As the renowned phrase goes, “The road to greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to overcome adversity and failure.” The saying goes well with sportspersons including cricketers. No cricketer’s career has ever sailed through without any setbacks or injuries. The greatest stories are written only when the player rises from the setbacks and packs a punch.
Over the years, we have come across many cricketers whose careers have been pushed back due to injuries. With the hectic cricketing schedule these days, the injuries have become more pertinent.
However, despite the struggle with injuries, some players have emerged as champions in their careers, making a courageous comeback for their teams. In this article, we take a look at the five best comebacks from injury in Indian cricket history.
5 best comebacks from injury in Indian cricket history.
#5 Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi is regarded as one of India’s greatest cricketers to have ever captained India. Known for his fearless attitude, he earned the title of Tiger from experts and fans. His career was hit by a blow early in his life, however, it did not stop him from achieving his dream.
Pataudi lost his right eye in a car accident at the age of 20. However, he kept playing cricket while sporting a glass eye and even captained India at the international level. He played 46 Test matches, scoring 2793 runs at an average of 34.91, with six centuries.
Under Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s leadership, India won nine matches out of 40, and 19 ended in a draw. He played his last Test in 1975 against West Indies at home. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi breathed his last on 22 September 2011.
#4 Sachin Tendulkar
Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is probably one of the best to have ever played the game. During his illustrious 22-year-old career, he has witnessed several ups and downs. One such was the time when he suffered a tennis elbow injury in 2004, which resulted in him missing out on a majority of matches.
Sachin Tendulkar’s injury had aggravated to such an extent that he could even lift his bat, and leave playing the sport. Many believed it was the end of the legendary cricketer He returned to playing however, the injury again resurfaced a few months late. However, Sachin never gave up and made a fantastic comeback from his injury.
The right-handed batter underwent surgery in London, and following successful rehab made a stunning comeback against Sri Lanka in October. Since then he has never looked back and finished his career with a whopping 100 centuries for India across formats at the international level.
#3 Zaheer Khan
Indian pacer Zaheer Khan’s career was hampered by injuries throughout. However, he always took the setbacks in his stride and made successful comebacks time and again for his team. During his time, Zaheer used to shoulder the responsibility of the Indian bowling attack.
However, due to frequent injuries, on lost his place on the team. But, every time the pacer was out, he made sure he got back into the team even with a stronger comeback. Even during 2008, Zaheer suffered a series of shoulder injuries. However, he made it back to the team and performed brilliantly, playing a key role in India’s 2011 World Cup win.
Zaheer Khan announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket on 15 October 2015. In his 309 International matches career, he has taken 610 wickets at an average of 31.14, including thirty-five hauls five-wickets haul, and one ten-wicket haul.
#2 Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble is regarded as the greatest match-winner to have ever played for India. He is the leading wicket-taker for the country in Test matches with 619 wickets at an average of 29.65. includes kits tally includes thirty-five five wicket-hauls and eight ten-wicket hauls in the format.
During the 2000 tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, Anil Kumble injured his shoulder. The severity of the injury was such surgery underwent surgery to fix the shoulder. He was out of action for a few months. However, during this time, other spinners, including Harbhajan Singh grabbed their chances and did well for India.
Anil Kumble was dropped from the Indian team, as Harbhajan had taken over as the first-choice spinner for overseas Tests. However, an injury to Harbhajan gave Kumble’s career a second wind. Anil Kumble picked 24 wickets in 3 Tests with an impressive 12-wicket haul at the SCG in his comeback series.
#1 Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya’s career so far has also been ridden with injuries. His biggest battle was with his back injury as it constantly pegged him back. It hampered his ability to bowl long spells in cricket. The all-rounder did not bowl consistently for a few years, undergoing surgery to fix his back.
Hardik was dropped from the Indian team and even the Mumbai Indians did not retain him at the Indian Premier League 2022 auctions. He was taken back by his team’s decision to let go of him. However, Hardik’s fortunes changed, when the Gujarat Titans picked him through the drafts and made him the captain of their side.
The added responsibility on his shoulders proved to work wonders for the all-rounder. Hardik performed well with both the bat and the ball and led his team to the Indian Premier League 2022 title. He also earned a comeback into the Indian team following his all-rounder exploits in the league. Heading into the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, the all-rounder will be one of the players to watch out for.