By: Keyur Seta
With unthinkable amounts of money involved in every stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the arrest of S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on charges of spot fixing (or match fixing) doesn’t really come as a surprise. It is believed that money is the root cause of all evils. So when the amount of money involved is abnormally high, evil surely can’t be kept away.
Coming to the topic of banning IPL, I know it might sound outrageous to some. To put forth my point, I would like to list the following changes that have taken place in the cricket world after the emergence of the IPL: -
- Every season of the IPL is started in the most shocking manner with the auctioning of players where they are literally sold as if they are just commodities.
- Due to the absurd amount of money being paid to the cricketers, even for just warming benches, a number of players are more interested in playing for their IPL franchises rather than their country. In fact, Albie Morkel and David Hussey have gone on record in saying they aren’t interested in playing for their respective countries. Virendra Sehwag’s shocking decision of skipping India’s England tour in 2011 instead of the IPL (which was before the England series) to undergo an operation for a shoulder injury is still fresh in cricket lovers’ minds.
- To spread the so-called game, the makers have also gone the Bollywood way of objectifying women, not just with those sleazy cheerleaders but also in the form of TV presenters, who are chosen just for their looks rather than an iota of cricket knowledge.
- Players are asked to launch their respective team’s clothing. They are also forced to walk on the ramp (which they do it embarrassingly). And the worst of all – those ‘after match wild parties’. So we have product launches, ramp walks, skimpily clad cheerleaders (for lusty men who aren’t much interested in cricket), glamorous TV presenters and high octane parties. Can we have some cricket too?
- We do have but it is just a bang-bang version with batsmen only wanting to hit over the ropes and bowlers just praying for a false shot from them. No, I am not completely against the T20 format but there has to be some regulation since the format just takes away the actual cricket skills from players. If you have 80 or more matches in a span of less than two months, there will be constant deterioration of skills. This is visible from the fact that hardly any batsman is capable of playing a long, fighting innings in Test Matches these days. Bowlers too are losing the threat and skills required to outplay the batsmen in the longest format since they have started relying on batsmen’s mistakes.
And now, we have the mother of all disgraces – spot fixing scandal involving Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila. (Even last year, five players were caught in a similar scandal in a TV sting operation.) Personally, I am not at all surprised after hearing some inside stories about the IPL. Unfortunately, I can’t write about it since the people, who revealed this, don’t want to be quoted. But even if we put your common sense into work, don’t we find it weird how a large number of matches go till the last ball or last few balls only in IPL and not any other tournament?
Although there are talks that the arrests are just the tip of the iceberg and many more shocking details and arrests are soon to follow, I tend to disagree. The IPL body and BCCI won’t let it happen simply because it will get all the big names exposed which in turn would ruin the prospects of earning unthinkable amounts from the so-called cricket series. Ideally the tainted cricketers should be thrown in jails like other criminals. But the BCCI and IPL authorities will just sweep the dust under the carpet by just banning the players, which is equal to rewarding them.
Coming to the original question, isn’t it the need of the hour to just ban IPL considering the high level of disgrace it has brought to our dear game of cricket? But as said earlier, the people controlling cricket won’t ruin ‘everyone’s’ prospects of earning enormous bucks. There is, however, a chance of it happening. How?
It is we the people who have let something as shameful as IPL ruin the cricket by investing our huge amounts of money and our precious time in following it. IPL would have been nothing without such high level of public participation. So the power of bringing this polluted version of cricket down also lies with us.
What happens when people don’t turn up in cinema halls to watch a particular movie? It just gets removed ASAP. The same thing can happen with IPL if we just give a cold shoulder to it. If people don’t turn up in the stadiums and don’t turn on their TV sets, it will generate huge amounts of loss in terms of ticket and advertisement revenue, which will throw a clear message to the authorities. (Personally, I find it weird to think people still spending thousands even after such shameful cases coming to the forefront.)
So all those who have always loved or even worshipped cricket, it is time to show your love for the game by simply ignoring the pollution called IPL. Let us join hands to rescue our dear game!
By: Keyur Seta
The recently concluded first test match between India and Australia at Chennai will mostly be remembered for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unbelievable knock of 224. But taking nothing away from Dhoni, this feature focuses on India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s 81 in the first innings that rescued India from a ghastly situation.
However, since last 24 years, Sachin’s greatness has been described millions of times in so many ways that there are no words or adjectives left in the dictionary to write anything new about it. So I won’t go into how wonderfully he played under pressure (like always) because that has been reported everywhere and we all have seen it. Instead, I will focus on the background of the innings which goes back to the start of January this year.
Sachin wasn’t having a good run in test cricket during the latter part of 2012. Somehow he was not able to stay long at the crease and was getting bowled most of the times. Apart from the man himself, it was also heartbreaking for us, the fans. Naturally, his bad run also gave a free ticket to these silly news channel anchors to force him to retire. Such a thing can happen only in India where those who mustn’t have held a bat in their lives can dictate terms to the best batsmen ever!
Any international player with such experience would have labeled this period as a bad patch without accepting that something is wrong with his game. At the most, he would have practiced in the nets for long hours or taken guidance from his coach.
But Sachin is not ‘any international player’. Despite bagging the most number of batting achievements ever, he was humble enough to accept some error in his play. And instead of just resorting to basic techniques to improve his game, he went back to play domestic cricket for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Despite having played at the biggest international platforms, there he was playing in the Ranji Trophy Quarterfinal against Baroda at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium with the same determination.
Much to his and his admirers’ delight and relief, the Master Blaster went on to score a hundred and drove his team out of trouble. This might appear as just a domestic level century but Sachin and his admirers, who had gathered to watch him despite India-Pakistan one dayer being played elsewhere, knew the worth of the innings. A couple of over-enthusiastic fans also ran to the field and, much to everyone’s disbelief, touched their God’s feet! I and my friends were hugely lucky to witness the scene in front of our eyes.
This was followed by a half century in the semifinal against services. More than the innings what was more impressive was that a player of Sachin’s caliber went to play at a venue which was as poor as a school playground! He was looking great in the final against Saurashtra as well but was run out by fellow batsman Wasim Jaffer. But instead of giving an angry look to Jaffer, Sachin gave him words of encouragement! Who would have done that considering the innings was so important for him and the team? This time, we witnessed the kindest side of a champion, again in front of our eyes. The pep talk helped Jaffer who made a valuable contribution to Mumbai’s 40th Ranji triumph.
This isn’t all though. Sachin slammed another ton in the Irani Trophy match next week, once again witnessed by us. Sadly, other batsmen threw their wickets which left him stranded on 140. What was noteworthy here was Sachin’s disappointment to see Mumbai falling short of Rest Of India’s total although he scored a hundred. This proves that even a domestic match means so much to him despite tasting World Cup glory and some memorable test victories!
In this way, he had a series of good scores before the first test against Australia. This helped him and India immensely for the Master Blaster was able to dig the team out of a hole after being 11 for 2!
The reason I find this story fascinating is because Sachin could have opted to rest instead of going back to domestic cricket since there wasn’t a chance of him being dropped from the Indian squad. But his actions clearly showed his love for the game and his concern towards his own form despite being at the top of the world for more than 20 years! And his concern didn’t deter him to accept his bad run in front of the world and improve his form by going a level below.
What makes Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar so great is not only his supreme talent but also his humble, down to earth nature which can be seen from the example above. It is this lovable human quality that is responsible for him winning hearts not just in India but world over and being an inspiration not just for upcoming cricketers but for people from all walks of life… including me!
Heartfelt congratulations to team India for winning the Under 19 Cricket World Cup today by beating Australia by 6 wickets at Townville. Unfortunately, this series hasn’t received due hype from the media as well as the Indian cricket fans. But that isn’t going to change the fact that the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands.
Indian skipper Unmukt Chand led from the front by scoring an unbeaten 111 while opening the innings. His fifth wicket partnership of 130 unbeaten runs with wicketkeeper Samit Patel made it possible. The full scorecard of the match is available here - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-under19-world-cup-2012/engine/current/match/554564.html
This is India’s third Under 19 World Cup victory and their second successive World Cup win. In 2008, it was Virat Kohli who led India to victory. Apart from Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja were the players that went on to win a place in the senior Indian squad from that team. There is no doubt some of the players from the current U 19 team will find a place too in the senior squad.
The fact that the victory came outside subcontinent in Australia makes the victory more special!
During the stage of my late childhood when I was trying to learn and understand that game of cricket, successful Indian players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Javagal Srinath and Mohammad Azaharuddin were at the peak of their careers. Due to this, no matter how many great or greater players emerged after them, players in the above mentioned elite list will always hold a special place in my memory.
So whenever a player from that list announces retirement, it certainly comes as a blow. The same happened when VVS Laxman announced his retirement yesterday, although this was on the cards after India’s tour to England and Australia. But those two unsuccessful tours can in no way be considered a dark spot over his career due to the huge number of glorious moments he has given to team India.
Having said this, many would be surprised that my very first memory of Laxman wasn’t a pleasant one. This was in 1996 in the first test match against South Africa in Ahmedabad, which was Laxman’s debut. After his failure in the first innings, I thought it wasn’t a good idea to have him in the playing eleven as I wasn’t sure about his technique. However, he made me swallow my opinion in the second innings when he scored a half century and led India’s fightback with Anil Kumble. How delighted I was to have been proved wrong!
This was just the first step of Laxman’s remarkable career. His brilliant timing along with his wristy flicks impressed cricket fans world over. Thinking about his career, the first innings that comes to mind is his earth-shattering 281 against Australia in the second test at Eden Gardens in 2001. Laxman, along with Rahul Dravid, shook the cricketing world with an unthinkable fight back. India's victory was just the second instance in the history of test cricket where a team managed to win a match after being asked to follow on. Laxman wasn’t considered a one-day match specialist but his brilliant form in this test series forced the selectors to include him in the ODIs that followed.
From the Eden Garden innings onwards, he came to be known as India’s ideal man for crisis. He lived up to the title in the years to come by bailing India out of trouble time and again. With his retirement, team India will miss the bailing out ability of one of India’s greatest batsmen.
Here’s a big thank you to VVS with the hope that his career becomes an inspiration for the generations to come.
Have a look at the highlights of Laxman’s memorable innings of 281 against Australia: -
As expected, the forthcoming Pakistan tour of India (in 2012) has received flak from a large number of Indians due the Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and their non-cooperation in solving terror issues. The opposition to the series might appear logical to many but not at all to me. I fail to understand why do we always target cricket when it comes to an association between the two nations?
A good number of Pakistani nationals like Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Veena Malik, etc are working full time in Bollywood. Some of them have also settled in Mumbai. Why not a single opposition to them? We are perfectly fine with their artists settling in our country but we can't tolerate their cricket team visiting for few days!
In 2010, Shiv Sena was up in arms against Shah Rukh Khan just because he wanted Pakistan players in his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. But not many people know when they were busy protesting against SRK, Amitabh Bachchan was performing poetry with Pakistani poets and that too in Mumbai. It is absolutely fine if you can perform with their artists but if you just express the wish of having their players in your team, you are painted a villain! Another incident where only cricket was targeted!
Last year, few social workers from Pakistan visited anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi to get some guidance on fighting corruption in their country. Although I welcomed Anna’s gesture and hospitality, I wondered where those people were who are ready to oppose every Pakistani?
(Article continued after picture.)
Personally, I find it illogical to oppose everyone from Pakistan. I and some of my friends have internet friends in Pakistan and we have always received high respect from them. One college friend of mine had been to Pakistan for a cultural program and is still cherishing the memories of her visit due to the warmth she received there. My ex-professor had been to Pakistan and he too had a similar experience.
One of my friend’s friend had been there too in 2003 when India toured Pakistan. He witnessed two one-day internationals at Lahore and was highly surprised to see not a single Pakistani supporter mouthing anti-India slogans or making fun of team India. In fact, during the same series, a number of shop owners in Pakistan gave discounts to Indians. Likewise, there are numerous examples of the common public of Pakistan having high regard for Indians.
I have tremendous hatred for the chaps coming from there and attacking my country. I am also against their government for taking poor measures to combat terrorism (which I expressed here). However, that doesn’t mean I hate each and every one from across the border! Those doing this have had no experience with Pakistanis.
But even if you hate everyone from Pakistan, where does your hatred disappear when you hear an Atif Aslam song or watch an Ali Zafar movie? Why it is that only the game of cricket triggers your hatred towards Pakistanis and reminds of you of 26/11?
Let’s treat cricket as a game… just like we have been treating movies and music. Excitedly awaiting Pakistan’s tour of India. May the better team win!
So, the whole of India, including me, is going gaga over India’s remarkable victory against Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup. It also looks like Virat Kohli will be the next big thing after Sachin Tendulkar for Indian cricket after he amassed an earth-shattering 183 in the match.
However, India is still isn’t certain of meeting Pakistan in the finals. For that to happen, Sri Lanka must beat Bangladesh in the next match.
As I look at the situation, the terrible thought of history repeats is coming to my mind due to some striking similarities. By history, I mean just the last one-day series in Australia. Just consider both situations as follows: -
* India played exceedingly well in their last league match in the tri series in Australia by chasing more than 300 very easily. The same thing has happened in India’s last league match here in Asia Cup.
* In both the occasions, Kohli scored a magnificent hundred.
* In the Australia series, India, to reach the finals, depended on the Aussies to beat Sri Lanka. Here, India has to depend on Sri Lanka to beat Bangladesh.
* In Australia, India failed to reach the finals after Australia lost to Sri Lanka.
* What will happen in Asia Cup?
Well, all Indians would hope history doesn’t repeat and we get a mouth-watering India-Pakistan final in the Asia Cup. But everything is in Sri Lanka’s hands. In Australia, they disappointed us by winning the last league match. Let’s hope they don’t disappoint us again by losing this time.
There have been very few occasions in my life where I have pinched myself in disbelief! One such occasion was few minutes back when Sachin Tendulkar finally (I feel like repeating the word 5 times) scored his 100th international century against Bangladesh in Mirpur in the ongoing Asia Cup 2012. Finally!!!
The feat for which the whole of cricketing world and not just India was waiting since more than a year has just happened! During all these months, every time Sachin went into bat, almost every cricket fan from around the world expected to see his 100th century. However, it just refused to come. There is a saying in Hindi – Intezar Ka Phal Meetha Hota Hai. Well, this was proved today in Mirpur.
The Master Blaster did come terribly close to achieving the mega milestone on December 2011 when he dismissed for 94 in the third test match against West Indies in Mumbai. Never had I seen the crowd so stunned in disbelief before when the great man was dismissed in that innings by Ravi Rampaul. People from Sachin’s hometown had spent an abnormal amount to the blackers for the ticket of the fifth days play after Sachin was not out on 70 odd at stumps on day 4.
I was one among thousands who faced disappointment at not getting a ticket (at original price) for the fifth day. However, I plainly refused to buy the ticket in black and returned home khaali haath! How fortunate I felt later on to have such principles!
After that innings of 94, Sachin failed to achieve the feat in the whole of the tour of Australia. As he also started going through a bad phase, the expectations for the biggest achievement ever also fizzled out!
I guess it was the pressure of the expectations that got the better of Sachin. Now, that there were no expectations, he easily achieved the feat and how! I wish the people and media had controlled their excitement all these months! Anyways, it’s better late than never.
Hearty CONGRATULATIONS to the greatest cricketer for the greatest achievement any batsman can imagine. I repeat this – We have been fortunate to have got a chance to grow up along with Sachin’s career!
Have a look at the moment when Sachin achieved the feat and the world went in a frenzy. (Video of Sachin scoring his 100th run) : -
All Good Things Come To An End – I have been hearing this proverb ever since my childhood. However, it is just since yesterday that I am truly able to feel the bitter feeling behind it. It’s the retirement of Rahul Dravid, one of the best cricketers ever produced by India that has enabled me to understand the true meaning of the above proverb.
Dravid’s greatness is such that by merely saying, “He was a great cricketer,” isn’t an enough tribute to him. Frankly speaking, it is not possible to explain in a few pages the career of a cricketer who took the very heavy load of expectations and responsibilities on his shoulders. Those like me who have followed his career throughout would understand this and agree with me.
Personally, I feel Dravid was the unsung hero of Indian cricket. I say this because a number of his achievements went unnoticed or didn’t receive the importance it deserved as it got overshadowed by an achievement by a fellow cricketer or due to some other reason.
For instance, in the famous Kolkata test against Australia in 2001, the Karnataka batsman played one of his finest knocks by scoring 180. However, VVS Laxman’s 281 is what people remember more from that test although Dravid’s innings deserved equal praise since it also played a vital role for India to turn the tables and beat the Aussies in one of the greatest fight-backs ever!
Another example is during the 1999 World Cup match against Sri Lanka at Taunton, England where Saurav Ganguly registered his highest one-day score of 183. He had a 300+ run stand with Dravid who scored a fabulous 145. But here too, it is Dada’s innings which is remembered more while one should also remember that Dravid’s score was at that time the highest by any wicket-keeper in ODIs.
I would also like to state Dravid’s most under-rated innings in ODIs. It was in the 1997 Independence Cup match against Pakistan, where the Wall scored his maiden ODI century (127) which didn’t prove enough. Since Saeed Anwar registered the highest ODI score ever earlier in the day with 194 and also because of the fact that Dravid’s knock was in a losing cause, it was forgotten soon.
Likewise, throughout his career, a number of innings by Dravid didn’t receive the due credit it so much deserved!
Moving ahead, I have no qualms in saying that Dravid was victim of the idiocy of Indian selectors! Dravid resigned from the captaincy (both in tests and ODIs) in 2007 in the interest of the team as he wanted to concentrate on his batting. However, he was unable to concentrate on it in half or more than of the matches as the selectors dropped him from the ODIs!
The move of dropping him from the ODI team is the biggest blunder ever by Indian selectors! Time and again Jammy had proved his mettle in ODIs as a quick scorer but the selection committee dropped him saying he is unable to score quick runs. Just some time before he was dropped, he had scored an earth-shattering 90 odd in just 63 balls in an ODI in England.
In fact, he has been handy even in Twenty20 matches. On numerous occasions in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Dravid has proved how wrong the selectors were. Then in the 2011 ODI series against England, they picked Dravid as there was a dearth of quality batsmen in the team. Although the Wall played in the series, he announced his retirement from ODI cricket just after he was picked. A good indirect way of giving thumbs down!
Today, looking at the huge number of messages of praise that are pouring in for Dravid on social media and the internet, I get a feeling the world has understood his worth and importance. It is been proved that someone who is one-of-its-kind will never get overshadowed!
Although this is been said again and again today, I would still like to repeat that Dravid is irreplaceable!
I would like to wind up with a small shayari on the great man: -
Bahav Ke Sath To Har Koi Beh Sakta Hai,
Jo Bahav Ke Khilaf Bahe Wohi Farishta Kehlata Hai
Video of Rahul Dravid's retirement speech: -
India’s performance in Australia in the ongoing Agneepath series has indeed been hugely disappointing. However, I am pained to see the way Indian cricket fans and so-called cricket experts are reacting.
Just over nine months back on the night of April 2, the whole of India literally worshipped Team India after they lifted the World Cup 2011. Just two bad series (in England and Australia) and the same people are reacting as if Team India is worse than minnows. What right do you have to call yourself an Indian supporter if you can’t support your team when it requires the most? After all, support is needed the most when a person or a thing is struggling. The difference between an Indian supporter and an Indian fan (who just likes to see the team winning) is proved once again!
It is even more disheartening to see the way the most experienced players – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman – are been forced to retire! How right is it to humiliate them in this manner for their age old services for the team? The fact that some of the ex-players are involved in these forceful tactics is even more shocking considering their knowledge and experience.
Tendulkar’s contribution to Indian cricket is known far and wide. He has been consistently scoring runs. His fitness level is clearly visible. So, if he wants to continue playing, what is wrong in it? For your kind information, he is India’s leading run scorer even in the current series!
There is no doubt even Dravid has been one of the greatest Indian batsmen ever and even he is scoring runs, although not much in this series. He was also the only one who showed some resistance in the England tour. So again, how can we force him to retire if he is scoring runs and wants to play? In Laxman’s case, I agree he has not been scoring runs but that doesn’t mean one should forget his talent and record and compel him to hang his boots!
In my personal opinion, it is Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir who are more responsible as they have failed to build a platform as openers. Especially in the case of Sehwag, he has been in terrible form but we are just busy pointing fingers at the ‘big three’.
Before this series, all types of cool adjectives were used for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his captaincy, especially after winning the World Cup. There have also been debates going on whether he is the best Indian captain ever. It is a mixture of shame and amnesia that after just two bad series, even he has been indirectly forced to step down as captain!
Apart from their performance, team India has also been demoralized by the reactions and forceful tactics of the public and ex-players before the start of the fourth test match at Adelaide.
P.S: - People laughed at me when I continued to support India despite their shameful exit from the 2007 World Cup. I laughed back at them in the same year when we won the T20 World Cup and other series which followed after that. I am quite sure I will get a chance to laugh once again!
Just when I was thinking Virendra Sehwag is getting into a poor run of form, the Nawab Of Najafgar surprises me and the country in a humongous and a delightful manner by smashing 291 runs against the West Indies in the fourth one-day international at Inodore on December 8, 2011.
Hearty Congratulations to Viru for being just the second batsman in the world to cross the 200 mark in ODIs and, more importantly, for scoring the highest score ever in ODIs.
Let’s re-visit the highlights of the innings: (Article continued after video)
In the modern era of cricket, numerous batsmen have reached huge scores of 170 plus in limited overs cricket. So, I just thought of rating the top 10 high scores in ODIs. The rankings are not based on the highest number of runs but by taking into account the bowling attack of the opposition and the conditions as well.
Here are the top 10 high scores in ODIs: -
10. Shane Watson – 185* (96) vs Bangladesh in 2011 at Dhaka: 185 is huge but I am putting it on number 10 because Bangladesh’s weak bowling attack and also because Watson was dropped once. And if you notice the innings carefully, Watson’s 7-8 sixes were played with the same sweep shot against two left arm spinners with identical actions.
9. Gary Kirsten – 188* (159) vs UAE at Rawalpindi in 1996 at Rawalpindi: Kirsten played some delightful shots in his innings but the reason for me rating it on number 9 is that the bowling attack of UAE was just like their team – minnow! Plus, it was a flat batting track and there was no pressure at all on the former Indian coach.
8. Charles Coventry – 194* (156) vs Bangladesh in 2009 at Bulawayo: It’s a big thing for a Zimbabwean to score such a mammoth score even if it is against a weak bowling attack like Bangladesh.
7. Sachin Tendulkar - 186 not out (150) vs New Zealand in 1999 at Hyderabad: Tendulkar along with Dravid set the Hyderabad stadium on fire on a belter of a wicket with a very fast outfield.
6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni – 183 not out (145) vs Sri Lanka in 2005 at Jaipur: Rating this one higher than Tendulkar’s innings as Sri Lanka’s bowling line-up being much stronger. Plus, Dhoni was a newbie when he achieved this score.
5. Saeed Anwar – 194 (146) vs India in 1997 at Chennai: Anwar rose to the occasion in semi-final-like match of the Independence Cup against arch rivals Indians and played some outstanding shots. Yet, I am putting on number 5 for the simple reason that Anwar scored 120 out of the 194 runs with the help of a runner (Shahid Afridi). Fatigue plays an important obstacle in such long innings and Anwar hardly experienced it that day!
4. Virendra Sehwag – 219 (149) vs West Indies in 2011 at Indore: Sehwag’s fans might hate me for this but still I will put it on number 4 as Sehwag got two chances (one run-out and one dropped catch). Needless to say, West Indies’ bowling attack was non-threatening.
3. Sanath Jayasuriya – 189 (170) vs India in 2000 at Sharjah: Jayasuriya loved playing against India and on this particular day, his love was the deepest. The Sharjah crowd was in for some treat as Jayasuriya played his trademark shots all over the park.
2. Vivian Richards – 189* (170) vs England in 1984 at Manchester: The England bowling attack of the 80s was a deadly one due to the likes of Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Derek Pringle to name a few. Due to this very reason, the innings by Richards deserves a high place.
1. Two entries: -
i) Sachin Tendulkar – 200* (147) vs South Africa in 2010 at Gwalior: South Africa had one of the decent bowling line-ups in the world at that time with bowlers like Dale Steyn, Charl Langeveldt, Jaques Kallis, etc. But a big reason why I am ranking this as number 1 is simply because of the huge expectation that Sachin carries when he goes out to bat. Just imagine the anticipation for a double century once he crossed 150!
ii) Kapil Dev – 175* (138) vs Zimbabwe in 1983 at Turnbridge Wells: This truly great innings failed to grab much of a limelight for the simple reason that the match wasn’t telecast! However, there are solid reasons why this knock deserves a rating of one. India were almost out of the match at 17 for 5 when Kapil arrived at the crease. To get the team out of such a deep hole required a miracle and scoring 175 not out after coming in at such a time is miraculous! Plus, the match was like a quarter final for India. If India had lost this one, we could never have won the 1983 World Cup!