Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who left a mark of his own as a dependable middle order batsman and exceptional fielder in the limited overs arena shall be celebrating his 36th Birthday on Thursday.
On Thursday, his former teammate and current colleague in the commentary box, celebrated his 36th birthday. There was no way Sehwag could have missed wishing him. He did so, and did it in his own style! We all are aware how good a fielder Kaif was. On this occasion, Sehwag compared Kaif, who was a livewire on the field, with a bird while wishing him and asking whether he is a man or a kite?
Hahaha, thanks Viru ! And you took the movie "De Dana Dan"title seriously ,even before it released. Keep entertaining like always ! https://t.co/2QSFT8T5As— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) December 1, 2016
Who is Mohammad Kaif
Early Life and Family
Mohammad Kaif was born on 1 December 1980 in Allahabad India. Kaif had a strong cricketing background as his father Mohammad Tarif played for Railways & Uttar Pradesh. His brother Mohammad Saif is also a notable first class cricketer who has played for Uttar Pradesh ans Madhya Pradesh in Ranji Tophy.
He tied the knot with Pooja Yadav, an executive with a Delhi-based event management company, on March 25, 2011.
When Indian cricket was generally dominated by players from traditional powerhouses like Mumbai, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi Mohammad Kaif broke the stranglehold and brought Uttar Pradesh to the forefront in Indian cricket. ( Also read in Hindi )
U-19 World Cup
Kaif first came into eyes of the national selectors when he captained the U-19 cricket team to victory in the 2000 ICC World Cup.India was unbeaten through the tournament before beating Sri Lanka in the finals at Colombo. Kaif captained the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Ajay Ratra who later on went onto play Test cricket for India.
Kaif the fielder, A livewire on the field
Mohammad Kaif was one of the fittest cricketers in the Wright-Ganguly Era. Kaif was considered by many as the best all round fielder of his time along with Yuvraj Singh.
Kaif was bestowed with immense natural athletic ability and was an extremely fit cricketer. He has been credited for bringing a sea change into how Indians approached fielding. Kaif formed an impregnable ring with Yuvraj Singh in the point and covers region. The Indian fans were treated to some brilliant catches which Kaif pulled from thin air and dead accurate throws which inflicted many run-outs.
Kaif the batsman, Cool and calm run accumulator
Kaif was a prolific run scorer at the domestic level and led the Uttar Pradesh side with distinction in brief spells for almost a decade.
Kaif made his One-Day International (ODI) debut against England at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur in 2002 but didn’t get the chance to bat. Kaif was a regular member of the Indian ODI set up between 2002 and 2006. He usually played at Number 6 or 7 in the lower middle order where he was deemed most effective.
Kaif wasn’t a big hitter of the ball but had the knack of scoring runs at a brisk pace.He was a very good reader of the game and paced his innings according to the match situation. Kaif was a brilliant runner between the wickets courtesy his supreme fitness. A finisher par excellence, Kaif won many a games for India by producing some with valuable knocks down the order.
Kaif moment of glory truly came in the 2002 Natwest series finals against England at Lords. With India all faltering at 146 for 5 chashing down an imposing 326 against England, Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh played out of their skin and stitch together a match winning partnership to guide India to a memorable victory. Kaif scored an unbeaten 87 and was awarded the man of the match.
Since making his Test debut in 2000 against South Africa he never quite settle into the Test team all through his career. He had some technical limitations with his batting and moreover played in an era where the Indian batting boasted of some greats of the game.
Nevertheless, he had his moment in the sun by scoring a Test century against the West Indies in Gros Islet and played a match saving knock of 91 against England in Nagpur Test.
Indian Premier League
Kaif was bought by the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL for a whooping sum of $675,000 USD. He had stints with Kings Eleven Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kaif’s shall go down as one of the finest cricketers Indian cricket had in the limited over arena.