Watching a cricket match live is as much about atmosphere and crowd vibe as it is about the actual match. And there is no place better than an Indian stadium brimming with passionate fans. The colorful vibe of the fans and their creativity is at full display and their passion to get behind their team and favourite players just takes it up another level. Now with the advent of Bharat Army and more connected travelling fan base, the fans are bringing out new creative ways of getting behind their teams, which is especially aided by social media.
But it's not only now that fan chants at cricket stadium have become a thing. There have been several popular chants over the year that have resonated around the stadiums over the years. These chants carry a ton of emotions and memories and broke out at some of the most iconic moments in Indian cricket history. Let's have a look at some of the most iconic chants.
4. Dhoni Dhoni
This is one of the most popular chants nowadays, one that instinctively breaks out anywhere MS Dhoni goes. It breaks out nowadays even if he's not on the field and any of his replacements make a mistake. Dhoni's role in building the Indian team that dominates the world cricket today needs no explanation. And he is arguably the most popular cricketer in India currently. He has built his own loyal fan base that just adores him.
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The 'thalaiva' gets a special reception specially at Chennai, his second home, having led CSK for 12 years. Whenever Dhoni has led India's chase with his explosive batting, chants have broken out both in jubilation and in expectation of more fireworks to come.
3. Vande Mataram
While it has been very rare to see this chant break out, it has broken out at some iconic moments. Most fans will remember this from the recent match in Guwahati T20 against Sri Lanka. It came at a time when the country, especially Assam was rocked by anti-CAA protests. While the match was washed out, what touched everyone's heart was the passionate chant of Guwahati crowd joining AR Rahman's rendition of Maa Tujhe Salaam. While the crowd broke into anti-CAA and chants against the government, what caught the most attention was the Vande Mataram rendition by the crowd.
The most iconic instance of this chant breaking out was also against Sri Lanka but in the grandest stage of them all. The chorus of over 50,000 fans at the Wankhede during the 2011 World Cup Final with some 20 runs remaining, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh having things under control gave everyone the chills and showed what the incoming win meant. The added significance of Vande Mataram always means it will remain one of the most iconic chants and probably should be preserved for the special occasions.
2. Indiaaa! Indiaaa!
Indiaaa! Indiaaa! has been the rallying cry for the Indian cricket team and its fans over the years. Whether the team is down and out or the team is making a comeback, it eggs the team on and reminds them of what they represent. Whether the fireworks are coming on or the team is on the edge of a victory, it is what players wear the jersey for.
Hearing the chant especially in the other parts of the world reminds the global support Indian team enjoys wherever it goes. Waving Indian flags with India chants have made stadiums across England and Australia feel like home grounds. India's improved performances overseas has meant more fans turning up to cheer Indian team on. It's safe to say it's one of those chants that will endure at each game India plays, home or abroad, irrespective of which ever player comes or goes.
Could there ever be a more iconic chant in Indian sports than this? It can be answered by a second question. Can another cricketer be as important with such values and consistency for such a long time as he has been? He has been a symbol of pride and patriotism in a country that worships cricket and him, its living God.
Sachi Tendulkar recently revealed that his mother started the 'Sachin Sachin' chant. But the fans took it to heart. It was not only an expression of expectation but a representation of emotions that he imbibed in the cricket lovers across globe. They have been laden with hope and gratitude for all that he has done and what he was going to do yet on the pitch. Gone are the days however when Indian innings used to start with cries of Sachin. But they are an indelible part of the folklore that Sachin has left behind.