Cricket is definitely India’s second love after Bollywood and as fans, we just can’t get enough of the team spirit and spotless camaraderie visible during the games and it’s natural that we’re curious to know what goes on in the dressing room as well, in between innings, during breaks and during wicket dismissals when the excitement is overwhelming in the stadium.
These dressing room secrets from the world of cricket that are too cantankerous to fade into oblivion.
Virat Kohli’s ODI Debut and What Happened The Night Before
Freshly overwhelmed with his selection into the National Cricket Team, Virat Kohli was already feeling nervous. But to add to the frenzy, the team’s indisputable pranskters Yuvi and Bhajji told him just before he was heading out to play, to touch Sachin Tendulkar’s feet. Virat actually went ahead to do so, then the Master Blaster revealed to him that he had been pranked upon by the pranksters of the team.
Dhoni’s revelation that he had been called a ‘Bihari’
Although he was good with running between the wickets and with run-chases, Dhoni had his own share of banter from the team – one of them being that many players of the team called him “Bihari”. Since he had always been a man of few words, he never retaliated but later during his captaincy days, he did speak about it in interviews and also put Yuvraj’s name on top of the list.
How Yuvi broke the ice with Dhoni
When Sachin Tendulkar nominated Sourav Ganguly’s name for Captaincy
Not many know that just after the infamous match fixing scandal of 2000, Sachin actually took initiatives to keep bookies away from tarnishing the sport.
One of those steps to revive the game was to nominate Sourav’s name for captaincy after stepping down himself due to rising differences with Mohammed Azharuddin.
So enroute to the pitch in Melbourne for a batting innings in 2000, he told his fellow teammates why Sourav would be the right person to lead the team.
Yuvraj’s prank on Dada for which he was almost ready to Resign from Captaincy
In 2005, when Sourav Ganguly and his team were playing a match against Pakistan, Yuvraj, Bhajji and Sehwag planned out a prank using a fake print-out of some comments from Dada on team members.
Yuvi, recalling the moment at a press event, said “We arranged a printout of an imaginary interview of Sourav, where he’d been critical of his players. When that was shown to him, he pleaded he had not given any such interview.”
Suddenly Nehra and Bhajji walked out, making the situation more tense. This made Sourav Ganguly announce his resignation from captaincy, then and there.
Moments after, Sehwag and Yuvi confessed to playing the prank and “Dada picked up a bat and chased all of us out of the dressing room” as Yuvraj said.
While his Second Triple Century in Test Matches, Sehwag was lost in Ashique
During an India-South Africa Test match in Chennai, where Viru put up a brilliant show of test batsamanship, he was seeing taking a drinks break. He called out to Ishant Sharma for what seemed like a bottle of water. But actually, he was telling the young bowler to get the lyrics of his then-favourite song “Tu Jaane Na”. Sehwag also revealed during Sachin’s autobiography release that he would always sing Hindi songs while contemplating a four or a six.
Ian bell dismissal and Harbhajan Singh’s hormonal overdrive
Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower came into Team India’s dressing room uninvited, moments after Raina said “Ian Bell ki ghanti bajaa di. Bahut runs le rha tha. Acha kiya ki usse out kar diya.”
Inshant Sharma, unable to contain the laughter around, offered the Englishmen some tea. Strauss looked miffed with the dismissal of Ian Bell and he popped in a funny request to Dhoni to repeal the umpire’s decision, insisting that “this is not the spirit of the game.”
Bhajji suddenly became tearful and started giving verbal googlies such as “Guys, have I made it large?”
When Manoj Prabhakar recorded evidence of the infamous match-fixing scandal
In 2000, during an India vs South Africa game, Manoj Prabhakar (an erstwhile all-rounder) in a meeting of the Indian cricket team where Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Ajay Sharma were present and there were talks on fixing match events like run-outs, caught-outs etc.
Manoj Prabhakar recorded conversations between players of the Indian and South African cricket teams which were later used for investigation by the CBI.
It was later found out that Manoj Prabhakar collaborated with a tabloid for this incident and his work was documented in a book as well as a documentary film.
When Sachin and Sourav Ganguly made dual efforts to save the game from match-fixing
Once during a match, Sachin heard a few bookies trying to fix events of the forthcoming match. He immediately had a quick discussion with his opening partner and captain, Sourav Ganguly, about the same and together, they scored international ODI centuries to ruin the interests of the bookies.
The infamous India vs Sri Lanka World Cup Semifinal
There’s no WC final as severely hated as the India vs Sri Lanka one of 1996.
Azharuddin’s untimely movement in between overs and his decision to field even after the team’s unanimous decision to bat was enough to raise public’s suspicion over the loss that caused damage at the Eden Gardens.
The tension in the dressing room was palpable over the sudden decision of Azharuddin to field, as Vinod Kambli revealed about it years later.
Sehwag leaking Umar Gul’s wicket dismissal plans during India vs Pak WC Semifinal
Apparently, the first class paceman’s form was on point during this tournament, and he had even planned at what interval he would bowl out Sachin, Shewag and Gambhir. Luckily, Sehwag heard him from the other side of a hotel room and then discussed it with Dhoni, Gambhir and other batsmen. Team India’s striking defensive play through the first 10 overs and then posing a 50 in just 6 overs stunned the opposition. At this juncture, when Yuvi went inside the dressing room and whistled, while Umar Gul’s faced went red (in the distance).
These incidents point to the fact that team spirit is .