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MS Dhoni vs Gautam Gambhir gets fresh ammunition after ex-India star fires shots at ‘hero worship culture’

Praveen Kumar, who missed the 2011 World Cup due to an injury, said it is not possible for an individual to win an entire tournament in cricket.

The Gautam Gambhir vs MS Dhoni debate got fresh ammunition after former India pacer Praveen Kumar supported Gambhir’s “hero worship culture” comments about Indian cricket. Gambhir has been quite vocal against the celebration of certain individuals way more than the team’s achievements in Indian cricket, which he believes is instilled in the fans by social media and the broadcasters.

MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir

“India needs to come out of this hero worship. Whether it’s Indian cricket, whether it’s politics, whether it’s Delhi cricket. We have to stop worshipping heroes. The only thing that we need to worship is Indian cricket, or for that matter Delhi or India. Who created that? It is created by two things. First, by social media followers, which is probably the fakest thing in this country. Second, by the media and the broadcasters,” Gambhir had said.

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The former India opener, who top-scored for India in the 2011 World Cup final with a scintillating 97-run knock when Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were dismissed early in the stiff run chase against Sri Lanka, still can’t understand why then-captain MS Dhoni is given all the credit for winning the World Cup for India. Gambhir said Dhoni’s match-winning six, which has been immortalised by fans and experts alike, was not the only reason why India won the 2011 World Cup.

Praveen Kumar agreed with Gambhir. “Gautam bhai is absolutely right,” Kumar told journalist Shubhankar Mishra on his YouTube channel.

Kumar, who missed the 2011 World Cup due to an injury, hailed Player of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh, India’s highest wicket-taker of that tournament, Zaheer Khan and said it was a team effort.

“This is not wrestling or any other individual sport. One man cannot win you a match. Yuvraj Singh had taken 15 wickets, scored so many runs. Zaheer Khan took 21 wickets. Gautam Gambhir scored runs in 2007 and 2011 finals. Dhoni scored runs in 2011 finals. A team wins only when at least three of its batters are in form and at least two bowlers are picking wickets. Be it a Test, ODI or T20I. One player can’t win you tournaments,” he said.

Kumar, who represented India in 6 Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is picking up 27, 77 and 8 wickets respectively, said the culture of worshipping individuals has been there in Indian cricket for a long time.

“The hero culture has always been there in Indian cricket. I think it’s been there since 1980s. This is a wrong tendency. Cricketers at times become bigger than cricket. The one who has more brand support gets more limelight,” he added.


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