New Delhi: Chetan Sharma, former India all-rounder was the first Indian player to claim an ODI hat-trick way back in 1987 against New Zealand. Just a couple of days back India youngster Kuldeep Yadav, joined ex-India player in the elite league. Chetan feels that Virat Kohli should have shared his man-of-the-match award with Yadav for his brilliant effort.
"I got the man-of-the-match award along with Sunil Gavaskar, who scored his only ODI hundred in the same match (India v New Zealand in the 1987 World Cup at Nagpur). I was happy to share the man-of-the-match award with the legend. Here too, there should have been a joint man-of-the-match award — Kuldeep and Kohli," Chetan told Mid-day.
"Kohli is scoring runs often but a hat-trick comes once in a while. The last hat-trick by an Indian in ODI cricket was Kapil Dev's which he bagged in 1991 — 26 years ago," he added.
At the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground in Nagpur, the Kiwis were restricted to 221 for nine with Chetan returning figures of 10-2-51-3. He delivered three different deliveries to clean bowl Ken Rutherford (26), Ian Smith (0) and Ewen Chatfield (0).
India achieved their target in the 33rd over with Gavaskar scoring an 88-ball 103 not out despite running a temperature. K Srikkanth scored 75 while Mohd Azharuddin stayed unbeaten with 41 in the nine-wicket win.
Chetan remembered the little master's encouragement. "Gavaskar advised me to keep my cool. The first wicket I got (Rutherford) was through an off-cutter. The wicket was very slow yet Chatfield was playing with a helmet on. Watching Chatfield, Kapil Dev told me, 'Aare ye to dar se kap raha hai' (he is scared) and I bowled him through his legs."
The Haryana player was delighted for India's new hero. "Kuldeep is a match-winner. After bowling his first spell he came back to bag a hat-trick. He did a creditable job as bowlers were finding it difficult to grip the ball. Yet, he forced the batsmen to commit errors," concluded Chetan.