For any athlete or player, especially in sports like cricket, football and basketball jersey number is significant. When talking about cricket, every cricketer is given a chance to pick their own numbers. If they do not mind random allocation, they are allotted one. Generally speaking, jersey number is more related to personal choice.
We all know, cricket is regarded as a game of numbers. In many ways, cricketers jersey number can define them, have deep meaning or even be integrated into their personal attachment. This makes cricketers a bit particular about their jersey numbers. On this note, we have gathered the backstories of Indian cricketers for selecting their jersey numbers. While some are extremely interesting, others are very unusual. Here is all about the Indian cricketer’s number game.
11Virat Kohli (18)
Let us begin with the captain of Indian cricket team. The run-machine Virat Kohli is currently one of the best batsmen in the world and has been wearing the number (18) since his Under-19 stint. The tale behind this number is heart-touching. It was his father Prem Kohli, who sent him in the game of cricket and it was his dream that his son will one day represent his nation. His father unfortunately passed away when he was only 18-years-old (December 18, 2006). Though his father never got to see his son play for the Indian national team but his memories are with his son who is ruling the world now with carrying number 18 on his back.
10MS Dhoni (7)
It is no surprise the ex-captain of India will come in the list. The jersey number 7 has become synonymous with MS Dhoni in India. And the story behind his selection of the number is that Dhoni was born on July 7. It is also been said that Mahi decided to have number 7 because of his love for Manchester United legend David Beckham who used to wear same number. Some reports also say that he believes in astrology too and he consulted an astrologer and found the number 7 suitable for him. Dhoni loves the number 7 so much that he even has a company by the name ‘Seven’!
9Rohit Sharma (45)
The Hit-Man and Vice-Captain of India joins the list too. Rohit Sharma was suggested to wear the jersey number 9. However, he didn’t want a single digit number before his mother picked the number 45 for him when he was playing for India U-19 in the 2006 World Cup. Moreover, 4 and 5 add up to 9 and so Rohit gladly accepted the number. Some reports states, his mother also chose 45 for him.
8Shikhar Dhawan (25)
Here comes the opening batsman of our team; the ‘Gabbar’ Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed fiery batsman has kept the number 25 seeing it being a lucky family number. The birthday of Dhawan’s daughter is also on the 25th, another important reason why he has kept the number. Shikhar’s batsman’s Twitter handle is also named as @SDhawan25.
7Dinesh Karthik (21)
This is one of the interesting number game. He once uploaded an Instagram story asking cricket lovers to ask questions. One curious fan asked Dinesh Karthik the secret behind wearing 21 behind his back. The wicket-keeper batsman replied saying it’s his wife’s date of birth and hence he sports the number in his limited-overs jersey. Time and again the wicket-keeper batsman has showered praises for his wife – Dipika Pallikal, who is one of the finest squash players around the globe.
6Hardik Pandya (228)
The new sensation all-rounder Hardik Pandya wears number 228. The young gun has kept 228 since this happens to be his highest score in an Under-16 tournament organised by the BCCI once. He was the skipper of Baroda U-16 side and his team was reeling at 23/4, chasing a 350 plus score. He went on to score a massive 228 in that match and helped his side to taste the victory. From that moment, Hardik has chosen to wear 228.
Ravindra Jadeja (12)
Sir Ravindra Jadeja has been on and off from the Indian cricket team but is considered as one of the important all-rounder for the team. Though Jadeja’s lucky number is 12 he was not given the same because Yuvraj Singh was wearing 12 at that time. He chose 8 and still continues with the same number. He selected because his birthdate is 6/12/1988 and the grand total of that is 6+12+1+9+8+8 = 44. 4+4 = 8. Interesting fact: Jaddu made his ODI debut on February 8, 2009.
5Kuldeep Yadav (23)
The fact that Shane Warne is Kuldeep Yadav‘s life-long idol is no secret. The chinaman has in the past spoken very highly of Warne’s influence in his bowling. Shane Warne represented 23 on his back when he donned yellow jersey (Australian cricket team). It is been reported that this might be the reason for Kuldeep to choose 23 as his lucky number.
4Prithvi Shaw (100)
Prithvi’s special love for ‘100’ emerged after he won India U19 World Cup last year. The reason behind jersey number 100 of Prithvi Shaw is not any superstition. When asked about this number he replied, “I like this number, ‘hundred’ makes me feel like my surname Shaw. That’s why I wear 100 number jersey.
3Rahul Dravid (19)
The Wall of Indian cricket; Rahul Dravid is in the list too. When asked about Rahul Dravid’s choice of jersey number, the legend responded that number 19 is the best way for him to remember his wife’s birthday. It was once reported that Jammy changed his Jersey number to 19 after a numerologist suggested him.
2Sourav Ganguly (99)
The Dada of Indian cricket changed his jersey numbers for three times in his career. Sourav Ganguly interestingly adopted the number 1 from Sachin Tendulkar and later 99 after Sachin chose to change his number to 10. Eventually Sourav chose number 24 as his jersey number in 2003. This also has something to do with astrology.
1Sachin Tendulkar (10)
This list is incomplete without the ‘God of cricket’. Sachin Tendulkar’s jersey number has been kept reserved by BCCI and no player will be assigned with number 10. Sachin started his career with jersey number 99, but changed it soon to 10. Tendulkar faced several issues in his early career, which could have further disrupted his latter games. It was in these times when an astrologer suggested him an alternate number. It was 10 and his game went through a enormous revolution as he started to wear the number. Also, the number matches with his surname, which starts with ‘Ten’.
Tony Adams, an English football player turned coach rightly said, “Play for the name on the front of the shirt and they will remember the one on the back.” The fans develop interest to collect and savour the stories and incidents that happen on and off the field. Now, choose your favourite number and get printed on your tee now!