Cricket : Rise of Indian Cricket-ing Talents since 1983. Best Players of Indian History.

Everyone knows that cricket is the most popular game played in India. Cricket is not just a game; it’s an emotion. Indian fans make a difference in Indian cricket more than any other country. Many foreign cricketers have appreciated this fan base in India. They enjoy playing in India. Die-hard fans are a vital component of historic Indian cricket.

Indian cricket under britishers
Britishers awarding Indian Players

In India, cricket was started in the early 18th century when India was under the British. Britain was the first to introduce this game to the world. they were much more experienced than the rest of the world. They first played against Parsis and after that Parsis made the first cricket club in India.

There is a film in Bollywood which is picturised on how cricket started in India. In that era, there was no limit of overs and no limit of time to play. They played a different type of cricket. Britishers made upper cast as batsmen and lower cast as  bowlers. It is weird, but it is a true story.

India officially played their first match ever in 1932 under British company and became a member of the ‘International Cricket Council’ (ICC). It took Indian team to win the first-ever international match and that match was against Pakistan that made our first win more special. According to the records and ICC tournaments, India is only behind Australia in Most number of International Match Wins. There is very much to tell about cricket whether it is because of great Indian players or about crazy Indian fans. All phases in Indian cricket have a lot of memorable moments.

Indian cricket is always known for its high-quality batsmen. Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguli, Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are the best cricketers we have seen in the Indian cricket. India has won the one-day world cup twice and the T20 world cup once and the championship trophy once. So India has won four ICC tournaments till now.

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Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in the Indian cricket is not just another player but one who changed the face of Indian cricket forever. He is known as the God of Cricket. So it will be better to divide the Indian cricketing history into two parts: one; before the debut of Sachin Tendulkar and the other; after the debut.

Indian Cricket after British Rule.

Lala Amarnath Indian cricket ancient

From 1932 to 1947, India played under the British. There is nothing to describe for Indian cricket. The first-ever captain of the independent Indian team was Lala Amarnath. He also was the first centurion of India. Earlier only test cricket was played. One-day matches started in 1971 when there were not the suitable conditions to play for the first three days because of heavy rain, so it was declared the first-ever one-day match which was played between Australia and England.

All the world cups are played in a shorter format. The first cricket world cup was played in 1975 in England. In 1975 and 1979, India didn’t perform well. India won the world cup for the first time in 1983 on English soil. The 1975 world cup is famous for Gavaskar’s slowest innings in ODI cricket. India played the very first match of the first cricket world cup against England. But Sunil Gavaskar made this day unforgettable for the whole of India because of his poor innings. Any Indian can’t forget this type of defeat in the inaugural game.

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar was a great test batsman, but he also played the worst innings in Indian cricket. This is testimony to the fact that Cricket is an unpredictable game.  He was also trolled because of dropping Kapil Dev in a crucial game. Gavaskar has a different type of relationship with Eden Gardens, which is the most famous cricket ground of India situated in Kolkata.

Once Gavaskar and his family were hit by fruits and bottles in the Eden gardens by angry fans. That behaviour of fans was also because of his slow batting at Eden Gardens. His relationship is different from Eden Gardens because he made many of his career records at that ground. He also became the first-ever batsman in the world to complete the 10000 run mark in test cricket. So he gained love and hate also from Eden gardens. Because of these incidents, Sunil Gavaskar is one of the controversial players in Indian cricket.

The 1983 world cup win is one of the best moments in Indian cricket history. Kapil Dev’s magnificent 175 not out against Zimbabwe in a must-win match kept India in the contest. India broke the west indies world cup winning streak when India defeated Windies by 43 runs in the final. Kapil Dev is considered as the best all-rounder ever in Indian cricket, and his 175 runs inning is considered as the best ODI inning.

azharuddin indian captain banned for match fixing
Azharuddin banned for Match fixing.

Mohammad Azharuddin

He was one of the best captains of India in one day cricket. He has enough respect in Indian cricket, but at the same time, he has a black spot in his career. He was found involved in a match-fixing and lifetime ban by the BCCI(Board of control for cricket in India). Cricket is called the Gentleman’s Game where Spot-fixing and Sledging are the two worst sides of cricket.

So these three players were delighted to watch before 1990. Most of the Indian cricket was around them at that time. This lead to many conflicts thus ruining the image of Indian cricket. As I described above about two divisions of Indian cricket. So now it’s time for Sachin’s era. After 1990 many famous international cricketers started their careers.

Sachin Tendulkar – God of Indian Cricket.

Sachin played his first international match in 1989 at the age of just 16 years. He made only 15 runs in his first test, and it was against Pakistan. We know how great Sachin is in Indian cricket. But it’s a rare fact that he made a duck( means zero runs) in his debut ODI match. This match was also against Pakistan. Sachin was the youngest Indian player to make an international debut.

The first incident that attracted everyone to Sachin happened in the fourth test match of the series against Pakistan. That pitch was a green top pitch which helps fast bowlers and India had to face Pakistani lethal fast bowling attack Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis. India was struggling and had lost four wickets very early.

Then Sachin came to bat. Navjot Singh Sidhu was batting at the other end. He was scared and not able to make runs against that bowling attack, and then Sachin was hit on his nose by a bouncer. His nose was bleeding, and he was in an unconscious condition for a while. But he geared up again and spoke to Sidhu that “main khelega”. These were his words at that time. He smashed the very next ball to a four, and there was a champion born.

Sachin Tendulkar God of Indian Cricket 16 years old.
16 Years old Sachin Tendulkar- God of Cricket.

Sachin is the first-ever batsman to score 100 ODI hundreds in international cricket. He has records of playing most test and one-day internationals and has the most runs in both formats. He has the most number of centuries in both forms. He owed so many records that no one can describe. One fact that few people know that he was the first batsman in cricketing history to be given out by a third umpire.

Sachin is not the greatest because of records. Several cricketers have achieved many records in their career. But his behaviour, his gesture, fighting attitude at such an early age makes him unique. He is one of the few cricketers who was never involved in any type of controversy. Whenever a legendary cricketer talks about the best playing eleven of all time, Sachin is always there.

One of his great achievements was his fanbase. Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary is Sachin’s biggest fan ever. He used to watch every match in India. Everyone knows that when Sachin used to play, Sudhir coloured himself in India’s three colours of the Indian flag and wrote the name and jersey number of Sachin Tendulkar. After Sachin’s retirement, he used to write “miss u Tendulkar” on his body.

Now he is known as Sachin’s greatest fan in the whole world. So Sachin got this level of achievements in his career. Now I think there is no need to describe more why he is the god of cricket. Many cricketers have said this several times that they didn’t lose to India, they lost to a man called “Sachin Tendulkar”.

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After a few years of Sachin’s debut, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman made their names in Indian Cricket. In the 2000s, these five (including Sachin) were called Fabulous Five of Indian Cricket in test cricket. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are the leading run-scorers after Sachin in international cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly playing together.
Pair of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.

Saurav Ganguly

Saurav Ganguly is considered as India’s one of the most successful captains after M.S. Dhoni. Ganguly is known as DADA of Indian cricket. This respect was given to him for his contribution to Indian cricket, and he is from Bengal, so he is called DADA. The most memorable moment of DADA’s career came in 2002 when India was playing against England in a tri-series final in the lords and was close to the win. He started celebrating by taking off his shirt at the lord’s balcony.

His celebration was meaningful because winning at lords against the hosts was nearly impossible at that time. Now Saurav Ganguly is the president of BCCI which controls the cricketing activities of India. Everyone is happy about this move. Because he gave so much to Indian cricket and its development.

I have seen him providing knowledge to youngsters in IPL(Indian premier league), and he gives tips to the current Indian team’s captain about youngsters and game plan at various moments. IPL is live and running while I am writing this post for you. You can Watch IPL 2020 without Hotstar VIP, just read all the free methods in this post.

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid is known as “The Wall” in Indian cricket because it was very difficult to get him out in test cricket. Once a legendary English
player said, “Try to put him in the first 15-20 balls if you can’t then pay your attention to bowl out other players.” Many times Dravid saved the match for India like a one-man army.

He owns the record of facing most numbers of deliveries in test cricket in the world. He is the only batsman after Sachin in the Indian cricketing history to score more than 10000 runs in both formats one-days and tests. He always remains first to teach young players. He is the coach of the Indian under-19 team. His team has also won the world cup. He is producing the most talented young players in India at the current time.

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble is the most successful bowler of Indian cricket till now. He also has the record of most number of wickets for India in tests and one-days. He is also known as “Jumbo”. He is only the second bowler in history to take all ten wickets in an inning in international cricket. His dedication to cricket was unmatchable. He bowled for Indian with a broken jaw.

Sehwag- Pillar of Indian Cricket-Multan ka Sultan
Multan ka Sultan – Virendra Sehwag.

Virendra Sehwag – Multan ka Sultan.

Virendra Sehwag, who made the game totally different. His batting style was very new to the world. No one thought that One-day and Tests could be played like that. Sehwag was the most destructive batsman of his time. He was fearless on and off the field. His ODI debut was not good. But he made his Test debut very special by scoring a century. He started his inning with Sachin, and he was playing fearlessly, so Sachin had to tell him “itna Hawa me mat maar”.

Sehwag is also my all-time favourite Indian player because he was so relaxed and destructive. He was famous for hitting four on the first ball of the inning. His greatest achievement was two triple hundreds in his career, which is the most by any Indian player. His 309 against arch-rival Pakistan in Multan(Pakistan) is the best inning in his career.

After that inning, he was called “Multan ka Sultan”. He also captained India on various occasions. He was the second player to score a double century in ODI cricket after Sachin Tendulkar, and he was the first to do it in his captaincy. He used to sing songs while
batting and it’s unbelievable to hit regular boundaries while you are singing. It was just amazing.

Yuvraj Singh – Man who defeated Cancer.

Yuvraj Singh, who made his debut in 2000 at the age of 18. He came into the Indian team so early because of his winning attitude and performance in the previous U-19 World Cup. Indian U-19 team won that tournament and Yuvraj was the player of the series for his all-round performance. He was a little lucky to get a chance in the Indian team. He came into the team after suspension of some players due to a match-fixing incident.

Yuvraj Simgh Indian Cricket World Cup Hero
Yuvraj Singh – Perfect all rounder of Indian Cricket.

Yuvraj grabbed that opportunity with both his hands. His debut match was against Australia, and that time Australian were at their peak. Yuvraj smashed every Australian bowler including Great McGrath and Brett Lee. After falling early three wickets, he stabilized the team and also scored quickly. On the very first occasion, he showed his ability with a blazing 84 runs knock.

He was a very destructive batsman and a handy bowler too who can break partnerships. Yuvraj is known for his match-winning ability all over the world. His other heroics came in the Natwest Series Final against England in 2002 which is famous for Ganguly’s special celebration. Again, Yuvraj came to bat at a very tough situation, and he proved again how a sensible player he was. Yuvraj scored a very important 69 in that match and took his team to the finish line.

Within just two years, he became the pillar of the Indian middle order. In T20 World Cup 2007, Yuvraj smashed six 6s

in an over in the group match against England in Stuart Broad’s over. He was in beast mode in that tournament. In the Semi-Final against Australia, Yuvraj smashed 70 runs in just 30 balls with five huge sixes. Still, it was not the best of Yuvraj. His Golden days came in the World- Cup 2011 in India itself.

He showed off his All-round performance in almost every game of that tournament. His inning against Australia in the Quarter-Final was the epic one. Again, he took his team to the win from a tough situation. I can’t forget his roar after that winning shot which took India to the Semi-Final.

People don’t talk much about his 113 runs inning against England. But I find that very exciting. Because Yuvraj once again proved that he is not one of them who gets out frequently after sledging. He smashed the very next ball of Ravi Rampal to the six before Rampal abused him. He also smashed six 6s after a fighting incident with Flintoff in 2007. He is a true champion and fighter. With fighting cancer, he guided his team to the memorable World-Cup win.

MS Dhoni – Pillar of Indian Cricket.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni most successful captain of Indian Cricket
MS Dhoni – The Mastermind.

India’s greatest captain, finisher, wicketkeeper ‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni’, who announced his retirement a few days ago. Dhoni struggled very much in his life to get success. I think we all have seen this in his movie “M.S.Dhoni: The untold story”. He did not have any Godfather or any big support. He was from a middle-class family. So he had to do something to fulfill his family requirements.

He got a job in Indian Railways, he had no interest to do, after getting tired of his job, he left his job. After that, he got selected in a domestic match, and he batted brilliantly in that match. After a long wait, he was finally selected for the Indian team. He failed in his initial matches miserably. Then he was promoted up the order and smashed his first hundred in style.

It was his luck also that he got another chance. He was a very attacking player and phenomenal keeper in his early days. Sachin recently said that he observed Dhoni’s game understanding and plans and he found a captain in Dhoni. Then Dhoni was made Captain of the Indian team in the T20 format. He won the first-ever T20 World-Cup in his captaincy and proved himself as a leader.

Then he never looked back. He brought the Indian team to the next level of the game. He made Indian side no.1 in Test format for the first time. He fulfilled every Indian’s dream by winning the World-Cup 2011 for India. He was the hero of the night of the final in Mumbai. He led his team to win in his trademark style with a six. I can never forget that shot and that commentary by Ravi Shashtri.

He is the first captain in the world to win all the ICC trophies. He achieved this rare feat by winning the Champions Trophy in 2013. He has the record of the fastest stumping in the world. I haven’t seen this kind of active person behind the wickets. He has surprised all of us with his unexpected decision, and all the time he got those in the right way. Everyone agrees that Dhoni has the best cricketing mind.

Suresh Raina Best Fielder Of Indian Cricket
Suresh Raina set new fielding standards of Indian Cricket.

Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina was the next who made his impact on Indian cricket. He doesn’t have many records. But he is famous because of his behaviour, sportsmanship spirit, and friendship. He was the first Indian cricketer to hit a century in T20 international match. It was special because it came in the T20 World-Cup. He is also the only Indian to hit centuries in T20I, One-Days, Tests, IPl and CPL T20.

Raina has set the benchmark with his energetic fielding efforts in the field. All-time greatest fielder of the world “Jhonty Rhodes” has also claimed Raina as his best fielder of the world. I personally also consider Raina as the best fielder in the world. He is called MR. IPL because of his consistency in the tournament. He strengthened Indian batting middle order for many years. He can bat at any place like no. 4,5,6,7.
He is a handy off-spinner too. Dhoni used Raina’s bowling talent also in the super over once, and Raina didn’t disappoint him,  which I think is a great achievement for a part-time bowler.

Rohit Sharma – Hitman of Indian Cricket.

Rohit Sharma is the next player to debut after Raina, who attracts everyone with his talent. I think Rohit’s career is an inspiration to all of us who accept defeat easily. He played in the T20 World-Cup 2007 in his early days and also made an impact on the selectors. I heard from many cricketing minds that Rohit is a God-Gifted player.

He failed so many times in his initial days and was not able to make his permanent spot in the Indian team, but he never gave up. He was not selected for the ODI World-Cup 2011. It hurt him deeply. It is obvious that if you are playing from the last 4 years and still you didn’t get a chance to play the World-Cup. Selectors were very strict because Rohit had not scored a single half-century in his last 14-15 matches.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan Destructive Opening Pair.
Destructive opening pair of Dhawan and Rohit.

After that Rohit was picked again in the team, he was playing in the middle order and scored some good runs. But still, he was not consistent. I remember, just before Champions Trophy 2013, India was struggling with their opening pair. Murli Vijay, Sikhar Dhawan no one was performing well, and they failed in the Warm-Up matches too. Rohit was also struggling in the middle order. Then Dhoni Decided an unexpected opening Pair – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.

In the very first match, both the openers Destroyed the opposition with their hard-hitting. That is how India found a perfect opening pair. Now everyone knows Rohit Sharma as “Hitman” because of his six-hitting power. He is also called the “King of Daddy Hundreds”. Because he has three double centuries in ODIs and also has four Hundred in the T20I.

Virat once said in a meeting that Rohit has 1 second extra to hit the ball. Because he hit the ball very comfortably. Rohit is now vice-captain of the Indian team. He is an excellent captain. He led the Indian side to many victories in the absence of Kohli. In the recent world-Cup, Rohit was the highest run-scorer of the tournament with 648 runs in just nine matches with five hundred. He was in his dream form in the World-Cup.

Virat Kohli – The Chasemaster, The Record-breaker.

Next in the list is Virat Kohli. I have not seen a more consistent player than Kohli. He came into the team after winning the U-19 World-Cup 2008 for the Indian team. He was the captain and led from the front. One thing is famous about Virat that when his father passed away, he was playing a match and his team needed him to win. So he made himself stable in that emotional condition and played a 90 runs knock and won the game for his side. This is what we called dedication.

He played his debut match in late 2008. He was very aggressive in his initial days. Virat was a talented youngster at the time of World-Cup 2011 and he was the youngest in that Indian team. But still, he attracted everyone with his batting. In the very first match, he scored a brilliant century against Bangladesh. He proved himself a perfect asset to all the legendary players like Tendulkar, Sehwag etc. in that tournament.

Virat Kohli - Face of Modern Indian CricketAfter the world cup, Virat was getting better and better. He was the leading run-scorer for India in ODIs in successive years 2011-2014 and 2016-2018. Virat’s best inning, in my opinion, was 133 not out against Sri Lanka in 2012, which is also included in Wisden’s List of five greatest ODI innings of the decade.

India had to chase the target of 340 in just 36 overs to reach in the final of the ongoing CB series. It was simply impossible against strong Sri-lanka. But Virat showed the world how the big targets are to be chased. At that time, Malinga was at his peak, but Virat attacked him with his great shots. I have not seen someone smashing Malinga like that day Kohli did.

Virat’s another big inning was against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup where India had to chase down the 330 runs target. Again it was Virat who took India to the win easily with his extraordinary chasing technique. With these two innings, Virat was called the “Chase Master”. He again showed his masterclass in 2013 against Australia and chased down the target of 360 runs with ease.

He broke Sehwag’s record of fastest hundred for India in ODIs in that match. I like one thing most about Virat that every time he is ready to answer you with his bat. It’s example is the 2014 England tour, which proved the worst for Virat Kohli. He faced destructive criticism from the media, his rivals, and even from his fans. But he worked hard for English conditions for next several years.

When India was on the English tour again in 2018, Virat was the Captain of the Indian side. He was simply unstoppable with the bat and fought like a one-man army in the whole series. Then the same English audience who booed him in 2014 were Clapping for him with respect. Now, Virat Kohli is the captain of the Indian team in all three formats. He has 70 tons in international cricket. No other active player has more than 42 centuries, and Kohli has 43 in just One-day format. Virat has amazing records and is following Sachin Tendulkar to be the greatest batsman of all time.

The players we talked about gave shape to the development of Indian Cricket and some are still representing thr face of Modern Day cricket and showing the world why India is known to give Gems to International cricket. This was all about Rise of Indian Cricket-ing Talents since 1983, we saw some of the most loved Indian Cricketers, their initial struggling phase, their achievements, their contribution to the Indian cricket and some controversies following them. If you like Sports, Check out Badminton : A beginner’s guide. 

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Post Credit: Himanshu ( IIT Gandhinagar)   

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