With cricket out of the equation due to this novel coronavirus crisis, social media has turned into a place for sports-related discussions, player interactions with fans and at times even a joined celebration of showing one’s nation as the reigning supreme. Indian and Pakistan have been pitted against each other right since the rivalry’s inception may it be through guns and bombs or through the hockey sticks or through dialogues and words, and most importantly through cricket.
The war in cricket has been ever-present in various apparitions, ranging from hardcore sledging to the involvement of bats and balls and finally with the advent of social media, cricketers have found a medium to connect with fans and at times also take a dig at their on-field counterparts through the media platforms.
Twitter is like one of the most active battlefields for both India and Pakistan in terms of cricket and no one lets go off an opportunity to troll the other when it comes to the social media handles. We will look at five instances where Indian cricketers made the fullest use of Twitter to challenge their Pakistani counterparts.
- Harbhajan Singh came to the deliverance of Sehwag after his hyped-up comment cost India dearly
This entire incident happened three years back when India thrashed Bangladesh mercilessly in the semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Virender Sehwag, riding on his new bubble of hyper-nationalism took it a notch higher and tweeted, “Well tried Pote. Great effort to reach semis.Ghar ki hi baat hai.
Father’s Day par Bete ke saath final hai. Mazaak ko serious mat liyo bete.”
Well tried Pote. Great effort to reach semis.Ghar ki hi baat hai.
Father's Day par Bete ke saath final hai. Mazaak ko serious mat liyo bete.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 15, 2017
In this tweet of his, he drew references of Bangladesh being the grandson of India while he tagged Pakistan as the son of India. This wasn’t a very wise move from Sehwag because he had no clue of what was to unfold in the imminent days.
It seemed cool until India suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the final. This is where the Pakistani fans took to Twitter to give back a fitting reply. One of the fans tweeted, “Are you watching @virendersehwag???? Be careful next time whilst opening your pote mouth #INDvPAK #ChampionsTrophyFinal”.
— Shahjahan Saif (@shahjou) June 18, 2017
Another fan quoted in his social media handle, “Has @virendersehwag posted any bete-pote stuff today? Must be in hiding & soaking in all the Punjabi abuses from across the border on his TL.”
Has @virendersehwag posted any bete-pote stuff today? Must be in hiding & soaking in all the Punjabi abuses from across the border on his TL
— Anand Kochukudy (@AnandKochukudy) June 18, 2017
The replies knew no end as tweets flooded from all nook and crannies of the world, mocking Sehwag.
It was finally Harbhajan Singh who came to the deliverance of his former Indian teammate, tweeting, “Congratulations Pak cricket team 4 winning the CL17. guys plz stop saying who is baap who is beta. sabka Malik Ek woh uparwala.Ind or paki.”
Congratulations Pak cricket team 4 winning the CL17.guys plz stop saying who is baap who is beta.sabka Malik ek woh uparwala.Ind or paki🙏🙏
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 18, 2017
This knocked some sense in the fans as the version of those tweets started changing. Trying to end this controversy, fans did not forget to point out that who was the real culprit in the story.
One of the fans tweeted, “Sehwag has started all this stupidity”. Another fan tweeted, “Bhai Viru ko bhe bol du ap yh bt! He started that! Respect for all from Pakistan side”.
Sehwag has started all this stupidity
— Suri (@sunders60706949) June 18, 2017
Sehwag bit the bullet as he realized that he overstepped the line this time and followed up his previous tweet with another congratulatory message for Pakistan that read, “Congratulations Pakistan on a really comprehensive victory today. Well played, deserved winners and a great result for Pakistan cricket.”
Congratulations Pakistan on a really comprehensive victory today. Well played, deserved winners and a great result for Pakistan cricket.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 18, 2017
- Ravichandran Ashwin schooled a Pakistani fan for mocking India’s Paralympics performance
Once a Pakistani reporter tried to mock India’s Olympic performance, veteran actor, Amitabh Bachchan took it on himself to pay back the journalist.
However, this time it was a mere Pakistani Tweeter who wanted to mock India’s Paralympics performance and Ravichandran Ashwin ensured that he did not go scot-free.
The Twitter user, “@mufc_affanf9” tweeted, “1.2 billion population and just 4 medals. LOL”. This tweet was in response to Indian cricketer Ashwin’s congratulatory tweet for Deepa Malik who won a silver medal in short put.
Ashwin’s response was swift and equally witty, maintaining a sense of repose and dignity. He tweeted back, “(R)anked as high as no 6 in the population chart, I wish you to go for the second medal. All the best brothers and sisters.” This tweet also kept in mind about the bronze medal won by long jumper Haider Ali.
However, his response led to a twitter war between a set of fans from both countries.
- When Sehwag found an opportunity to troll Shoaib Akhtar again on Twitter
This probably isn’t a typical radical relationship which is shared by two enemies. It is an avuncular friendly bromance that brews between two of the greatest cricketers of either nation.
Sehwag and Shoaib Akhtar shared the commentary box in ICC World Cup T20 2016. However, it seemed that the friendship never ended and Sehwag took another dig at the Rawalpindi Express on Twitter.
Shoaib Akhtar tweeted a picture of his dream team which featured the illustrious likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq and several other legends. The caption above the picture read, “Dream team .. Full of talent and characters ..1 of the best Pak team I ever played with..”
Dream team .. Full of talent and characters ..1 of the best Pak team I ever played with.. pic.twitter.com/urSxhNuAFx
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) May 27, 2016
Sehwag trying to get something out of it retweeted asking his fans to have a look at Shoaib’s best side. He came back tweeting, “Very good team Shoaib Bhai, many legends, but still couldn’t beat India in any World Cup. Still searching for Mauka”.
Very good team Shoaib Bhai, many legends ,but still couldn't beat India in any World Cup.Still searching for Mauka 😀
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) May 28, 2016
It seems that the bromance between these two will never end.
- Yuvraj Singh expressed strong disapproval against Afridi’s comments on Modi
Afridi’s comment on Modi created a widespread furore across social media. Things got heated up and one of India’s finest middle-order batting allrounder, Yuvraj Singh came down the pike to express his stringent disapproval of the same.
Yuvraj took to Twitter citing, “Really disappointed by
@SAfridiOfficial‘s comments on our Hon’ble PM @narendramodi ji. As a responsible Indian who has played for the country, I will never accept such words. I made an appeal on your behest for the sake of humanity. But never again.”
Really disappointed by @SAfridiOfficial‘s comments on our Hon’b PM @narendramodi ji. As a responsible Indian who has played for the country, I will never accept such words. I made an appeal on your behest for the sake of humanity. But never again.
Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) May 17, 2020
- Gautam Gambhir made use of strong words to rebuke Afridi for his comments in his autobiography
Afridi in his autobiography threw vehement words at Gautam Gambhir, questioning his character. His exact words read, “(Gautam Gambhir) and his attitude problem. He has no personality. He, who is barely a character in the great scheme of cricket. He, who has no great records, just a lot of attitude. He, who behaves like he is a cross between Don Bradman and James Bond.”
Out of all the virtues possessed by Gautam Gambhir, holding back was never one of them. He went all guns blazing at the Pakistani allrounder, tweeting, “Someone who doesn’t remember his age how will he remember my records!OK, @SAfridiOfficial let me remind u one: 2007 T20 WC final, Ind Vs Pak Gambhir 75 off 54 balls Vs Afridi 0 off 1 ball. Most imp: We won the Cup. And yes, I’ve attitude towards liars, traitors & opportunists.”
Someone who doesn’t remember his age how will he remember my records!OK @SAfridiOfficial let me remind u one: 2007 T20 WC final, Ind Vs Pak Gambhir 75 off 54 balls Vs Afridi 0 off 1 ball. Most imp: We won the Cup. And yes, I’ve attitude towards liars, traitors & opportunists.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 18, 2020