5 unforgettable moments in the India-South Africa rivalry
Moments are magic; they are life. Every single moment builds up and adds to what we call life. They alter the moods of people; some moments bring a smile to the face while some others become the source of tears.In a world such as this, where misery is more prevalent than anything else, sports brings about moments that make people forget about worldly pains and sufferings for some time at least. Not all moments are pleasant, though, as sometimes even the game becomes the cause of damning agony.As India and South Africa lock horns, this rivalry of two decades is about to have more moments added to its canvas. However, we take a look at the days gone by and list 5 of the best memories weaved by these two giants.
#1 Sachin ball tampering
The Little Master is revered as the best batsman to have played the game, but he is also respected for another thing: gentlemen conduct. It is not only his batting skills one look up to, but his incredible personality both on and off the pitch.
So when this man was accused of tampering the ball against South Africa in 2001, it raised a galactic storm in which match referee and prime accuser, Mike Denness, found himself reeling.
As Sachin Tendulkar started bowling his cunning medium pacers, it was apparent that he was getting way more swing than any of his team-mates. As a result, the commentators, out of pure curiosity, wanted to take a closer look on how he was gripping the ball.
A careful look revealed Sachin trying to clean the dust between the seam of the ball, something which didn’t go down well with Denness.
In the end, the legend was banned or one game for ball tampering charges and a huge controversy followed, which we would leave out for another day.
#2 The Sreesanth Dance
This one still resonates in the walls of my mind. As Sreesanth came to bat in the tail-end, Andre Nel resorted to sledging tactics to get the better of his opponent. Sreesanth himself was a fiery character and was never one to shy away from verbal assaults.
As revealed by Sreesanth later, Nel told him: “I can smell blood, you do not have the guts—I am playing for this, you are a scared rabbit and I will get you next ball.”
What followed after that became the image of Test—and one of the glaring ones in the India-South Africa rivalry history.
The very next ball, Sreesanth, out of pure wrath, came down the ground and smacked Nel for a six over his head. One would have thought that the South African would have bowled a tight delivery instead of an over-pitched ‘come and hit me’ ball after running his mouth like that. Luckily for Sreesanth, he didn’t and the former got what he wanted.
Sreesanth then went in front of Nel and danced in the most epic fashion. In fact, the dance was so similar to the one in Gangnam Style that one could almost say the dance steps in that song was inspired from Sreesanth.
#3 Sehwag\'s 319
This innings could be dubbed as the fury of Sehwag. That day, he became one of the 4 players to have scored 2 triple hundreds in Tests. And in what a fashion it was.
As South Africa ended their first innings with a mammoth total of 540, an assured performance was needed for India in order to save the Test. Win becomes out of question at such a point, and Sehwag understood that perfectly.
Hence, he came down all guns blazing and blasted his way past 300. Along the way, he broke some records: the third fastest to reach 200, in 194 balls, and the fastest to reach 300, in 278 balls. This innings might not have got India the win, unlike his 300 in Multan, but this—in a pure stroke-play sense—was the better innings.
#4 Donald Dravid confrontation
Rahul Dravid is someone who is known for his very calm and composed nature; someone who never gives way to wrath, someone who is an epitome of calmness. However, a look at the video of him confronting Allan Donald would suggest otherwise.
Donald, as many cricket freaks in their mid-or-late-20s know, was a blazing character. And it showed in his bowling. Constantly clocking at 150kmph, coupled with relentless verbal battles with batsmen, he was a nightmare for many.
And he didn’t spare Rahul Dravid either, as he tried to get on his nerves by hurling abuses at him. But ultimately had to be red-faced, just like Andre Nel a decade later, because the Wall smacked him for a 6 the very next ball. For many, that 84 run innings was his best ever in ODI cricket.
#5 Sachin\'s 200
The mother of all moments. This was the time cricket itself was glorified as it found its first ever individual ODI innings of a double hundred—and it came from the bat of the man whom many call God.
Many expected Virender Sehwag or Chris Gayle to be the first man to hit a 200 in ODIs, but Sachin showed the world why he is regarded as the greatest ODI batsman to ever play the game. In a wonderful night at Gwalior was this epic tale weaved to make the dreams of many come true.
One could almost sense this coming as he had played some great knocks prior to this, like the 175 against Australia for one. This time, however, he crossed the line and became the first batsman to do so when he reached the milestone in just 147 balls.
A lot of players have scored double hundreds in ODIs since then, but Sachin’s knock will be the most fondly remembered as he was the one to shatter open the floodgates.