there are a few other players who have had longer careers. None of them though comes close to Sachin’s longevity when it comes to ODI cricket. His 50-over career lasted for a whopping 22 years and 91 days, racking up runs and records in the shorter format of the game.
Most World Cup Runs
Sachin Tendulkar played in six World Cups representing India. He played his first game in 1992 and ended up finally winning the trophy in 2011 on his home ground, the Wankhede stadium, in his final appearance at the global tournament. Just as he did throughout his career, Sachin gained a lot of runs in the World Cup as well. He scored 2,278 runs in the six World Cups he played, doing so at an astounding average of 56.95. Sachin scored six centuries and 15 fifties in the competition. Unsurprisingly perhaps, his 241 fours in the World Cup is also a record that remains unbeaten.
Most Test Matches
Sachin Tendulkar played a mind-blowing 200 Test matches during the course of his career. No other player even comes close, the second place is held by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting at 168. With T20 and ODI cricket gaining more popularity, fewer Test matches are being played now, which means that Sachin’s record of most Test matches might remain unmatched for a while, if ever.
Here are four decisions that Sourav Ganguly made as captain of the Indian cricket team that changed Indian cricket forever.
Sending Laxman at No.3 in 2001 against Australia
Ganguly was known as a man that worked on instinct. Laxman seemed to be the only Indian batsman who seemed at ease against Australia in the first innings of the now-famous Kolkata Test in 2001. India was asked to follow on Day 3. Ganguly decided to send Laxman at the No.3 position in place of Rahul Dravid. This move, though a lot of people remained sceptical, worked wonders for the team as both Laxman and Dravid batted through Day 4 with the former registering 281 – the highest score by an Indian back then to set up an otherwise impossible win on Day 5 which a rampaging Harbhajan Singh finished off. India’s win put Australia’s 16-match winning streak to an end and India went to win the final Test at Chennai, winning the series 2-1.
Asking Sehwag To Open
A lot of people who know Virender Sehwag today, know him for his accomplishments as an opener. However, the explosive Delhi right-hander used to bat in the middle order. When he debuted for India in South Africa at Bloemfontein, he smashed a century batting four down. This feverishly run-hungry play from Sehwag prompted Ganguly to ask him to open the batting for India. He believed that Sehwag’s batting prowess would bring better results at the top of the order. With an average of 50 and two triple hundreds to his name, Sehwag catapulted to becoming one of the most successful Test openers of India and contributed to several Indian victories, especially overseas.
Convincing Dravid To Don The Gloves
With the lack of a permanent wicket-keeper, Ganguly decided to put an end to the issue by asking Rahul Dravid to keep wickets for the team’s balance. Dravid, one of the most reliable top-order batsmen back then, was obviously reluctant but had no choice but to obey his captain’s orders. The move turned out to be successful because it allowed India to play an extra batsman from 2002 to 2004. Dravid did not fare too badly at the No.5 position either. As a matter of fact, some of his best ODI innings came during that time.
A Brilliant Motivator
Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni, and Zaheer Khan all made their way into the limelight under Ganguly’s captaincy. He rebuilt the Indian side from the depths of the match-fixing scandal in the late 20th century and made them believe that they could win anywhere in the world.
Ganguly was a fantastic captain for the team and went on to become one of the most respected cricketers of all time. He stood up for his teammates, earning him the title ‘Dada’.
Here are some of the most outstanding achievements India has had under Virat Kohli.
Winning a Test series in Sri Lanka in 23 Years
Sri Lanka is going through a difficult period in International cricket now, but they have been a tough nut to crack on their home ground. Rangana Herath was at his peak, and Australia had been whitewashed 3-0 in 2016 while the West Indies players had been swept aside in 2018 for 2-0. However, Virat Kohli and his Indian side stood on either side of these losses. No Indian side had won a series on Sri Lankan soil in 23 years before that, the closest being in 2010 when the series had been drawn at 1-1. The series was very crucial for Kohli as a captain because he had yet to register a win in a Test match six months into his captaincy stint.
Bilateral ODI series win in Australia, 2019
The 2019 bilateral series was only the second bilateral ODI series in Australia between these two sides, but given the way India was absolutely destroyed back in 2016, it required a herculean effort. But, as the Indian side has repeatedly proven, adversity brings out the best in the players. Led by MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli manoeuvring the bat and Chahal’s 6-42 in the decider at the MCG, the team went on to win their second and third ODIs by six and seven wickets, registering their first-ever bilateral ODI series win against Australia.
ODI series win in South Africa, 2018
Before India’s ODI record 5-1 win in South Africa led by Virat Kohli in the rainbow nation in 2018, India’s record was 5 Wins, 21 Losses and a draw in the 28 matches played there which resulted in a win-loss ratio of 0.238. Irrespective of the format, winning on South African soil has always been a challenging task for India. The team had toured the country on six different occasions before the 2018 tour and returned home empty-handed every time. So, Virat Kohli-led India visited South Africa at the beginning of 2018; there were great expectations from the team to end the losing streak once and for all. The Test series was a tight finish but tasteless team selection and inexplicable batting display, especially in the fourth innings, made way for a 2-1 defeat. However, India bounced back on the momentum they had built in the win in the last Test at Johannesburg and carried it successfully to the ODI series. Captain Virat Kohli led from the front, adding 558 runs to the score in six matches while the wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav dropped crucial South African wickets, helping them win an impressive 5-1 victory. This was India’s first ODI series win on South African soil ever.
Cricket in India is a serious affair. It not only produces the best sportsman but the mark they leave on the game is irreplaceable. Whether that be India’s spectacular performances during the World Cups or the off the pavilion moments, the men in blue have the capacity of surprising everyone. Ever since the inception of cricket in India, there have been moments that have attracted the rebuke of the public but also the days when the team upheld the highest principles of sportsmanship(Must Know).
- Anil Kumble’s perfect 10:
India’s spinner Anil Kumble’s is known for his bowling across the world. The 49-year-old leg spinner has 337 ODI wickets and 619 Test wickets in his account but the most memorable moment in his life was when he managed to take a ten-wicket haul against Pakistan in Feroz Shah, Kotla. He was the second Indian to do so.
- 1983 World Cup:
India’s reputation in the field of cricket is well established, but such was not the case in the 1980s when certain teams were not performing well. In the World Cup of 1983, India’s performance left a huge mark in the field. The team lost only two matches in the world cup and managed to lift its first World Cup title by defeating West Indies at Lord’s.
- 1985 – Kerry Packer:
After India won its first World Cup, it was seen as an act of fortune but the team went on showing its gaming prowess in the Kerry Packer World series. India’s victory over its rival Pakistan in the finals established a strong reputation of the Indian Cricket team in the world cricket.
- 1998 – Desert storm, Sharjah:
In the match, India’s right-hand batsman Sachin Tendulkar scored 143 runs against Australia. The series attracted a huge audience as it pitted the world’s best batsman Sachin against the world’s best spinner Shane Warne. The spectacular score helped India qualify for Coca Cola Cup Final. As always, Sachin triumphed in the series and also scored 134 against the same team in the finals.
- Natwest Trophy Final:
India’s former captain Sourav Ganguly is remembered for one more thing other than his impressive batting. It’s the moment of Natwest Trophy final when he removed his shirt to celebrate the victory of his team. England had scored 326 whereas India struggled at 146/5 when two new players showed exemplary sports skills and led India to its victory in the finals. These two players were Yuvraj Singh and Muhammad Kaif.
- 1996 – Quarterfinals of the World Cup
When it comes to Cricket between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, nothing can be more interesting. The cup is remembered for the impressive win of India against Pakistan. India’s all-rounder Ajay Jadeja led the team to its victory against Pakistan’s Waqar Younis.
- World Cup 2003:
Fate brought India and Pakistan back on the matches of the World Cup. Though India lost to Australia in the finals but managed to score a win against Pakistan. This was the first time India was chasing a score of 274 in the World Cup.
- 2007 T20 World Cup:
This became the defining moment in the world of T20 world Cup. This was the first World Cup of T20 and Mahindra Singh Dhoni was selected as the Captain of the Indian Cricket team. Not only did India scored massive wins through the qualifying matches but beat its arch-rival Pakistan in the finals and finally taking the trophy home.
- Yuvraj Singh:
Yuvraj Singh is remembered for his sensible batting and reliable bowling. The player has led India to victory a couple of times. In the inaugural T20 World Cup of 2007, he became the second batsman in the international cricket to hit six sixes in an over.
- 2011 – World Cup, Mumbai
This was the final match of Sachin Tendulkar. After 1983, India again lifted the World Cup in its home turf against Sri Lanka. Mahendra Singh Dhoni captained the team to victory.
Several events have left its mark on international cricket. From aggressive bowlers to defensive batsmen, cricket is a game of moments. Be it the dancing of Sree Santh or the monstrous hits of Dhoni, Indian Cricket no doubt has a bag full of surprises which will never end.
This year T20 Cricket World Cup will be held in Australia. The event is set to take place in October and end by 15 November. The event is generally held after two years, but the ICC concluded after the 2016 World cup that the next championship will be held in the year of 2020. Its inaugural match was played in South Africa which was won by India in 2007. For now, West Indies holds multiple titles of the T20 world cup.
In the world of Cricket, Virat Kohli needs no introduction. From his stylish batting to his public appeal, India’s top batsman steals it all. He is currently the top batsmen in ODI and test but no 10 in T20 Cricket. Though the player lags in T20 Cricket but is a talent worth appreciation. He is currently the captain of the Indian Cricket team and victory in Australia would be another legacy of his cricketing career. Though the team will have to compete against strong contestants and also its arch-rival Pakistan, the batting order of India will surely be able to chase.
Maxwell plays for Australia. His offensive batting and all-rounder skills have made the player an important part of the team. The T20 World Cup will be a defining moment in his career. Glen is known for breaking grounds and as Australia being his home turf, the player has a decent record of scoring against the opponents surprisingly. His skills in fielding and as an off-spin bowler give him an upper hand in the match.
Kane Williamson is the current captain of the New Zealand Cricket team. He has scored 13 ODI centuries and 21 Test centuries. Kane is certainly a batsman to look for. He is known for chasing aggressive score and perform better even in the pressure. Kiwis have had quite a brush with the victory in the 50 Over World Cup in 2019 but with a strong batting line-up and bowling sequence this time, the team is among the top competitors of the World Cup.
Babar plays for the Pakistan national team. He is currently the captain of the team in T20 and Vice-captain in the ODI. The player has made a spectacular start in the international cricket holding many records to his name. He is the quickest player(Must Watch) to score 1000 runs in T20 international games and scored more runs in his first 25 ODI than any other player. Under the captainship of Babur, the Pakistan team would be much better especially the fact that the batting line of the team has had its addition in recent years.
David Miller is a well-known name in the Indian premier league. He has scored 101 out of 38 balls in IPL making one of the great innings in the IPL history. The South-African Left-handed middle handed batsman is very well known for his aggressive scoring. Undoubtedly David will be a batsman to look for in the T20 World Cup.
Anticipations are running high for this year’s World Cup. The Cup is scheduled to be held in the fall of this year with Melbourne Cricket Ground hosting the final match. However, there will be qualification matches for the participating teams except for the top-ranking teams and the host which qualified directly. Papua New Guinea has for the first time qualified for the World Cup in any category. The trophy no doubt will attract a wide audience from the competing nations and it can be expected that the existing teams will put up a strong competition and a display of utmost sportsmanship.