Indian cricket has always been full of drama, excitement and passion. There have been numerous incidents where Indian cricketers have won the mind battles and come out triumph against the opposition. Those incidents in Indian cricket make for a compelling drama that will excite any Bollywood writer to weave a script around it. Cricwizz takes a look at some ideas that are material enough to make a Bollywood script.
Sachin Tendulkar vs Henry Olonga: During an inconsequential league game in the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy at Sharjah in 1998, Zimbabwean opening bowler Henry Olonga was all fired up against India. He pitched one short to Tendulkar who was surprised by the bounce and gave an easy catch to Grant Flower. Olonga went wild in celebration as Tendulkar’s wicket was a dream come true for any bowler. Tendulkar did not react and went back to the pavilion. Unfortunately, India lost the match by 13 runs. In the final against Zimbabwe, India were asked to chase 197. Sachin launched into the Zimbabwean bowling attack. He reserved special treatment for Olonga who gave away 50 runs in his 6 overs. Sachin smashed six sixes during his innings of 124 not out off 92 balls and won the title for India.
Sachin Tendulkar’s upper cut off Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling in 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan: India-Pakistan match is never without any drama. Chasing 274 to victory, Sachin-Sehwag opening duo was all fired up. Obviously, the usual chatter was going around to unsettle the batting duo. The Indian batsmen made their bat do all the talking. In Shoaib Akhtar’s first over of the match, Sachin cracked a six by playing an upper-cut over third man to a widish delivery. To rub salt in the wounds, Sehwag repeated the shot and got the same result in the same over. Akhtar was taken out of the attack. But Akhtar finally came back to dismiss Sachin for 98, however, by then the Little Master’s knock had paved the way for a memorable win.
Sreesanth’s jig in 2007 Johannesburg Test: South Africa bowler Andre Nel took the wrong person to sledge during the match. Nel attempted to unsettle S Sreesanth by calling him a “scared rabbit”. Sreesanth chose to answer with his bat. The next ball he hoisted it for a six and broke into an impromptu jig to celebrate the moment. It was one of the perfect revenge stories that Bollywood can work on.
Six sixes saga: Yuvraj Singh cracked six sixes off England bowler Stuart Broad’s over in a 2007 World T20 league match to reach the fastest fifty in T20 cricket off just 12 balls. England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had sledged Yuvraj Singh just before that historical over. It fired up Yuvi to vent out all the frustration in the next over from Stuart Broad. Post the knock, Yuvi had said, “Oppositions do have words with each other; it’s part of the game. Outside we’re good friends, but in the game, it’s competitive. I just wanted to give it back with the bat.”
Lord’s T-shirt-waving incident: Before the NatWest series in England in 2002, England had drawn an ODI series 3-3 in India with Andrew Flintoff celebrating the win in the last game by going shirtless. In the subsequent NatWest series, India looked down and out in the final against England before Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh’s partnership bailed Team India out and gave Ganguly and Co. a memorable win. Indian skipper Ganguly celebrated the win by taking off his T-shirt and waving it over his head in the Lord’s balcony – an answer to Flintoff’s antics back in India.
Denness the Menace incident: Mike Denness, match referee of the second Test between India and South Africa in 2001 found six Indian players, including Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, guilty of various offence. It infuriated Team India and the BCCI so much that they threatened to quit the tour mid-way if Denness was not omitted from the third Test. ICC supported Denness and had to declare the third match as unofficial as the South African board sided with BCCI. The verdict showed who ruled the cricketing world and was a perfect answer to Denness’s move.
Aamer Sohail’s taunt to Venkatesh Prasad in 1996 World Cup quarters: Remember the epic Pakistan’s Aamer Sohail’s gestures with the bat to the boundary after he smashed a delivery from Indian Venkatesh Prasad for four in the 1996 World Cup quarters. Prasad then replied the next ball itself, bowling Sohail through the gates. Pakistan was cruising till that point at 84/0 only to lose the match by 39 runs.
Hardik Pandya bowling India to one-run win over Bangladesh in 2016 World T20: During the India-Bangladesh 2016 World T20 clash, Mushfiqur Rahim cracked two consecutive fours in the last over bowled by Hardik Pandya to bring down the equation to two runs off last 3 balls. He went up in celebration and perhaps got a bit over-confident. India looked down and out then. But what happened in the next three balls was the perfect revenge story from Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni-led India.
The very next ball Rahim holed out in the deep. Mahmudullah followed him the next ball in a similar fashion and then India effected a run-out on the last ball to win by one run. It was great come-from-behind win that will make a compelling Bollywood thriller.
Virat Kohli’s 116 against Australia at Adelaide in 2011-2012: India were having a horrible series, and the sledging and the crowd heckling was too much to handle. It had got onto Virat Kohli who promptly showed the middle-finger. And he let not the fight end there. He gave a perfect reply by cracking 116 at Adelaide, shutting the Australians up. Although India lost the series 0-4, Kohli’s ton was the only saving grace. Kohli, in the next series Down Under, proved who the boss was by cracking four tons in 2014-15 series.
Jelly beans incident: During the Nottingham Test of 2007, India pacer Zaheer Khan was troubled in the first innings by English slip-fielders who constantly threw jelly beans at the wicket. A huge confrontation followed, but the Englishmen continued throwing jelly beans even after that. Zaheer Khan decided to give it back to the Englishmen. In England second innings, he ripped through their top-order to take five for 75 and guide India to series win. It was a perfect ‘Lagaan’-like drama.