Virat Kohli is in the form of his life at the moment, having earned comparisons with legends like Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar after hitting his fourth century of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), becoming the first in the tournament’s to complete 4,000 runs.
While the comparisons might be justified due to his sheer brilliance and consistency, what makes his performances even more staggering is the fact that he has batted through an injury in his last two innings, both of which contributed towards victories for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as they marched to the second position in the IPL points table.
In the match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday, Kohli split the webbing on his left hand while diving in an attempt to take a catch. He was rushed off the field, but to everyone’s surprise, he was back soon with a bandaged webbing.
Not only did he come out to bat later that day, but also scored a match-winning 75 not out from 51 balls, forging a century stand with AB de Villiers to lead Bangalore to a nine-wicket win. Despite having stitches on his left hand, Kohli played in the next match as well. In a rain-curtailed 15-over game, Kohli smashed 113 off 50 balls, including 12 fours and eight sixes, to guide RCB to their third consecutive win and keep their playoff hopes alive.
While Kohli has scored heaps of runs right from the start in his career, this display of bravery has won the hearts of many. His passion and commitment towards his team and the game, leading from the front despite adversities earned him rare accolades. Kohli may have a plenty more to offer in a career that has barely its halfway mark, but this performance will surely be remembered as one of the current Indian Test skipper’s greatest moments.
The ‘Gentleman’s game’ does come with its share of injuries, many of which turn out to be career or even life-threatening, and a handful of which even end up being fatal. However, there are the tales of bravery scripted every now and then; cricket is full of instances that could provide the perfect fodder for an inspirational sports film.
Here are five other instances when cricketers defied serious injuries to walk out to the field and give it their all:
West Indies had managed to level the series in the third Test of the five-match series at Barbados, and the race to regain the series lead was more intense than ever.
India were put to bat by the hosts, and they managed to post 513 for nine courtesy centuries by VVS Laxman and wicketkeeper-batsman Ajay Ratra, along with half-centuries by Rahul Dravid and Wasim Jaffer.
However, the grim moment of the innings was when India’s leading leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who walked out to bat at No 7, and copped a nasty blow to his face off a Mervyn Dillon bouncer. He suffered a fractured jaw despite wearing a helmet. The scenes that followed were not exactly pleasant, as Kumble spat out blood, but he refused to be carried away, and continued to bat before eventually being dismissed by Dillon for a 17-ball six.
A fractured jaw would have forced the toughest of individuals to take a backseat and take some time to recover. However, Kumble unveiled the warrior in him when he chose to take the field with a bandaged face, resisting the pain. “I didn’t want to sit around,” is what Jumbo is believed to have replied with when asked about his intention behind taking such a risk, according to a report on ESPNCricinfo.
He went on to bowl 14 overs, and even got the wicket of Brian Lara, as West Indies were reduced to 135 for three while trailing the Indians by a shade under 400 runs. However, he had to fly off to his hometown Bangalore on the following day, and West Indies surpass India’s score, reach a score of 629 for nine, and eke out a draw.