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5 Indian cricketers who can be in the armed forces

Indian cricketers, like most sportsmen around the world, are known for representing their country with pride. Thanks to their brilliant contributions, some of them were honored with honors off the field. This is not just limited to winning civil honors like Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

A number of big names from Indian cricket have also served in the armed forces and earned honorary ranks. CK Nayudu was given the honor of colonel in Holkar’s army in 1923. Hemu Adhikari was a lieutenant colonel who also served in the Indian Army during World War II.

Looking at recent examples, the legendary Kapil Dev joined the Indian Territorial Army in 2008 and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by the then Army Chief of Staff. Sachin Tendulkar was the first sportsman to be made an honorary group captain in the Indian Air Force.

Former Captain of India MS Dhoni holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Territorial Army. He even had a brief stint with the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment in Jammu and Kashmir.

The awarding of honorary ranks in the armed forces to athletes is one way to recognize their contribution. It is also a means of encouraging more people to join the forces. Athletes themselves can do a small part to boost soldiers’ morale.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five current Indian cricketers whose achievements and distinctive qualities could earn them a place in the armed forces in the future.


#1 Rohit Sharma

Team India captain Rohit Sharma. Image: Getty Images
Team India captain Rohit Sharma. Image: Getty Images

Aside from being a legendary white batsman, India’s all-format captain Rohit Sharma is also known for his calm and composed demeanor as a leader. He has represented India with distinction since his international debut in 2007.

Among his amazing list of records is that he was the only batsman to hit three double hundreds in one-day cricket. Rohit has also achieved the most tons (4) in T20I cricket and is also the leading run-getter in that format.

In July of that year, he set a record by becoming the first captain to win 13 consecutive T20Is. As skipper, he has guided the Mumbai Indians (MI) to five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles, the most of any leader at the tournament.


#2 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has produced amazing numbers in international cricket. Image: Getty Images
Virat Kohli has produced amazing numbers in international cricket. Image: Getty Images

Virat Kohli may be struggling for runs lately, but in the decade from 2009 to 2019 he was one of the top all-format batters in international cricket. He’s scored runs all over the world, in all sorts of conditions and against the best attacks.

He may not have managed to win an ICC trophy as captain, but Kohli ended his lead as India’s most successful Test captain by numbers – 40 wins in 68 games. He was also the first Indian skipper to win a Test series in Australia.

Aside from his amazing records, Kohli is also known for his infectious aggression. While many questioned his over-the-top antics, his passion played a large part in his success as both a batsman and leader.


#3 Ravichandran Ashwin

Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Image: Getty Images
Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Image: Getty Images

Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker for India in Test matches among current players. In 86 Tests, he has claimed 442 wickets at an outstanding 24.13 average with 30 five-fers and seven 10-wicket match hauls.

Only Anil Kumble (619) has claimed more test wickets for the country in the format. Ashwin also has five test scores to his name. The 35-year-old also has a decent record in white ball cricket. The offie picked up 151 wickets in 113 ODIs and 64 scalps in 54 T20Is.

Aside from his outstanding stats, Ashwin has made a name for himself as a fighter. He has made a comeback multiple times after being written off. He’s like a soldier on the cricket field who doesn’t believe in surrender.


#4 Jasper Bumrah

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah during the one day series in England. Image: Getty Images
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah during the one day series in England. Image: Getty Images

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah is undoubtedly India’s No. 1 bowler in all three formats of the game. He started his career as a white ball specialist but has worked his way up the ladder fairly quickly. Bumrah even captained India at the rescheduled Test in Birmingham earlier this year after Rohit was ruled out due to COVID-19.

The 28-year-old has won 128 wickets in 30 Tests with an average of 21.99 with eight fives. Incredibly, seven of those five-wicket hauls have come from home. His limited overs stats are equally impressive – 121 wickets in 72 ODIs at an average of 24.30 and 69 scalps in 58 T20Is at a brilliant economy rate of 6.46.

#On this day On March 9th, 2010, Sachin Tendulkar was appointed as the 1st athlete to become the honorary captain of the IAF group 🙏

When Bumrah started his international career, many pundits and former cricketers felt his career would not last long due to his unconventional bowling action, which made him prone to injury. However, Boom Boom continued to work hard on his bowling skills and the critics were automatically silenced.


#5 Rishabh Pants

Rishabh Pant has played some great shots in international cricket. Image: Getty Images
Rishabh Pant has played some great shots in international cricket. Image: Getty Images

Yes, these are still very early days in Rishabh Pant’s international career. But there’s no denying that if he continues to develop as he has so far, he can be a candidate for an honorary rank in the armed forces.

Just 24 years old, Pant has hit some incredible shots in his short Test career, and that too in extremely challenging conditions, in difficult circumstances away from home. He has 2123 runs in 31 Tests with an average of 43.32. Of his five Test hundreds, two were scored in England, one in Australia and one in South Africa. He also has a brutal 97 at Sydney and the epic 89* at Gabba.

The left-hander is still establishing itself in white ball cricket. He recently showed a touch of brilliance during his 125 unbeaten run in a must-ODI win over England in Manchester. Pant comes across as a quick learner and is incredibly mature for someone who is often perceived as a reckless rentboy.


Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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Linh

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