Moments of madness: 5 shots that the batsmen wished they never played
In the 2nd ODI in Jaipur, Australia was destroyed by two young Indian batsmen as India chased down a mammoth 359. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli unleashed their brutal selves on a hapless Australian bowling attack and made a mockery of the huge total.
The most impressive part about the Indian chase was the shot selection from the Indian batsmen. Everyone in the top three came out with a positive intent and played proper cricketing shots to pierce the field, hence proving that run scoring at a faster clip has almost nothing to do with slogging.
However, there are times when even the best make the worst shot selections. Every batsman has a favourite shot that they love to play. For someone like a Sachin Tendulkar, it may be the backfoot punch, while a Dilshan will have the “Dil-Scoop” topping his charts.
On the contrary, every batsman hates one shot that they wished they had never played. Not because they aren’t equipped to play it properly, but on a particular day, they failed to execute that shot and it changed the course of the game.
Here is a collection of 5 shots that the batsmen wished they hadn’t played on that day:
Mike Gatting’s reverse sweep – England vs Australia, World Cup finals, 1987
Mike Gatting, the former English batsman, has always managed to attach himself with the a few legendary incidents in cricket. However, he has always ended being the person at the wrong end, whether it’s being the victim of the ball of the century or playing the impulsive reverse-sweep that cost England the 1987 World Cup.
You can’t do much when a ball turns the entire circumference of your body and kisses the bail of your off stump, but to play an audacious reverse sweep when your team’s cruising to a World Cup final victory, isn’t the most sane option.
Chasing a total of 253 put up by Australia, England were coasting at 135 for 2 with captain Mike Gatting and Bill Athey at the crease. Australia looked desperate for a wicket, and that’s when the Aussie captain Allan Border stepped up with his variety of left-arm orthodox.
Though Border was not a frontline spinner, the gritty Aussie captain was well known for providing important breakthroughs. And he did it again that day, thanks largely to his opponent number.
Border’s first ball pitched around the off stump, Gatting got down on his haunches, which itself was quite a feat, and reverse swept the ball. However, the execution was anything but good. The ball bounced more than Gatting thought, caught the top edge of his bat, hit his shoulder and looped up to Greg Dyer, who almost dropped it in disbelief!
A stunned Eden Garden’s crowd saw the big figure of Mike Gatting disappear into the pavilion along with England’s hope of taking the trophy home.
An inspired bowling change turned into magic for Australia, and a moment of madness became tragic for England.