Top 5 Fighting Comebacks by Indian cricketers: Failures are part and parcel of a sport. But overcoming the failures and drawing the destiny to success contributes to the real strength of a player. Many Indian greats have faced obstacles and adversity in their career. They were out of the team due to performance, injury or dreadful diseases. But they never gave up on the way to what was an extremely difficult path. They brought out the fighter in them to conquer the challenges and to script a phenomenal comeback, emerging as a champion. Their will, dedication and hard work backed them to take a U-turn from their positions towards some glory.
Sachin Tendulkar once quoted over failures and obstacles: “When people throw stones at you, convert them into milestones.”
Here are some stories of Indian cricketers who came back into the national team after a tormenting break in career.
The ‘God of Cricket’ too went through a disastrous phase in his career and his future connection with the sport was at risk. Sachin did not miss a single Test match in the first half of his career but things had started to change in his later part of career when he had to go through many injuries. Tendulkar suffered a serious tennis elbow injury in early 2004 which threatened to cut short his career. The pain was so irritating that he could not grip the plastic bat of his child. There were many stories coming in media like “Endulkar”.
Eventually, Tendulkar made a remarkable return to Test cricket and went on to score his 35th Test century after a gap of more than a year against Sri Lanka in 2005, surpassing Gavaskar’s 34.
- Yuvraj Singh
The Padma Shri and Arjuna Awardee, Yuvraj Singh had made an exceptional contribution to the Indian cricket. Yuvi was at the peak of his career when the roots of cancer have grown in him. About 10 months after the 2011 World Cup win, the player of the series, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer. Yuvraj brought out the fighter in him and stayed strong during the long treatment. He took inspiration from Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who overcame cancer to win the Tour de France numerous times.
Yuvraj returned to the international cricket and made a heroic comeback during a T20I against New Zealand in September 2012. He took on the Kiwis in Chennai where he scored 34 off 26.
- Sourav Ganguly
The ‘Dada’ of Indian cricket has scripted an inspirational comeback in the truest sense. Indian cricket has seen it all during the reigns of Greg Chappell, the man who was under acute dislike of Sachin Tendulkar and many others from the beginning itself. Ganguly was accused of being a selfish cricketer. He was asked by the coach to step down from captain during a series in Zimbabwe in 2005 where he smashed a century.
After India’s glorifying run in 2003 World Cup, India had a successful tour of Australia which was eventually followed by a historic series win in Pakistan, Sourav Ganguly gained immense respect as the captain of India and was considered as perhaps one of the best captains till then. But some controversies, politics and form made him lose his place in the team.
After a series of decent performances in domestic cricket, Ganguly fought his way back to the Indian team for the tour down under in South Africa in 2006. And the rest, as they say, is history. Dada played a superb half-century knock when everybody in the team has failed in that innings and eventually India won the match, which was the first ever Test victory in South Africa.
He smashed a double-century next year against Pakistan which was the highest score of the year,
- Zaheer Khan
Productive fast bowlers in India are considered to be rare species. They enter the cricketing circuit with tremendous ability and pace but fade away much quicker. But Zaheer Khan with his tremendous ability, the sheer pace & swing and toe crunching yorkers was someone an exception. This Indian pacer had the capability to sustain a longer run in international cricket.
In the season 2004-05, Zaheer was dropped from the team due to fitness and poor form. So he decided to play county cricket and went to Worcestershire to improve himself and ended up claiming 78 wickets in 16 matches.
He was then called for the tour of South Africa in December 2006. Picked up five wickets in that historic match which India won by 123 runs.
- Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja have scripted one of the most successful comebacks in Test cricket and proved his mettle to his critics and fans as well. He was one of the most trolled cricketers in the world during a one-year period when he underperformed until the match-winning performance against South Africa in the first Test in Nov 2015. His second comeback ball was a treat to watch which kissed Faf du Plessis’ off stump after skidding.
Jadeja was dropped from the team in August 2014 and overlooked for the tours to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this year. He made a sensational come back in the squad after an excellent run of form in the Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra and the rest was history. He was adjudged Man of the Match for his eight wickets, a crucial 38 in India’s first innings, and two catches in Mohali.
Jadeja along with Ashwin made a lethal combination in the recently concluded Freedom series who went through the formidable South Africa’s batting and demolished the No.1 Test side to clinch an epic 3-0 victory.
Orninally Published on cricfit