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Indian Cricket players Who Should have been given more Chances

Becoming a cricketer in India is a dream for many young cricket lovers. Cricket is treated almost as a religion in India, with nearly every second family harboring aspirations for at least one member to pursue a career in cricket. This results in extremely tough competition within the sport. Players like Manoj Tiwari, Hemang Badani, and Murali Kartik, despite showing promising performances, didn’t get to play much international cricket. Similarly, we’ve seen players like Yuvraj Singh frequently overlooked for the Test format, while Cheteshwar Pujara often missed out on the One Day International (ODI) team. This scenario underscores the intense competition and explains why some players don’t get as many chances as they might deserve. Could these players have excelled further if given proper opportunities? In this article, we will discuss five most underrated Indian cricket players who arguably should have played more and been given more chances.

Indian Cricket Players Who Could Have Played More

Robin Uthappa 

Robin Uthappa, known as “The Walking Assassin” for his aggressive batting style, made a memorable debut for the Indian cricket team in April 2006 against England. Scoring 86 runs as an opener, he set a record for the highest score by an Indian debutant in a limited-overs match. Despite this strong start and his significant role in India’s 2007 ICC World Twenty20 victory, Uthappa’s international career didn’t flourish as expected. Over the years, he became one of the most experienced players in the Indian Premier League (IPL), playing 165 matches and scoring 4086 runs at an average of 28.57.

Uthappa’s lack of selection for the Indian team can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, his debut coincided with a period of intense competition within the team, featuring a formidable batting lineup that included legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Sourav Ganguly. Secondly, as a wicket-keeper batsman, Uthappa was competing for a spot against MS Dhoni, who was already an established member of the team. Lastly, despite his talent, Uthappa’s average of 25.9 in international cricket was not enough to secure a permanent spot, especially given the high standards and fierce competition for places in the Indian team.

Competition Matches Runs Scored Batting Average 100s/50s Top Score Catches/Stumpings
ODI 46 934 25.94 0/6 86 19/2
T20I 13 249 24.90 0/1 50 2/–
FC 142 9,446 40.71 22/52 162 134/2
LA 203 6,534 35.31 16/33 169 110/9

Throughout his domestic career, he played for various teams, including Karnataka, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors India, Kolkata Knight Riders, Saurashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, and several international T20 league teams. Uthappa announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on September 14, 2022.

Parthiv Patel

Parthiv Patel, one of the youngest players to debut for the Indian cricket team, started his international career in 2002. Despite his early promise, Patel struggled to cement his place as a permanent wicket-keeper in the team. His debut was marked by a challenging match against England, where he scored zero in his first innings but showed resilience in the second, contributing to India’s fight to draw the match. However, his journey in international cricket was overshadowed by stiff competition, especially from MS Dhoni, who emerged as India’s preferred wicket-keeper due to his explosive batting and sharp wicket-keeping skills.

Patel’s international career faced ups and downs, and despite being given multiple comebacks, he was unable to secure a permanent spot. His batting average and wicket-keeping skills were considered decent but not enough to outshine Dhoni’s contributions. As Dhoni’s career flourished, Patel found it increasingly difficult to make a comeback as a regular member of the team. His last appearance for India was in 2018, marking the end of an intermittent international career that spanned over a decade but never fully realized its potential due to the high standards and competition within the Indian cricket team.

Competition Matches Runs Scored Batting Average 100s/50s Top Score Catches/Stumpings
Test 25 934 31.13 0/6 71 62/10
ODI 38 736 23.74 0/4 95 30/9
T20I 2 36 18.00 0/0 26 1/–
FC 194 11,240 43.39 27/62 206 486/77

Patel made his ODI debut against New Zealand on January 4, 2003, and his last ODI was on February 21, 2012, against Sri Lanka. He also played two T20 International matches for India. Throughout his domestic career, he played for Gujarat and various teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL), including Chennai Super Kings, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Mumbai Indians. Parthiv Patel announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in December 2020.

Subramaniam Badrinath

Subramaniam Badrinath, a highly talented and technically sound batsman from Tamil Nadu, made his debut for the Indian cricket team in 2008 against Sri Lanka at Dambulla, where he scored an unbeaten 27 runs but never quite secured his spot at the international level. Despite being a prolific run-scorer in domestic cricket, including the Ranji Trophy, where he consistently performed for Tamil Nadu, Badrinath found it challenging to break into and remain in the Indian team. He even scored 50 in his test debut against South Africa. His international career was overshadowed by the presence of India’s formidable middle order, which included legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman during his prime years.

Badrinath’s international debut came in 2008, and he played his last match for India in 2011. In the limited opportunities he received, Badrinath showed glimpses of his potential but was unable to convert these into a permanent place in the team. His international career was brief, spanning just a few matches across formats, which hardly did justice to his domestic dominance. The primary reason for his limited opportunities was the intense competition for middle-order spots in a star-studded Indian lineup, making it difficult for even the most talented players to secure a long-term place.

Competition Matches Runs Scored Batting Average 100s/50s Top Score Catches/Stumpings
Test 2 63 21.00 0/1 56 2/–
ODI 7 79 15.80 0/0 27 2/–
FC 145 10,245 54.49 32/45 250 96/–
LA 144 4,164 36.84 6/28 134 54/–

He played for India from 2008 to 2011, making his Test debut against South Africa on February 6, 2010, and his last Test on February 14, 2010, also against South Africa. Badrinath made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka on August 20, 2008, and his last ODI was on June 13, 2011, against West Indies. He also played one T20 International match for India. Throughout his domestic career, he played for Tamil Nadu, Vidarbha, Hyderabad, and various teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL), including Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer, celebrated for his impeccable technique and appetite for runs, could not sustain his international career despite good performances. His journey was significantly impacted by the era he played in, sharing the dressing room with legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, and Virender Sehwag. This golden generation of batsmen occupied the top order, leaving very limited space for others. Jaffer, primarily an opener, found it challenging to adapt to other batting positions, which further limited his opportunities in the team.

Jaffer made his debut for India in 2000 and played his last international match in 2008. Despite a promising start and several noteworthy performances, including two double centuries in Test cricket, he was often overlooked due to the team’s composition and the need for a balanced squad with all-rounders and bowlers. This situation, combined with his preference for opening the batting, meant that Jaffer’s international appearances were sporadic. His domestic record, however, is stellar, amassing over a million runs across various leagues and tournaments, showcasing the talent and consistency that could have contributed significantly to the Indian team under different circumstances.

Competition Matches Runs Scored Batting Average 100s/50s Top Score
Test 31 1,944 34.10 5/11 212
ODI 2 10 5.00 0/0 10
FC 260 19,410 50.67 57/91 314*
LA 118 4,849 44.08 10/33 178*

He played for India from 2000 to 2008, making his Test debut against South Africa on February 24, 2000, and his last Test on April 11, 2008, also against South Africa. Jaffer made his ODI debut against South Africa on November 22, 2006, and played his last ODI on November 29, 2006, against the same team. Throughout his domestic career, he played for Mumbai and Vidarbha, and in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he represented Royal Challengers Bangalore. Jaffer is known for being the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy cricket and has scored over 19,000 runs in first-class cricket. He announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in March 2020.

Manoj Tiwari

Manoj Tiwary, a talented cricketer from Bengal, made his international debut for India in 2008. Despite showing promise with a century in one of his early ODIs, Tiwary’s career did not take off as expected. His journey was marred by untimely injuries and stiff competition for places in a middle-order that was often packed with established players. Tiwary was known for his aggressive batting style and versatility in the field, but these attributes were not enough to secure him a permanent spot in the team.

Tiwary’s opportunities were limited, and he was often seen as a backup option rather than a first-choice player. His last appearance for India came in 2015, marking the end of an international career that many felt was not fully realized. Despite this, Tiwary has had a successful domestic career, representing Bengal in the Ranji Trophy and playing for various teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL). His case is often cited as an example of a talented cricketer who could have achieved more at the international level under different circumstances.

Competition Matches Runs Scored Highest Score Batting Average 100s 50s Catches
ODIs 12 287 104* 26.09 1 1 4
T20Is 3 15 15 15.00 0 0 2
FC 148 10,195 303* 47.86 30 45 153
List A 169 5,581 151 42.28 6 40 92
T20s 183 3,436 75* 28.39 0 15 94

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