MS Dhoni is one of the very few gems of the world cricket. He is definitely the best captain India ever produced and the only one to win all three ICC trophies while being at the helm, in 2007, 2011 and 2013. He impressed everyone with his care-free batting and smart wicket-keeping after making his international debut in December 2004. However, the breakthrough knock of his came in the fifth innings in an ODI against arch-rivals against Pakistan.
He smashed 148 runs after Sourav Ganguly promoted him at number three and then there was no stopping the man. Dhoni conquered the world cricket with his style and over the years, also got matured in every aspect of the game. He was realised the amount of responsibility that rests on his shoulders after winning the T20 World Cup in 2007 and went on win the 2011 World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2013 for India.
He has achieved a lot during his 15-year career (still counting) scoring more than 17000 international runs and his wicket-keeping needs a special mention. His lightning-quick stumping still means many in awe and no wonder he owns a number of records in that aspect as well. However, during his stellar career, many players made their debut for India but unfortunately couldn’t play for long. Rather they are already retired already and here we list five such players.
5 Players who made debuted after MS Dhoni and are retired already:
1. Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu retired last year from all forms of the game out of disappointment after he wasn’t picked in the World Cup squad. He had made a comeback to the national team after displaying some stunning form in the IPL while playing for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2018.
He was the perfect solution for India’s number four conundrum and at one stage, even Virat Kohli had seconded this statement. But come the World Cup year, Rayudu’s form deserted a bit suddenly and that coincided with Vijay Shankar’s rise as an all-rounder. And this meant that the selectors preferred the latter for his three dimensional skills.
Rayudu played 55 ODIs scoring 1694 runs at a brilliant average of 47.05 with three centuries and 10 fifty-plus scores. Despite doing well in the IPL, the Hyderabad batsman played only six T20 Internationals for India and looked never settled in the team.
2. Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha retired from all forms of the game in February this year after playing his last competitive game in November 2018 for Bihar. However, he last featured for India way back in 2013 in a Test match against West Indies which also happens to be Sachin Tendulkar’s last game. Interestingly, the left-arm spinner was awarded the Man of the Match for picking 10 wickets in the Test and it really sounds weird that Ojha never played for India again.
The emergence of Ravindra Jadeja as a Test bowler played a role in it as well and the fact that he was a better batsman too led to Ojha being sidelined and eventually went down the pecking order. He played 24 Tests for India picking 113 wickets with seven five-wicket hauls.
Ojha played 18 ODIs as well accounting for 21 scalps and his economy of 4.46 was great. He also played only 6 T20 Internationals picking only 10 wickets at an economy of 6.28 and again, it is a mystery, why he didn’t play more for India? Recently, he played for India Legends in the Road Safety World Series which was postponed due to the Coronavirus.
3. Manpreet Gony
Manpreet Gony’s international career lasted only for four days. He played only two ODIs in his career, against Hong Kong and Bangladesh, and was never picked to play for India again. He picked a couple of wickets in those matches and was on the expensive side.
He came across in the early part of his career as someone who bowls at pace. He also did well in the inaugural IPL season while playing for the CSK and that was the reason, he was given a chance to shine for India. But unfortunately he couldn’t replicate similar form in the two opportunities and didn’t get a chance after that.
After toiling in domestic circuit until the 2018-19 season, Gony finally decided to retire from all forms of the game last year in June. He has been playing different T20 leagues across the world and also featured for India Legends in the Road Safety World Series recently.
4. Munaf Patel
Munaf Patel was a part of India’s World Cup squad in 2011 and played a crucial role for the team in their title winning run as well. However, the same year turned out to be his last in international cricket as well. He made his debut in the Tests in March 2006 against England in Mohali while played his first ODI also against the same opponent the very next month.
The Gujarat player had made a reputation for himself to bowl at a pace of more than 140 kph. But injuries led to him decreasing his pace significantly. However, that didn’t affect his accuracy and Munaf continued to be effective. In 13 Tests he played, the pacer picked 35 wickets and his last game in the format was against the West Indies in the Caribbean.
Munaf, however, went on to play as many as 70 One-Day Internationals in which he picked 86 scalps accounting for four-wicket hauls thrice in his career. Though he featured in 97 T20 matches in his career, he featured only in three games for India in the format and eventually retired from all forms of the game in 2018, seven years after last donnin the blue jersey. Like Gony and Ojha, Munaf too played for India Legends recently.
5. Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar was a real talent who used to swing the new ball both ways troubling the best in the business during his playing days. If not for constant injuries, Kumar would’ve played many more matches for India. But he ended up featuring only in 6 Tests, 68 ODIs and T20 Internationals.
He last played a competitive game in the T10 League in Sharjah in November 2018. However, he had to retire from all forms of the game according to the BCCI rules to feature in the tournament.
Kumar, during his more than four-year stay with team India, picked 27 Test, 77 ODI and 8 T20I wickets. He was the one to star for the Men in Blue during their sensational win in the tri-series in Australia in 2008 which was also the country’s first series win in the country.
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