Over the last couple of decades, India’s cricketers have redefined how Sir Pelham Warner intended for the gentleman’s game to be played.
India has produced cricketers who, despite their unorthodox nature of playing the sport, have been successful. While their basics aren’t exactly water-tight, they still have it in them to make a mark.
Over the past decade, the world has seen the likes of AB de Villiers and Steve Smith play the kind of shots that weren’t part of the coaching manual, and India wasn’t far from it either.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are regarded as examples for aspiring cricketers on how to play the drives and learn a solid defense. However, for those who manage to put bat to ball and score runs, we take a look at five of India’s cricketers whose unorthodox style of play still sees them taste immense success.
#1 Virender Sehwag
He flashed and slashed, and that’s exactly how Virender Sehwag played. His aggressive approach was instrumental in India playing a brand of cricket that was alien to them.
For all the talk about his lack of footwork and his penetrable defense, the Nawab Najafgarh made up for it with his brisk shot-making and his perfect hand-eye coordination.
#2 Former India skipper MS Dhoni
There’s a scene in MS Dhoni’s biopic where his coach tells him to play less in the air, but it’s exactly what Dhoni continued to do. His signature helicopter shot was not part of what the coaches taught players, and Dhoni used it to good effect to not just dig the Yorker out, but also balloon it over long on for huge sixes.
His 10773 runs from 350 ODI matches show that Dhoni didn’t really need to play his cover drives or his on-drives. He had the timing to get into position and the strength to power the ball through in all parts of the ground.
#3 Rishabh Pant
It’s not a surprise anymore to see Rishabh Pant dance down the track and reach for a ball that’s going away from him, manage to get his bat to it and watch it sail over the rope after heaving with one hand.
It’s just Pant things, but he’s pretty much taken over Dhoni as one of the most unorthodox cricketers to make an impact for his team. While he’s just found his footing in international cricket, there’s no denying that Pant has been good at what he does, no matter how he does it.
#4 Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah’s action reminded Ishant Sharma of a scooter that’s revved up. That said, it’s that very same approach that’s made the bowler one of the deadliest in world cricket across formats.
It’s the angle and the short run-up that generates pace and swing for Bumrah as he manages to get the better of the batters at any point in the game. No one’s complaining how his actions are as long as they are legal and fetch his team wickets.