Who can forget that six from the legendary India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara that helped India lift their second ICC World Cup trophy in 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Three years later, a similar six was hit at the same venue, and although one would argue that it didn’t have the same significance as winning a world title, it sure caught the imagination of every Indian Premier League (IPL) fan, especially the Mumbai Indians family.
Wicket-keeper batsman Aditya Tare’s claim to fame in Indian cricket was his last ball six off the bowling of James Faulkner of the Rajasthan Royals that helped Mumbai qualify for the play-offs in the 2014 edition of the cash-rich league. And now after four years and stints with two different teams in the IPL, Tare is back to the holy ground of Wankhede where it all began for the swashbuckling right-hander.
On the day, Mumbai Indians batted second and were chasing a formidable target of 190 that the Rajasthan Royals had set them for a place in the knock-out stages of the competition. Mumbai finished fourth that season, as Kolkata Knight Riders went onto the win the competition. The Mumbai Indians were beaten by the Chennai Super Kings.
Speaking to MI TV in an exclusive chat, Tare fondly recalls the sixer and says the memories are fresh in his mind, “There was a lot of discussion about what to bowl and what field to set. But James Faulkner missed the line and he bowled at my legs. I just picked it up and hit the middle of the bat fortunately and went for a six.”
“I had absolutely creamed the ball,” recollects Tare.
For the Mumbai Indians, the Wankhede stadium is very important and they bank heavily on the backing they get from the vociferous and vocal crowd whenever they play at home. Often, it is just the catalyst they need to turn their form around after a bad start to the season – a trend that has seemingly now become a tradition.
Aditya Tare has not had the chances to impress and show off his talent in front of an expectant Wankhede, and for now his moment of glory from 2014 which is etched in the minds of every Mumbai Indians fan will have to do.