When Sidhu was dropped from the team in 1983, after just two Tests, his father brought him the news paper with Rajan Bala’s article and left it on his bed, without uttering a word. Young Navjot was divested. He cut out the article and pasted it on his closet. The ‘stroke less wonder’ tag would stare down at him, every walking movement.
That one article, the accusation of being a ‘stroke less wonder’ the criticism from a senior cricket writer, seemed to set off something inside Sidhu. And he was determined to prove his critics wrong.
Now when his father came into Navjot’s room to wake him up at 5 am,he was already gone. He was out in the nets at 5am,having already jogged. He practised hitting sixes and smashing the ball around, keen to become an attacking stroke payer,not a stroke less wonder. His target: hit 300 sixes everyday.
Four years is a long time to be out of the India team. He was infact, selected to play for India in the 1987 World Cup. And what a come back it was! Sidhu scored 73 runs of 79 balls, with five sixes and four fours!
Sidhu went on to play with distinction for India: over 4400 runs in 137 One Day games with an average of 37.08.
You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you that they love you and care about you, and want to make you better.