Indian cricket fans can never forget few iconic knocks at the big ICC events. Kapil Dev’s innings at the Turnbridge Wells immediately comes to mind. As that was the knock that changed the course of Indian cricket history forever. Yuvraj Singh’s 6-sixes at the T20 World Cup in 2007 redefined the game. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unforgettable 91* in the 2011 World Cup finals takes the cake. But in between all these great knocks lie a few hidden gems that deserve a special mention. These underrated knocks were equally important in shaping up the game and at times even the tournament. Here are 5 Underrated Knocks By Indian Superstars.
We look at 5 such underrated knocks that deserve special appreciation:
#5 Robin Uthappa’s knock in the 2007 T20 World Cup semifinals:
The 2007 T20 World Cup semifinal was all about Yuvraj Singh. His breathtaking 30-balls 70 remains one of the most iconic T20I innings ever played. But it was Robin Uthappa at the other end who proved to be an amazing ally for a brilliant Yuvraj. He never let the bowlers settle and transferred the pressure beautifully. Uthappa was runout against the run of play else the score might have even touched 200.
#4 Virat Kohli’s touch of class in the Champions Trophy final:
It’s quite rare that a top-scorer of a side in the finals is hardly spoken about. It becomes even rarer if that player in question is Virat Kohli. India were stuttering at 66-5 in the first innings in a reduced 20-over per side contest. The stakes were high and the pressure was on India to take the game ahead. Kohli rose to the occasion wonderfully scoring 43 valuable runs. His innings took India to a respectable total of 129. India won the tightly contested game. But in the annals of Indian cricket, this remains a forgotten knock.
#3 Rohit Sharma’s knock in the T20 World Cup finals:
A young Rohit Sharma made his presence felt in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. He played vital roles in all 3 games he got a chance to feature in. Sharma cracked a memorable 50 on debut against South Africa in the must-win game. He affected a brilliant runout to dismiss the dangerous Justin Kemp. Sharma played his part in India’s mammoth 188-5 score against Australia. But his real unsung contribution came in the finals when he finished the innings with a bang slamming 15-balls 30 against Pakistan. His knock proved to be decisive in the game as India clinched a narrow win over the arch-rivals.
#2 Suresh Raina’s twin blasts in the quarter-final and semifinals of the 2011 World Cup:
Suresh Raina was not part of India’s starting XI for the first half of the tournament. He made his World Cup game against West Indies in the last league game. Raina was dismissed cheaply in that game. But he was retained for the next game. Raina walked into bat when India were in trouble in a tricky run-chase. But no sooner he arrived at the crease, Raina took the game to Australia. He smashed a crucial 28 balls 34. The highlight of his innings was hitting Brett Lee over long on for a huge six when the game was still in the balance.
Raina went to do one better in the semi-finals against Pakistan. His knock of 36 ensured that India reached a competitive total post a sudden batting collapse. Gary Kirsten had famously quoted that it was Raina who won India the World Cup.
#1 Virat Kohli’s best ODI World Cup knock readied the nation for a historic win:
On the biggest night of his cricketing career up until that point, Kohli walked in to bat at the most vulnerable situation. India were reduced to 31-2 in the face of some exceptional bowling from Lasith Malinga. The whole crowd was silent. The tension was palpable. A young Kohli steadied the ship with Gautam Gambhir. He allayed all the fears and helped India arrest the slide. Kohli scored a valuable 49-balls 35 to take India ahead. He lost his wicket against the run of play or else a century from the chase master was inevitable. This remains the best ODI World Cup knock played by Kohli!