Team India has ruled the international arena in the last few years. India had become number one in all three formats under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. The Test side attained the numero uno position on the ICC Rankings. The limited-overs team won the World Cup in both disciplines.
Virat Kohli has replaced MS Dhoni as the Indian team captain. But there has been no change in the Indian team’s dominance. The Men in Blue have always done well at the ICC events, while they have improved their overseas record under Kohli, especially in Tests. Although there have been frequent changes in the team combination, India has had a magnificent record in the game’s most extended format.
As mentioned above, although the team has performed well, Virat Kohli has believed in altering his team as per the conditions. A few players have become superstars in the process. At the same time, some cricketers went off the radar.
In this article, we will look at those five Indian cricket stars who could not make it big in Tests:
1. Stuart Binny
Before Hardik Pandya’s debut, many considered Stuart Binny as the number one fast-bowling all-rounder in India. He could slam a few big shots with the bat. Also, he could give some vital overs of medium pace in the middle. Binny created a record by bowling a spell of 6/4 in an ODI match against Bangladesh.
The Karnataka-based player also had a memorable Test debut against England. The 36-year-old scored 87 runs versus the hosts in the second innings of the Trent Bridge. He was a part of the Indian team that won the second Test match at Lord’s.
However, Binny could not impress much after his first Test match. He managed only nine runs in two innings at Lord’s. His highest score in his next seven Test innings was 49, while he took only three wickets in six Tests. Captain Virat Kohli preferred spinners over him in home conditions. By the time India visited England again, Pandya had taken Binny’s place.
Shikhar Dhawan recently made history by becoming the first batsman in IPL history to score back-to-back centuries. He has been an integral part of the Indian limited-overs team. The Delhi Capitals star has ruled the ICC level tournaments with his phenomenal batting performances for the Indian cricket team.
However, the same cannot be said of his Test performance. Dhawan announced his arrival in Test cricket with a 174-ball 187 against Australia at Mohali. A few months later, he scored a century versus New Zealand at Eden Park and followed it up with a 98 at the Basin Reserve.
It seemed like Dhawan would solve India’s overseas woes. However, his inconsistent performances cost him a place in the Test team. Dhawan did record some big scores against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. But he struggled to play a longer innings against the top-level international teams.
3. Pankaj Singh
Former Royal Challengers Bangalore medium pacer Pankaj Singh stormed into the Indian Test team after some fantastic performances in the first-class matches. He was Rajasthan’s go-to bowler and was very consistent in the aspect of taking wickets. Thus, the selectors named him in the squad for the England tour.
MS Dhoni included him in the playing XI for the Test match at the Ageas Bowl. Unfortunately, Pankaj went wicketless in both innings. He bowled 47 overs in the Test match. Still, he could not scalp his maiden Test wicket. His wait ended in the Old Trafford Test match as Singh dismissed Joe Root in the first innings.
Later, he even picked up the wicket of Jos Buttler. However, Buttler proved to be his last Test wicket as Pankaj did not receive another opportunity to don the whites for the country again. It is pertinent to note that Singh gave away 113 runs in 28 overs of the Manchester Test.
4. Karn Sharma
Karn Sharma received his maiden Test cap when Virat Kohli got a chance to lead the Test team for the first time. The Delhite showed his aggressive intent and went it with a leg-spinner in the playing XI. Karn performed decently on his debut. But he was back to the bench after MS Dhoni returned to captaincy.
Playing at the Adelaide Oval, Karn picked up two wickets each in the two innings. The leg-spinner had an economy rate of more than four runs per over in the two innings. He dismissed David Warner twice. Besides, the right-arm leg-break bowler also sent Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers back to the pavilion.
Still, the Indian team management did not give him a second opportunity. He could have impressed in the spin-friendly conditions of India. However, his Test career has seemingly ended after that surprise debut in Adelaide.
5. Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay was one of the best opening batsmen in the longest format of the game during the previous decade. Vijay came into the spotlight after his terrific performances for the Chennai Super Kings and the Tamil Nadu team in the domestic circuit. MS Dhoni backed him and he became a mainstay opener in the Test format.
The right-handed batsman represented the country in 61 Test matches, scoring 3,982 runs at an average of 38.29. He had a phenomenal season in 2014 as Vijay amassed 852 runs for India in 10 Tests. But just like Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay scored a majority of his runs against the smaller teams from 2015 to 2018.
Barring a couple of hundreds against England in the home series, Vijay could not register a Test century against the top 5 teams in his last three years. In the same duration, he recorded five centuries against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Thus, the team management dropped him from the team after the 2018-19 Australian tour.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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