The Indian Premier League (IPL) has provided a truckload of opportunities to many aspiring talents in India and across the world. Even if a player produces a single match-winning performance in an important game, or has an excellent IPL season, he can become a national hero.
In fact, the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who both have become the mainstays of the Indian side, were first spotted only in the IPL. But then, there are a few cricketers who hogged the limelight in the IPL.
But they never got a chance to represent their country at the international level. These players were even part of IPL winning squads, but could never fulfill their dream of representing their nation.
In this article, let us take a look at 5 match-winners in the IPL who could not play a single match for their country:
1. Iqbal Abdulla
He was very handy with his crafty left-arm spin. He lent his services to as many as three franchises in the IPL. Iqbal Abdulla started his IPL career with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), moved to the Rajasthan Royals (RR), before finally ending his IPL career with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side.
Abdulla played 49 matches in his IPL career and picked up 40 wickets at an average of 27.73. He also gave away runs at a decent economy rate of 7.23. He was a part of the victorious KKR squad that lifted the IPL title in the year 2012. The left-arm spinner experienced his most fruitful IPL season in the year 2011, where he picked up 16 wickets at an average of just 19.06. In fact, Abdulla was the highest wicket-taker for KKR in the 2011 IPL edition.
Abdulla played his last IPL match on 10th April 2017, against the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) side. However, in spite of his IPL exploits, he could never get a chance to wear the Indian jersey even once.
2. Siddharth Trivedi
In an IPL career that lasted 76 matches, Siddharth Trivedi picked up 65 wickets. He played in the IPL for six editions, and in all the editions, he played for just one franchise, Rajasthan Royals. In fact, Trivedi was extremely impressive in his debut IPL season in 2008, where he picked up 13 wickets and played a crucial role in the Rajasthan side defying all odds and winning the inaugural IPL season.
Apart from the 2008 edition, Trivedi was also impressive in the 2012 IPL edition, where he picked up 13 wickets. In fact, his 4/25 against the Bangalore outfit on 15th April 2012 helped his side to thrash the Daniel Vettori led side by 59 runs. The right-arm pacer scalped the wickets of both Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers to help his side to emerge triumphant in that encounter.
The last time Trivedi featured in an IPL match was on 24th May 2013, against the Mumbai Indians (MI). In the four overs that he bowled, the pacer took one wicket and gave away 23 runs in his final IPL appearance. But then, an Indian cap always remained elusive for this talented pacer.
3. Swapnil Asnodkar
If you had followed the inaugural edition of the IPL, then you would surely know this man’s name. Swapnil Asnodkar burst onto the scene as a dashing batsman who took on the bowlers at the top of the order. And, his audacious approach bore fruit for the right-hander in the maiden IPL edition.
In the nine innings that Asnodkar played in the first IPL edition, he scored 311 runs. But then, what made him such a threat to the opposition was the fact that he scored his runs at a strike-rate of 133.48 in the 2008 edition. In fact, in the semifinal of the maiden IPL edition, it was Asnodkar’s blazing 21-ball-39 and his vital opening partnership of 65 runs with Graeme Smith that allowed the Rajasthan outfit to thrash the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) side by 105 runs.
And surely, it would not be an exaggeration to state that Asnodkar’s exploits with the willow played a vital role in the Shane Warne-led side emerging triumphant in the 1st IPL edition. In his IPL career, Asnodkar played 20 matches and scored 423 runs at an average of 21.15. But sadly, he never played a single match for India.
4. Manvinder Bisla
If you are a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fan, you can never forget the date 27th May 2012. It was on this date that Manvinder Bisla ripped apart the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling attack, and helped the Kolkata side to clinch their first-ever IPL title. The Gautam Gambhir-led side was chasing a daunting target of 191, but Bisla helped his side to make light work of it by scoring a murderous 48-ball-89 at the top of the order.
Bisla played 39 matches in IPL cricket and scored 798 runs at an average of 21.00. The right-hander played IPL matches for three different sides. While he featured in 27 matches for the Kolkata side, he played 10 matches for the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) side as well. In his final IPL edition in 2015, Bisla even played a couple of games for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) outfit.
But, in spite of his ability to provide blazing starts with the willow, Bisla never got the opportunity to represent his country at the international level.
5. Rajat Bhatia
He had all the qualities needed to become a useful bowler for his country, especially in the T20 format. Rajat Bhatia had a plethora of variations up his sleeve. He could bowl leg cutters at will, flummox the batsman with clever changes in pace, and even had a very good Yorker.
And, he accumulated good numbers in IPL cricket as well. The right-arm pacer featured in as many as 95 matches in the IPL and picked up 71 wickets at an economy rate of 7.41 runs per over. In fact, Bhatia featured in the IPL for a decade. The current 41-year-old was even a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad that lifted the IPL title in the year 2012. And, Bhatia experienced his most fruitful season in the same year, picking up 13 wickets at a strike rate of 24.54.
Bhatia rendered his services for 4 IPL teams. From 2008 to 2010, he was with the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) outfit, then for the next three years, he moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders side. In 2014 and 2015, Bhatia played for the Rajasthan side, before finally plying his trade with the Rising Pune SuperGiant side. Even though he had a truckload of experience at the IPL level, Bhatia never got the chance to play for the Indian team even once.
Note: All the stats have been taken from Cricbuzz, Howstat cricket, and iplt20.com.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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