Till the late 90s Indian team was known as reticent or shy. A team which did the job on the ground, but hardly responded to any sledging or abuses ditched out to them. Azharuddin, Sachin, Kumble, Srinath. All were nice guys.
But somewhere down the line things started to change. First it was Ganguly. Then Harbhajan, and so it continued. Finally what we have now is a Ponting 2.0 – aka Kohli.
Let’s have a look at some of the badass guys who represented India in the last couple of decades.
- Saurav Ganguly
The man who started it all. Who can forget his bare-chested act, from the balcony of the mecca of cricket – Lord’s. The man also kept the legendary Steve Waugh waiting for the toss, in what turned out to be India’s greatest ever test series win.
- Harbhajan Singh
The Sardar from Jalandhar was always at his verbal best against the Aussies. Ask Ricky Ponting or Andrew Symonds, and they’ll tell you about his penchant to have a word on the field.
- Gautam Gambhir
Who can forget Gambhir vs Shahid Afridi. Or for that matter Gambhir vs Kohli in IPL. The hot headed KKR skipper never backed away from giving the opposition a piece of his mind.
- Praveen Kumar
The Meerut swingster, never lost his swag, even when out of the Indian team. He had to face a 1 month suspension by the BCCI for insulting gesture and violent physical contact in a local match.
- Zaheer Khan
India’s leader of the attack for most of the last century, Zaheer Khan, was generally a quite figure on the field. However when incensed, he can be really hard to control. Both with the mouth, and with the ball. This is what England figured out at Trent Bridge in 2007.
- Munaf Patel
The lanky fast bowler from Bharuch, was from the beginning of his career one of the slowest in the field. However, this didn’t stop him from having a go at other fielders for missing half chances. He was also embroiled in a controversy with the umpire in the IPL, resulting in him losing 25% of his match fees.
Who can forget the antics of this former Indian maverick fast bowler? From crying in IPL, to dancing in front of Andre Nel –this guy was tailor-made for prime time drama.
- Ravindra Jadeja
Well the ‘Sir’ of Indian cricket has his own way of annoying the opposition, as was figured out by James Anderson last year. Whether the ‘F’ word was exchanged or not, no one knows. However the fact that ‘Sir’s’ moustache swirl and confidence strut had got into the mind of England’s most successful test bowler was for all to see.
- Virat Kohli
Now the boss of them all. The best Indian batsman on current form and India’s test captain. The only person who can abuse on prime-time, and yet be liked by young and old alike. Has a long list of expletives, which he uses quite liberally on the field. And if words don’t work, well, one can always bank on fingers.