Cricket as a sport tests a player on and off-field. A cricketer who stops learning starts degenerating. The current Byjus’ advertisement also speaks on similar lines. A cricketer is human at the end of the day, someone going through his/her set of problems every day.
What differentiates a great cricketer from other average ones is their ability to bounce back and make strong statements after a hard fall. Such players who demonstrate strong mettle at the time of professional lows make great humans. A comeback is just a matter of time when a player decides not to give up. Following are the best 5 comebacks by Indian cricketers-
1) Yuvraj Singh:
India’s world cup hero was diagnosed with cancer when he decided to represent India in the tournament. Yuvraj coughed blood during the semi-finals against Australia but this didn’t stop him from going behind the Bret Lee led the attack and score a brilliant half-century to carry his team to the finals against Sri Lanka.
After winning the title while everyone celebrated, Yuvraj spent every second thinking of the disease and it impacts his career. It must be a really hard fall, sudden and harsh in the peak of his career. However, the Punjab batsman fought back into the side in September 2012. His form didn’t remain the same but he worked hard to stay in the circuit. Yuvraj also played the Champions trophy in 2017.
2) Sourav Ganguly:
“A selfish batsman” people said when one of the greatest skippers in cricketing history lay low on his knees. His fall out with then coach Duncan Fletcher made people question his captaincy and decision making. His form with the bat had also withered leaving ‘Dada’ in a fear of losing out on his place in the team. There was self-doubt all around his face when he was dropped.
Even after such a psychological mess, he has to go through the Kolkata batsman never gave up. He worked back into the side during the South series in 2006 and scored a match-winning half-century.
Then came a double century against Pakistan and him being the highest run-getter in tests (2007). The famous Pepsi advertisement those days said, “Mera Naam Sourav Ganguly hai. Bhule toh nahi?”.
3) Ashish Nehra:
This Delhi based pacer is one of the most loved cricketers on and off-field. His presence helps to get the better out of the people around him. But this pacer faced a 4-year international absence due to many major setbacks.
Nehra attracted many eyeballs during the 2003 World Cup semi-finals, where he shattered the English lineup with fiery figures of 6/23. After the four year gap, Ashish only got a call back when Zaheer Khan, India’s top pacer was injured in 2009. This pacer then went on playing quality cricket to register his name in the 2011 World Cup-winning squad. His contributions have been immense not only as a bowler but a human being. Ashish eventually transformed into a T20 specialist, striking 34 times in 27 twenty20 matches. He is the second bowler to bowl from am end named after himself.
4) Mohinder Amarnath:
The 69-year-old all-rounder went through a low when he was declared as the first player to ‘handle the ball’. This record is something he’ll like to forget and move on as a cricket analyst now. One more thing that caused problems for Jimmy(as fellow mates called him) was his discomfort in playing bouncers. Mr. Amarnath was hit around 15 times on his head in 1979 which eventually led to a skull fracture and visual disparity.
But this didn’t stop this Punjab all-rounder as he made a comeback next year and then represented India in the famous 1983 World Cup win. Mr. Amarnath was also awarded the Man of the Match award in the finals against the West Indies.
5) Sachin Tendulkar:
Remember “Endulkar” promoted in a headline. The little master suffered a tennis elbow injury in 2004 which made holding the bat next to impossible due to acute pain. The Mumbai batsman’s hauling career went on to an unwanted break that year. But this didn’t demotivate “The God of cricket” as he made a comeback in 2005. He scored an emphatic ton against Sri Lanka that year to register his 35th.
This batsman then went on to play 200 test matches, become the first batsman to score 200 runs in a One Day International and also score 100 centuries in his career. Sachin is the most revered cricketer and will remain to be a maestro forever.