Are you the biggest cricket fan that there is? Do you consider yourself an encyclopaedia when it comes to the cricket and the Indian cricket team? We’ve listed down 10 rather lesser-known and interesting facts. How many of these did you already know?
1. Sachin Tendulkar played cricket for Pakistan before playing for India
In 1987, two years before his international debut, Sachin Tendulkar came onto the field as a substitute fielder for Pakistan in a match between India and Pakistan in 1987.
2. India is the only country to win the 60-Over, 50-Over and 20-Over World Cup
Apart from India, West Indies are the only team to have won a 60-Over World Cup. The country had previously won the World T20 in Sri Lanka in the year 2012, but are yet to win a 50-Over World Cup.
3. Sunil Gavaskar was out off the very first ball of a Test match thrice in his cricketing career
Sunil Gavaskar is the first batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs and score 34 Test centuries, but on three occasions he was out on the first ball of the Test. Bowlers to dismiss him were Geoff Arnold (Edgbaston, 1974), Malcolm Marshall (Kolkata, 1984) and Imran Khan (Jaipur, 1987).
4. The only cricketer to have played for both England and India is the Nawab of Pataudi (Senior)
Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, grandfather of Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan, is the only cricketer to have played for both the English and the Indian teams.
5. Ishant Sharma is responsible for all the three highest scores made by a batsman against India in the 21st century
In fact, all three scores were possible Sharma dropped catches early on in their innings. Alistair Cook — 294 Runs (Edgbaston 2011), Michael Clarke — 329 Runs (Sydney 2012), Brendon McCullum — 302 Runs (Wellington 2014)
6. Sourav Ganguly is the only Indian player to score a century in the knock-out stages of a World Cup
Among all the feathers in his cap, Dada’s name has made it to the history books for having been the only one from India to have scored a century in a knock-out match.
7. MS Dhoni shifted his allegiances from football to cricket
Did you know that Dhoni was actually a football goalkeeper before he started playing cricket? His interest in cricket grew after he was asked to fill in for his school team’s regular wicketkeeper, who was down after an injury.
8. The only Indian Test cricketer to be knighted is Maharaja of Vizianagaram
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Vijay Ananda Gajapathi Raju, better known as the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram or Vizzy, was one of the most controversial characters in the history of Indian cricket. He was knighted by King Edward VIII at the King’s birthday honours, but renounced the title once India gained independence in 1947.
9. Sachin Tendulkar got out for a duck only once in his entire Ranji Trophy cricketing career
And guess who the bowler was? None other than a young Bhuvneshwar Kumar!
10. Sunil Gavaskar was nearly switched at birth!
This is one scary story. When Sunil Gavaskar was born, his uncle noticed a small hole near the top of his left ear lobe. On visiting the next day, however, his uncle couldn’t see the hole and raised an alarm at the hospital. Finally, Sunny was found sound asleep beside a fisherwoman in the next bed. How the babies were switched remains a mystery, but if it went unnoticed, the result would probably have been disastrous for Indian cricketing history.
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