If you are a fan of Indian cricket, then the first semi-final of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is not something that you would want to watch again. Arguably the best team in the competition led by the prolific Virat Kohli were off their mark as New Zealand registered a deserving win to make it to their second World Cup final on the bounce.

While there’s no doubt that the likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Matt Henry were the standout performers in the fixture, but none came close to contributing the way a certain Ravindra Jadeja did. Labelled as a ‘bits and pieces player’ by cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar a few days back, the Indian all-rounder showed why he was much more than that. An economical effort with the ball that saw him give away just 34 in his 10 overs for a wicket was accompanied with some mind-blowing fielding on Monday. And on Tuesday when India came out to bat — this after persistent showers had pushed the match into the reserve day — the Saurashtra man came up with a staggering effort with the bat to take India mighty close to a win.

Though the win didn’t come his way, his celebration — the famous ‘sword swing’, where he swings his bat like a ‘Rajput’ swings the sword in a battlefield — and the subsequent gesture did make the headlines. This, however, was not the first time that a player used performance as a fitting reply. We look at a few instances from the past that caught people’s eye.

Go fetch that!!

This has to be one of the prominent memories from the 1996 World Cup. Up against their arch-rivals India in the quarterfinals in Bengaluru, Amir Sohail was going hammer and tongs against the Indian bowlers as the Pakistanis seemed to ease their way to the 288-run target set by India.

This is when he came up against Venkatesh Prasad. Sohail showed no remorse as he smacked Prasad for a boundary of his first ball, and then to intimidate the bowler, gestured him to go get the ball from the ropes. Though Prasad maintained his cool and walked back to his runup spot, barely did anyone know what the man from Karnataka had in store. Attempting to pull a length ball over his mid-on, Sohail missed the line and saw his castle destroyed. And to add to the misery, Prasad ensured that his counterpart was sent-off in a befitting way.

Signed and delivered

The Caribbean know how to party. So, it’s never a surprise if that party spirit spills over to the cricket field. A few years ago in the Caribbean Premier League, Chadwick Walton playing for the Guyana Amazon was the one returning the favour to Jamaica Tallawahs’ Kesrick Williams.

It started with Williams bringing out a unique way to celebrate his wickets. It would seem like the pacer was noting down their name in an imaginary notebook after dismissing the batsmen. So, when Walton got an opportunity, he paid it back by making gestures as if he was noting down his name after every boundary he took of Williams’ deliveries.


There’s nothing that can top this one. It was the first time that the world was witnessing an ICC competition in its newest format, and if it were to be as promised by the promoters, the 2007 ICC Cricket World T20 needed more than just nail-biting finishes. And this extra spice was provided by India’s Yuvraj Singh.

In a crunch match against England at Durban, it was Andrew Flintoff who instigated the silent assassin with some provoking words. Though the Punjab man tried to go toe-to-toe with Flintoff, he was stopped by the umpire. What next? Yuvraj went berserk with the bat in the following over and blasted Stuart Broad for six sixes in the over.

Feature image courtesy: AFP Photo/ Oli Scarff