‘United we stand-Divide we fall’ doesn’t hold more appropriately if not in a team sport specially one like Cricket. If a piece of individual brilliance can effectively turn the tide, a hand in a partnership or a ‘one-two’ could do wonders toward the side’s consequences. A Gordan Greenidge or a Rahul Dravid’s contributions towards a team’s causes are often part of fairy-tale scripted victories, while a Vivian Richards or Sachin Tendulkar might actually walk away with almost all the honours in such a win.
2015 has seen individuals make their mark. The Williamsons and the Warners have made giant strides, but the Rahanes or Tom Lathams have come of their own with contributing to the ‘team cause’ being the uppermost thing in their head. Here’s a look at such performances of 2015.
Cheteshwar Pujara (India Vs South Africa, Mohali)
The first of the Freedom trophy tests at Mohali was played on a relatively hard wicket with no real demons in it, but the Indian batting capitulation in the first innings meant that the onus was on their bowlers and the batsmen (in the second innings) to deliver to pull out a result. The bowlers did their job, but only just to eek out a slender run lead.
Then in the second innings, the wicket actually became dry and the conditions proved tough. Pujara joined Vijay at 9/1 and trodded along, slow and steady compiling a hard fought 77. Pujara’s knock may not be the biggest in terms of runs but was of top quality. The spinners eventually ran South Africa through to give India a comfortable 108 run victory, but the run cushion (target) was delivered to them by a special knock by Cheteshwar Pujara.