There are a lot of players that come and go who seem to be a flash in the pan. They come, they impress and fade away quickly. Such players hardly have an impact. However, there are certain cricketers who constantly perform and yet don’t get the spotlight that much.
There are also cricketers who shine at the highest level and play for a certain period of time before poor form or injuries keep them out. Suddenly, they fall out of the selectors’ scheme of things and are completely ignored. Thus, they are a tad unlucky.
Here we look at five such Indian players who haven’t retired yet but are completely ignored by the Indian selectors. All these five cricketers have played Test cricket and have been a part of various Indian squads in this 21st century.
1. Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Harbhajan Singh is one of the only few active cricketers who made his debut in the 1990s. The off-spinner from Punjab was first seen on the international stage in 1998 as a 17-year-old. He made his debut in both Tests and ODIs in the same year. However, he did take his time to cement his spot in both formats.
The turbanator as he was called was simply brilliant in the famous 2001 Test series against Australia and from then on, he never looked back. Harbhajan became was a regular member of the Indian side in the first decade of the 21st century. He constantly churned out wickets across all formats.
However, after the 2011 World Cup, there was a dip in form and he was subsequently axed from all the teams. Harbhajan did make a couple of comebacks. He came back to the Test team for a couple of games in 2013 before he faced the axe again.
He was back in 2015 when Ravichandran Ashwin was injured. The off-spinner played a couple of Tests and seven ODIs before falling off once again. Since then, he has not even come in the selector’s radar. He is constantly playing IPL and is engaged in some media commitments. Thus, he may well announce his retirement soon.
2. Abhinav Mukund
Abhinav Mukund. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It is strange for a player who averages in excess of 47 over 130 first-class games to play only seven Test matches. Abhinav Mukund is one of the unlucky cricketers not to have played for India a lot more. He played just seven Test matches spanning over six years.
The left-handed opener made his Test debut in the Caribbean in 2011 after India’s World Cup triumph. He played three Test matches there before heading to England where he played a couple more Tests. He blew hot and cold throughout those five games and was eventually, dropped.
Mukund made a comeback in early 2017 when Murali Vijay was injured and played two Tests – one each against Australia and Sri Lanka. He scored 81 in his last Test innings before Vijay returned and Mukund found himself out again.
Since then he has been never considered by the selectors. The Tamil Nadu opener has consistently scored runs in domestic cricket and hasn’t got an opportunity.
3. Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
There is absolutely no doubt, Wasim Jaffer will go down as one of the legends of Indian domestic cricket. He seems to keep going on and on. He is 41 years old and still looks in really good shape. Moreover, he is consistently churning out runs year after year. He started with Mumbai and is now doing it for Vidarbha.
He has over 19,000 first-class runs and another good season and we might see him cross the 20,000-barrier. Jaffer made his first-class debut back in the 1996/97 season and got his maiden India cap in 2000. He blew hot and cold at the start but was a solid batsman at the top. The Mumbaikar had the ability to first blunt out the new ball and later cash in.
However, he last played an international game in 2008 and hasn’t featured anywhere around the Indian side. Season after season, he has scored runs. He averages over 51 in red-ball cricket and over 45 in 50-over cricket. Hence, now, there is no chance of coming back and Jaffer will go away as one of the unluckiest Indian batsmen.
4. Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Piyush Chawla is just 30 years old but yet it seems like he’s been around for ages. The Uttar Pradesh leg-spinner made his international debut in a Test match against England in 2006. But he was never a regular member in any format.
However, he was a part of two out of three big white-ball triumphs India had in the 21st century. Chawla was a part of the World T20 squad in 2007 but never played. In 2011, he played a couple of games early in the tournament before losing his spot to Ravichandran Ashwin. Thus, he was constantly in and out of the side but never played a consistent number of games.
The leggie also played three Tests but all of them came in different years. In four years (2007-2011), he played just 25 ODIs and since 2012, he has never been on the selectors’ radar. Chawla is a regular member in the IPL but hasn’t been anywhere around the India squads.
5. Vinay Kumar
Vinay Kumar. (Photo by Pal Pillai/Getty Images)
Vinay Kumar has been a consistent performer for Karnataka over for a long time now. Every year, he has consistently got wickets and has led Karnataka’s bowling attack successfully. He has done well across all formats as well. Moreover, he has led Karnataka to all three titles in the Indian domestic cricket on a couple of occasions.
Kumar has played 41 international games and was constantly in and around the Indian team for a couple of years after the 2011 World Cup. He did well too as he picked up wickets regularly. However, towards the fag end of 2013, he started to fade away and was expensive and thus, found himself out of the team. He even played a Test match in 2012 during India’s forgettable tour to Australia in 2011-12. He failed in that game and never donned the whites for India ever again.
Thus, the Davanagere-born pacer last donned the India jersey in November 2013. Since then, he has never been considered by the selectors despite consistently putting in good performances.
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