Playing for India is a major honour, one which comes with sheer persistence, immense grit and an enormous amount of dedication. Every player aspires to represent India at the big stage and it won’t be wrong to say that the joy associated with doing so is beyond measure.
Over the years, numerous players have represented The Men in Blue on the international stage, out of which few managed to stick around courtesy of their commendable deeds on the field while few retained their place because of what one might say- ‘Luck’. India is one of the top cricketing nations of the world and the pressure associated with representing the subcontinent giants on the international stage is massive. Any player is prone to be axed and that is where good fortune comes into the picture.
Cricket Enthusiasts will agree to the fact there have been some instances in the past where a player received a plethora of opportunities and despite not performing at the desired level, somehow managed to stay in the side. They failed to make the most out of the opportunities presented to them here we list down 5 such players who were lucky to play cricket for India.
1. Ramesh Powar
Ramesh Powar. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Ardent followers of Indian cricket remember Ramesh Powar for his flamboyant aura and shiny shades but as far as his bowling attributes are concerned, there aren’t many pleasant memories! The off-spinner from Mumbai made his ODI debut in 2004 against Pakistan but was dropped thereafter and could not return to the side till 2006.
His inclusion gave the cricket fanatics a lot to talk about courtesy of his slightly unusual bowling style and questionable fitness levels. The off-spinner from Maharastra played a total of 31 ODIs for India in which he took 36 wickets. He was also selected for two Tests against Bangladesh but failed to impress which led to his departure from the lineup.
In an age when all the major cricket playing nations were emphasising on fitness, Ramesh Powar somehow managed to grab the spotlight for all the bad reasons. His poor fielding leaked one too many runs and led to his eventual exclusion from the Indian side. The off-spinner disappointed in the blue and couldn’t win the fans over despite being presented with a great number of opportunities.
2. Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra- The man who has somehow revolutionised the world of cricket commentary with his peculiar perspective and captivating catchphrases. Cricket enthusiasts have been all been praises for Aakash Chopra’s unique yet utterly impressive skills on the mic and it won’t be wrong to say that the former cricketer from Uttar Pradesh has made a name for himself as one of the most entertaining commentators of all-time.
While Aakash Chopra’s skills on the mic have been impressive, his batting never really set the stage on fire. He made his Test debut against New Zealand in 2003 and was handed the responsibility of opening alongside Virender Sehwag. Reckoned as a defensive opener back in the day, Aakash Chopra started brightly for India but his form soon dipped which led to his exclusion from the squad after a mere 10 Tests.
Due to his defensive playing style, Aakash Chopra never really made it to the ODI squad but looking at his Test career which lasted 10 matches and yielded a meagre amount of 437 runs, it won’t be wrong to say that the swashbuckling commentator was a bit lucky to represent India at the big stage.
3. Rohan Gavaskar
Rohan Gavaskar. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Rohan Gavaskar, the son of legendary Sunil Gavaskar- a man well known by the cricketing fraternity. Sunil Gavaskar needs no introduction to the avid fans of the game as the Indian stalwart has a plethora of records to his name which speaks volumes of his contribution to cricket. Rohan Gavaskar was always going to be under immense pressure owing to his surname, and this pressure might have got the better of him at the international stage.
Rohan Gavaskar was included in the side in place of an injured Mohd. Kaif as India took on Australia in the 2003–04 VB Series. His domestic form led to his call-up to the national side but with just one 50+ score in 11 outings, the axe fell real soon on Rohan Gavaskar’s international career.
He played just 11 ODIs and rarely impressed as a middle-order batsman. Rohan Gavaskar scored just 151 runs during his time with team India which led to his eventual departure from the side. His credentials never really helped him earn a call to the Test squad whereas his inclusion to the ODI side raised a few eyebrows as well.
4. Ashok Dinda
Ashoke Dinda (Photo Source: Twitter)
The high flying bowler from West Bengal made quite a name for himself in IPL which led his inclusion to the national side. His enthusiasm was well appreciated but his consistency bothered the devotees of Indian cricket. Ashok Dinda was selected to feature as a frontline bowler for the Men in Blue in the limited-overs format, a decision which never really turned out to be prosperous.
His distinctive bowling style made him a hot topic of discussion, but soon after a string of disappointing performances in the blue shirt, Ashok Dinda was dropped. The pacer seldom troubled the opposition batting experts and his place as India’s frontline bowler was always being questioned by the critics.
The former KKR man played a total of 13 ODIs for India in which he took 12 wickets- a truly disappointing return! His form in the IPL dipped and as of 2019, he isn’t part of any team in the world’s most famous franchise cricket league.
5. Dinesh Mongia
Dinesh Mongia. (Photo by DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images)
Once a common sight in the Indian line-up, Dinesh Mongia was often found on the team sheet which left a wide faction of cricket enthusiasts a little bemused. The left-hander from Chandigarh played 57 ODIs for India, scoring a paltry amount of 1230 runs at an average of 27.95.
His score of 159* against Zimbabwe in 2002 made him an overnight sensation and many predicted him to be the next superstar batsman of the country, little did they know that things will go down the hill soon after! While his ton against Zimbabwe was a mighty impressive knock, but unfortunately that turned out to be his only century at the International stage as Dinesh Mongia never really was able to replicate his form from the day and hence finds himself on this list.
Back in the early part of 21st century, The Men in Blue were trying to find their rhythm and Dinesh Mongia’s string of disappointing performances in the middle led to his eventual exclusion from the starting lineup. The lack of runs and a poor average contributed to his decline and not many fans were surprised when the left-hander was dropped from the starting XI.
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