India is blessed with so many talented cricketers. The country has been lucky to produce cricketers like Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly among many others. Even currently, the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja (to name only a few) are keeping the Indian flag high in the international circuit.
But there are a plethora of talented players in the domestic circuit who deserve to play at the highest level for the national team. While some of them never get that opportunity as there is no place in the national team, few who get a chance turn out to be unlucky as they are dropped in favour of regular players. Unfortunately, these players were never included again in the team which kept them limited to playing for their respective state teams.
Here we bring you five unlucky players in the Indian cricket history:
1. Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu has to be one of the unlucky cricketers in the country. He made his international debut in 2013 against Zimbabwe and since then, got chances only when the senior players rested. However, his name started doing the rounds during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 when he plundered runs for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opening the innings.
The consistent run at the top of the order led to Rayudu being picked for the ODI series in England. However, the Hyderabad was later dropped from the side ahead of the tour as he failed the fitness test. Though after England tour, he made a comeback officially and displayed amazing form batting at the much debated number four position.
Virat Kohli then even went on to say that the team was looking for a batsman like Rayudu in the middle-order. But things changed with the turn of the year. 2020 didn’t start well for Rayudu who had a rather quiet Australia series which followed up with fairly decent New Zealand ODIs. During the home ODIs against Australia, Vijay Shankar displayed decent all-round skills and eventually he was picked in the final World Cup squad by the selectors.
This led to a massive disappointment for Ambati Rayudu who announced retirement from all forms of the game later in the year. Though there were reports later that he made himself available for the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 season. He last played competitive cricket in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Hyderabad in November last year.
2. Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer is the domestic Indian legend. To play as many as 260 first-class matches and maintain an average of almost 51 is by no means a joke. He retired only after the erstwhile after featuring for Vidarbha for the last few years. He was the part of the winning Ranji Trophy winning sides on 10 occasions, eight times for Mumbai and twice for Vidarbha.
Then why didn’t this supremely talented batsman play more than 31 Tests for India. He scored 1944 runs in 58 innings at an average of 34.10 with five centuries and 11 fifties. But the slump in his form came at a wrong time and at the same time, India got an opener like Gautam Gambhir who was taking long strides in international cricket.
And Jaffer could never make a comeback to the national side again. He could be termed unlucky as Jaffer possessed immense talent in him to play more Test matches for his country. As far as his FC career is concerned, he amassed 19410 runs smashing 57 tons and 91 fifties.
3. Robin Uthappa
Well, Robin Uthappa was seen as a special talent in India when he first made his debut. His style of walking down to the fast bowler and smash him straight down the ground with aplomb had impressed many. But again, he got a very few chances after a certain point in his career.
Yes, he was a little consistent and an average of 25.94 after 46 ODIs suggests that. But maybe he needed a little more backing like how the likes of Rohit Sharma in the first few years of his career. Uthappa made a comeback to the team for the Zimbabwe tour in 2015 and that was the last time he played for India.
Since then, the man has been toiling hard in the IPL and in the domestic cricket as well only to be overlooked time and again. With age not on his side now, India ambitions are seemingly over for him even as he has shifted his base to Kerala in the domestic circuit.
4. Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary is another unfulfilled potential in the Indian cricket in the last two decades. He is still playing for Bengal and recently expressed his desire to make a comeback into the Indian team. But many realise that this cricketer should’ve got enough chances to prove his mettle.
Tiwary played only 12 ODIs and 3 T20Is after making his debut in 2008 and until 2015. No consistent chances and lack of opportunities led to him not growing at the international arena. The Bengal batsman scored 287 at an average of 26.09 with a century and a half-century to his name.
Interestingly, he was dropped from the team once after scoring a century as the senior players returned and unsurprisingly, he is also the one who last played on Zimbabwe tour when India sent a second string side in 2015.
5. Subramaniam Badrinath
S Badrinath played 145 First-class, 144 List-A and 142 T20s in his career. But he ended up playing only 2 Tests, 7 ODIs and 1 T20I for India. Opportunites were far and few for him too and was one of those players who was racking up runs for fun in the domestic circuit.
The fact that he averages 54.49 in FC cricket proves how consistent he was. And Badrinath’s ability to rotate the strike was immense. In the middle-order, he used to hold the team’s innings together. But unfortunately, he didn’t get enough time in the blue jersey or in the India whites to do it due to the presence of some legends who were doing great at the international level.
Badrinath was actively playing cricket until 2017 before he decided to hang his boots as there were no hopes of making any comeback to the national team. He played his last game for India in June 2011 in the ODI against the West Indies.
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