4 Biggest ‘Career-Changing’ Decisions That Will Be Remembered Forever By Cricket Fans: Cricket is a game that is often governed by decisions that are made on the field. A lot depends on the moves made in crunch situations that become too decisive in the context of the game. Just like the on-field decisions, at times, there are a few off the field decisions that play quite an important role in deciding the fate of a player’s career.
A player might witness an upward curve in his career or can he even succumb to a disastrous future on the road ahead. Here, we take a look at 5 decisions that proved career-changing for the specific players:
1. When MS Dhoni asked Rohit Sharma to open in CT 2013
The Indian team that toured England for the Champions Trophy in 2013, was quite a young outfit led by an experienced skipper in MS Dhoni. Before India’s first game, Dhoni made a significant decision that went on to change the future of India’s limited-overs team. He asked Rohit Sharma to open the innings in place of Murali, which proved to be a masterstroke in the context of India’s CT campaign on that tour. Rohit’s pairing with Dhawan did wonders for the eventual winners as the duo provided some consistent starts at the top of the order.
It also changed the fortunes for Rohit Sharma – the batsman. Rohit, who was previously slated to bat in the middle-order, experienced a whole new facet of his game to score big runs for India thereafter. Seven years post that decision, Sharma is counted as one of India’s best ODI openers of all-time.
2. When Sourav Ganguly asked Virender Sehwag to open
Just what Dhoni did to Rohit, Sourav Ganguly had done to Virender Sehwag years back in Test cricket. Sehwag, who came in the Indian team as a middle-order bat, was struggling for a position in that nearly certain middle-order. As a result, Ganguly asked Sehwag to open in Test cricket as the Delhi opener did wonders as he went onto the change the perception of how Test match batting was perceived in the country.
It was a historic decision in the context of India’s cricketing history as the flamboyant opener later registered India’s top-3 individual Test scores while batting at the top. The move to open even allowed Sehwag to play care-free cricket as he expressed himself right from the word go.
3. When Dennis Lillee recommended Sachin Tendulkar to take up batting
Nothing could be more significant than Dennis Lillee advising Sachin Tendulkar to give up fast bowling and take up batting as his preferred art in cricket. It was at the MRF pace academy in Chennai in 1987 where Tendulkar was training to become a fast bowler. However, it was Lillee who advised the then 14-year old to try out his hand over batting instead of bowling quick. Had it not been Lillee’s insistence, India would have not got one of their favorite sons to smash bowlers over a course of the next 24 years.
4. When Sanath Jayasuriya as sent out as a pinch hitter
Sanath Jayasuriya, who finished his career as one of the most aggressive ODI openers of all-time, began his journey in 1989 against Australia. However, his career saw a major upthrust when he was given the license to smack balls for fun in Cricket World Cup in 1996. He was used as a pinch hitter by the Sri Lankan team and did wonders in helping the side win their only World Cup so far. In the end, Jayasuriya was fittingly named as the Man of the Match for his astonishing exploits in the entire tournament.