As just-married Virat Kohli embarks on a crucial tour of South Africa later this month, mid-day takes a look at how other famous India cricketers fared in their first international series as hubbies
Sunil Gavaskar & Marshneil (September 1974)
2 Tests v West Indies, Runs: 108, Centuries: 0, Highest: 86
Soon after marriage, Sunil Gavaskar was unfortunate to miss three Tests against the West Indies after playing the first Test in Bangalore in the five-match series. He scored just 14 in the first innings and was dismissed for a duck in the second essay. He missed the next three matches after being hit on his finger by a Pandurang Salgoancar delivery during a first-class match. He scored 86 in the first innings of the fifth Test in Mumbai and was dismissed for eight in the second essay as India lost the match by 201 runs, and with it, the series 2-3.
Kapil Dev & Romi Bhatia (May 1981)
6 Tests v England, Runs: 318, Centuries: 1, Highest: 116, Wickets: 22, Best: 6-91
Kapil Dev’s first Test series after marriage was against England at home. He got a fifer in the first Test at Mumbai where India won. Kapil ended the series with 318 runs. His 22 wickets in the series included two fifers. It was a boring series, but a memorable one for the newly-married Kapil.
Ravi Shastri & Ritu Singh (March 1990)
3 Tests v England, Runs: 336, Centuries: 2, Highest: 187
Ravi Shastri scored two centuries in a three-match Test series in England soon after tying the knot. He scored his maiden Test century at Lord’s. But his brilliance faded in front of England skipper Graham Gooch’s 333 as the hosts won the first Test by a massive 247-run margin. Shastri failed in the second drawn Test in Manchester, scoring 25 and 12 respectively, but thereafter made up for it in the third match at the Oval, scoring 187. The match ended in a draw. India went on to lose the series 0-1.
Sachin Tendulkar & Anjali (May 1995)
3 Tests v New Zealand, Runs: 58, Centuries: 0, Highest: 52*
It was a mixed bag for India icon Sachin Tendulkar. He failed against New Zealand in Bangalore, the Master Blaster scored four in the first essay and did not get an opportunity to bat in the second innings. He remained unbeaten on zero as India won the game by eight wickets. Tendulkar scored 52 not out in the rain-marred second Test which lasted for just 71.1 overs. He was dismissed for a mere two in the third Test at Cuttack.
Mohammed Azharuddin & Naureen (1987); Sangeeta Bijlani (November 1996)
7 matches during 1987 World Cup, Runs: 190, Centuries: 0, Highest: 64; 3 Tests v SA in 1996: Runs: 388, Centuries: 2, Highest: 163*
Azharuddin divorced his first wife Naureen who he married in 1987. In 1996, he married Bollywood actor Sangeeta Bijlani. He had a mixed bag in the 1987 World Cup, scoring 190 in seven matches. The second marriage though proved lucky for him as he went on to score two centuries in the Test series against South Africa after failing in the first Test
Sourav Ganguly & Dona Roy (February 1997)
4 Tests v West Indies, Runs: 78, Centuries: 0, Highest: 42
Sourav Ganguly scored 42 in the first innings v West Indies at Kingston soon after his marriage. He did not get to bat in the second essay of the drawn Test. He then scored six in the second Test, while scoring 22 and eight in the third. He did not get to bat in the fourth Test in Antigua which began on Day Four due to rain.
Anil Kumble & Chethana Ramatheertha (July 1999)
3 Tests v NZ, Wkts: 20, Best: 6-67
Anil Kumble produced one of the most brilliant performances of his career, soon after marriage. He won the Player of the Series award in the three-match Test series v New Zealand. The leg-spinner claimed four wickets in the first match. He rattled the Kiwis’ batsmen in the second Test to claim his third 10-wicket haul, and handed India an eight-wicket win. Kumble claimed six wickets in the third Test.
Rahul Dravid & Vijeta Pendharkar (May 2003)
2 Tests v New Zealand, Runs: 313, Centuries: 1, Highest: 222
Rahul Dravid played a captain’s knock of 222 in the first innings of the opening Test v New Zealand. He continued his form in the second innings scoring 73. Unfortunately, Dravid couldn’t take India over the line as the match ended in a draw. He failed in the second game, scoring just 13 and five respectively as the series ended 0-0.
MS Dhoni & Sakshi (July 2010)
Triangular series in Sri Lanka, Matches: 5, Runs: 140, Centuries: 0, Highest: 67
It was not a dream start for newly-wed Mahendra Singh Dhoni, both as player and captain post marriage. He scored just two runs in the first ODI of the triangular series against New Zealand. The wicketkeeper-batsman made a fighting 67 but couldn’t take India to victory in the final against Sri Lanka as the hosts
won by 74 runs.
Rohit Sharma & Ritika Sajdeh (December 2015)
5 ODIs v Australia, Runs: 441, Centuries: 2, Highest: 171*
Marriage proved to be very lucky for Rohit Sharma as he went on to score two consecutive ODI centuries against Australia in the very next month after marriage. He scored 171 not out and 124 in Perth and Brisbane respectively. He was awarded the Player of the Series for his aggregate of 441 in five matches, at an average of 110.25.
Statistical inputs from Ramesh Parab