Keshav Maharaj: The Unstoppable Force Who Snatched Victory from Babar’s Team – A Pakistani Nightmare
In a thrilling contest between Pakistan and South Africa, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team suffered a nail-biting defeat by just one wicket. With this loss, Pakistan’s dream of reaching the semi-finals of the One Day International (ODI) World Cup seems to have almost slipped away. Although they have three more matches to play in ... Read more
In a thrilling contest between Pakistan and South Africa, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team suffered a nail-biting defeat by just one wicket. With this loss, Pakistan’s dream of reaching the semi-finals of the One Day International (ODI) World Cup seems to have almost slipped away. Although they have three more matches to play in the tournament, their path to the semi-finals appears incredibly challenging. Keshav Maharaj has played a significant role in bringing tears of blood to Babar Azam and his million supporters. But who is Keshav Maharaj, the cricketer who has garnered a massive following in India and received accolades on social media, while Pakistanis seem to be criticizing him?
Meet the Left-arm Spinner
Keshav Maharaj, whose full name is Keshav Aatmanand Maharaj, is a professional cricketer from South Africa. He represents the South African national team in both ODI and T20 matches. At present, he serves as the vice-captain of the team in limited-overs cricket. Keshav Maharaj is a left-arm spin bowler. He made his debut in first-class cricket in 2006 and played his first Test match against Australia in November 2016. In the first innings of that match, he took three crucial wickets, playing a vital role in South Africa’s victory.
A Record-breaking Performance
Keshav Maharaj’s unforgettable Test match against New Zealand on March 10, 2017, marked the beginning of something extraordinary. He took five wickets, wreaking havoc on the New Zealand batting order. That was just the start. In July 2018, during the second Test match against Sri Lanka, he stunned everyone by taking nine wickets in a single innings, conceding just 129 runs. It was his best performance in Test cricket, and with that, he became the second left-arm spinner, after Rangana Herath, to take nine wickets in a Test innings.
Strong Indian Connections
Keshav Maharaj has deep-rooted connections with India. He was born in Durban to Aatmanand and Kanchan Mala Maharaj. His ancestors originally hailed from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India, and arrived in Durban in 1874. Keshav Maharaj is a devout devotee of Lord Hanuman, and whenever he gets the chance, he never forgets to visit the temple to pay his respects. Even during matches, he can be seen expressing his gratitude to the divine powers from time to time.
Delivering a Blow to Pakistan
Keshav Maharaj played a pivotal role in South Africa’s victory over Pakistan in the World Cup match. He maintained the pressure with consistent wicket-taking and secured the match for his team. He took seven wickets while conceding only seven runs in 21 deliveries. When South Africa needed just one wicket to win, he delivered a boundary, sealing a thrilling victory for his team. This defeat dealt a significant blow to Pakistan, one they will find hard to recover from.
Breaking a Long-standing Jinx
This victory marks South Africa’s first win over Pakistan in an ODI World Cup match in 24 years. The last time South Africa defeated Pakistan in a World Cup match was back in 1999. Since then, in all subsequent World Cups, Pakistan had emerged victorious against South Africa. However, this time, Keshav Maharaj, the devotee of Lord Hanuman, turned the tables with his composure and intelligence.