It was 1997. India, playing against archrivals Pakistan in the Independence Cup final, was chasing a mammoth 315 run target. Eventually the equation came down to 9 runs from 6 balls with 3 wickets. Now in the zamana of T20, 9 off 6 is child’s play even for Ashish Nehra with one arm tied behind his back. But let me remind you, this was 1997. India rarely ever made totals this big; in fact this big a total had never been chased. It looked like the same would be the case, as India needed 3 runs of 2 balls with an inexperienced left-hander on strike. Saqlain came in and bowled a short one and BAM! The rookie clubbed him to the mid-wicket fence for four! I’m sure at that point he didn’t know what it meant, but the young lad who struck those winning runs, was virtually guaranteed a spot in the Indian team for the next one year solely on the basis of that boundary. I like to refer to this peculiar Indian tendency as ‘The Kanitkar Phenomenon’.
Ten years later in 2007, the phenomenon resurfaced again. And HOW! This time it was The Great Khali! He gallantly marched into the ring and knocked The Undertaker out cold with his dhai kilo tonne ka haat. Bas since then, he’s been on the Breaking News bulletins on Aaj Tak, India TV and Star News thanks to that one tagda blow!
It really pains me to see Khali achieve such dizzying heights while other great Indian wrestlers languish on the sidelines. What’s that you say? There aren’t any other ‘Great Indian Wrestlers’? Yeah right! Prepare to be shocked baccha log. Here I present to you, The Great Khali se bhi great wrestlers in India:
1) The Great Thali: Hailing from Kathiawad, Gujarat, this behemoth savours challenges like dhokla and undhyu! Weighing in at 250 kg, he can beat the best in the business to aam ras in a matter of seconds. His signature move is the Dandiya Wrath in which spins four times before striking the opponent on the head with a stick
Achievements: The Great Thali is the Udipi Wrestling Federation (UWF) Champion for the last 3 years.
2) The Great Bengali: He is the hunk from Howrah with Bengal tiger like reflexes and a complexion as fair as a rasgulla. His motto is Torbo (To break), Lorbo (To fight), Pitbo (To beat). Thanks to his good looks he has received a lot of Bengali as well Hindi movie offers off late.
Rumours: Around April this year, Kal Tak found semi-nude pictures of The Great Bengali with scantily clad, foreign cheerleading girls on hoodibaba.com, these reports however are yet to be confirmed.
3)The Great Idli: They call him the Dakhsin Devil. This 6’10, 230 kg Malayalee monster is the second heaviest wrestler in the UWF. He gobbles up competition like the 35 idlis that he has for breakfast everyday. Despite his enormous girth, he is one of the most agile wrestlers in the business. He is known to back-flip from the mat to the top rope in a Rajnikant-esque manner.
Achievements: The Great Idli has never lost a casket match…because there isn’t a casket big and strong enough to hold him!
4)The Great Mali: Previously a gardener by profession, The Great Mali is adept at taking care of all kinds of ‘Obnoxious Little Weeds’. Not afraid to speak his mind, he calls a spade a spade. His signature is The Fertilizer where the slams his opponent face down on a pile of horse manure!
Rumors: They say that The Great Mali once killed a man by throwing a flower pot on his head!