It had been a privilege to watch Virender Sehwag's triple century against Pakistan in 2004, the first by any Indian in Tests. Image Credit: AFP

Many famous cricket coaches have pointed out that one of the ways to improve one’s game is just by watching great cricketers in action. England captain Joe Root reveals he is watching the documentary series about Australia retaining the Ashes in England last summer.

Watching great cricketing moments can lift one’s spirits during this gloomy phase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That could be one of the reasons why Star Sports is planning to telecast the classic India-Pakistan World Cup matches from April 4. To become a hero in an India-Pakistan match is the dream of every cricketer from the two countries. By watching the telecast, irrespective of who won or lost, one can get motivated to work hard after this crisis ends and become great cricketers.

Sixteen years ago on March 29, 2004, it became a special day in Indian cricket history when Virender Sehwag became the first batsman to hit a triple century in Test cricket. As a reporter, being able to report that innings from Multan, it will always remain special to me.

Pakistan’s victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, thanks to Fakhar Zaman’s century and Mohammad Amir’s three-wicket spell would be a nice moment for Pakistan fans to recall. Both countries have their World Cup triumphs too to cherish and recall. It is a special feeling to meet a cricketer after their heroic act: like when I met Sehwag in Multan and Zaman after the Champions Trophy win at the Oval ground.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir's three-wicket haul against India in the 2017 Champions Trophy was a treat to watch. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Many youngsters watching them at The Oval and Multan would have dreamt of becoming heroes like them one day. Watching excerpts of these matches can inspire anyone, especially when one is forced to stay home to combat the COVID-19 virus. This is a time to break the chain of the virus, but not your dreams.

Budding cricketers should watch how great pacers wreck opposition teams. Very few may remember that the legendary New Zealand allrounder Richard Hadlee had bowled at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It gave many goosebumps to see him swing the ball while taking the wickets of W.V. Raman, Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri in the 1988 Sharjah Cup.

This is the time to watch videos of legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Fortunately, videos of Viv Richards’s knocks are available on YouTube. Even if one cannot produce strokes like Richards, the style and swagger with which he batted while chewing gum in his mouth and chewing the bowlers are inspiring.

It is also important to watch matches that ended in a ‘tie’ that teaches why every run is so vital. Hence, watching great cricket contests are like inspirational books, especially during this period of crisis.

Books can also be inspiring, especially biographies of great cricketers and the challenges they handled to become greats. It can give the much required mental boost to take on the challenges ahead, not only for cricketers - but fans too.