“Catches win matches,” the pundits say. And time and again, Cricket itself has proved the very essence of the aforementioned statement. Who can forget Steve Waugh’s “You’ve just dropped the World Cup, mate,” after Herschelle Gibbs dropped a sitter at mid-wicket.
It was the final match of the Super Sixes at the 1999 World Cup and Australia was chasing 272 when Gibbs gifted Steve Waugh who was batting at 56, a second life. Needless to say, the Kangaroos didn’t only go on to win that particular fixture but a few days later they lifted the coveted trophy as well.
Having said that, there is no denying the fact that fielding- undoubtedly- is the most underrated department as far as the sport is concerned. Also, it won’t be a remiss to say that fielding itself wasn’t quite India’s forte until a few years back.
However with the advent of modern day cricket, the Indian cricket aficionados have witnessed a number of sensational fielders in the recent past; the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli and others. Moreover, the athletic fielding efforts of former Indian cricketers like Robin Singh and Mohammad Kaif are still fresh in the minds of the Indian cricket fans.
That being said, here are five catches which changed Indian cricket forever:
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin vs. England (2013)
The hosts England took on India in the final match of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham. After having won the toss, England displayed superb bowling performance to restrict Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men to 129 at the end of the allotted 20 overs.
Barring the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja none of the Indian batsmen could reach the double figures on a dampened Birmingham pitch.
In reply, England were dealt a setback after they lost a couple of early wickets (Alastair Cook and Ian Bell). However, they soon steadied their innings and looked to have regained control as both Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) were mauling the Indian bowling line-up, when Ishant Sharma, India’s most expensive bowler of the match took back-to-back wickets in his final over to turn the fixture on its head.
And it was Ashwin who had taken both the catches. The dismissals changed the entire complexion of the match as England who were- at one stage- cruising at 110 for 4, ended their chase at 124 for 8.