Cricket is a highly competitive sport where players are constantly trying to gain an edge, both physically and mentally, over their opponents.
Part of this battle involves verbal confrontations on the field as players try to unsettle each other through sledging and psychological tactics.
While most exchanges remain good-natured banter, there have been several memorable instances where Indian cricketers have used outstanding on-field performances to exact revenge on opponents who crossed the line.
Today we will list 10 most iconic moments when Indian players took revenge through their cricket skills after being sledged or provoked by the opposition
10. Notable moments
Before moving to our exact list we found countless revenge moments which cannot include in our article, as its a top 10 so we condensed some other hilarious moments into this one. For example, Zaheer Khan’s fiery spell to dismiss Ricky Ponting after being sledged in the 2003 World Cup, Irfan Pathan’s hat-trick to dismiss Sri Lanka after a verbal spat, and Jasprit Bumrah’s yorkers to dismiss James Anderson after some words during the 2018 England tour. These performances show that the Indian team never shies away from responding strongly to verbal provocation on the field.
9. Virender Sehwag vs Shoaib Akhtar (2003 Centurion Test)
During India’s tour of Pakistan in 2003, Sehwag was involved in a verbal exchange with Akhtar after being hit on the helmet by a ferocious bouncer. In the following Test in Centurion, Akhtar tried to intimidate Sehwag with short-pitched bowling but the Indian opener went on the attack. Sehwag smashed Akhtar and the Pakistani bowlers all around the park in a breathtaking knock of 195. His belligerent innings on a difficult pitch played a crucial role in India’s victory in the test match and helped India register their first-ever Test win in South Africa and underlined his mental strength.
8. Zaheer Khan vs Brett Lee (2003 Adelaide Test)
When India toured Australia in 2003, Brett Lee was at the peak of his powers and constantly peppered the Indian batsmen with fiery short balls. In the second innings of the Adelaide Test, Zaheer Khan came out to bat with his team in trouble. Lee banged one short at Zaheer, who rocked back and pulled him powerfully over midwicket for a six. The big hit stunned the Aussies and swung the momentum. Zaheer’s counter-punch heroics inspired India to a famous win, announcing his arrival as a gritty all-rounder.
7. Sourav Ganguly vs Stuart Broad (2007 England Tour)
During India’s tour of England in 2007, young England bowler Stuart Broad tried to unsettle Sourav Ganguly with his words after being hit for a boundary.
On the next ball, Ganguly rocked back and smashed Broad straight back over his head for a massive six.
The shot instantly silenced Broad and boosted the morale of the Indian team.
Under Ganguly’s inspirational leadership, India went on to register their first series win in England after 21 years, demonstrating the value of his brave counter-attack.
6. Harbhajan Singh vs Shoaib Akhtar (2002 Asia Cup)
A fierce on-field rivalry had developed between Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar by the 2002 Asia Cup. During an India-Pakistan group match, the two had a heated verbal exchange.
The on-field argument between Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar added fuel to the already intense India-Pakistan match.
Harbhajan, however, had the last laugh as he dismissed Akhtar and Inzamam-ul-Haq, playing a crucial role in India’s victory.
His double-strike under pressure proved that he was no less tough than the Pakistani pacers. Harbhajan’s key wickets helped India win a crucial match and he emerged as a bowler who could deliver when the stakes were highest.
5. MS Dhoni vs Andrew Flintoff (2006 Mumbai ODI)
Andrew Flintoff managed to hit Dhoni on the helmet with a bouncer and followed it up with some words.
An angry exchange followed between the two, with Flintoff making some choice comments.
For the very next ball Dhoni, known for his cool and calm demeanor was ready for revenge. When Flintoff dug one short again, Dhoni rocked back and pulled him powerfully for a six.
The boundary shot silenced Flintoff and signaled that the young Indian wicketkeeper had gained immense confidence and temperament to match the best in international cricket. It was one of Dhoni’s first real statements with the bat.
4. Sachin Tendulkar vs Glenn McGrath (1999 Chennai Test)
Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath was dominating Indian batting for over a decade, taking Tendulkar’s wicket 19 times.
In the second Test of the 1999 series in Chennai, Tendulkar unusually decided to even score with McGrath, telling him “It’s my time to return the compliment.”
Tendulkar then played one of the greatest counter-attacking innings of his career, smashing McGrath all over the park and remaining unbeaten on 136 to help India set a target of 383.
Though Australia won the match, Tendulkar’s innings unsettled McGrath’s rhythm and established that even the best could be intimidated. It underlined Tendulkar’s mental fortitude and skills under pressure.
3. S Sreesanth vs Andre Nel (2006 Johannesburg Test)
During an India tour of South Africa, fast bowler Andre Nel aggressively sledged Indian bowler S Sreesanth, making personal remarks about his family.
Sreesanth kept his cool but was seething inside. In the following Test match in Johannesburg, Nel dismissed Sreesanth cheaply in the first innings.
However, in the second innings with India needing quick runs, Sreesanth took revenge by launching Nel for four massive sixes in one over.
His pyrotechnics swung the momentum and helped India pull off an improbable win. It showed that Indian players were much tougher than their international opponents.
2. Yuvraj Singh’s 6 sixes against England (2007 T20 World Cup)
The argument between Yuvraj Singh and Andrew Flintoff served as the precursor to one of the most iconic moments in T20 cricket. An angry Yuvraj went on to hit six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad, becoming the first player to achieve this feat in a T20 international. Each six was a display of pure timing and power, leaving the spectators and the cricketing world in awe.
1. Venkatesh Prasad sends off Aamir Sohail (1996 World Cup)
One of the most famous incidents occurred in the high-pressure quarterfinal of the 1996 World Cup against Pakistan.
After hitting Venkatesh Prasad for a boundary, Sohail pointed his bat towards the boundary, indicating that he would hit the next ball in the same direction or something like “look this is how we do it”.
However, Prasad had the last laugh as he clean bowled Sohail on the very next delivery, sending him off with a memorable gesture.
Prasad’s fiery send-off pumped up the Indian team and crowd, and they went on to win the crucial encounter. The dismissal is considered one of the most memorable moments in World Cup history and highlighted that Indian players would not tolerate any acts of arrogance.