We are all aware of the popularity of cricket in India. The sport is worshipped like a religion and the players who play it are treated like demi-gods. The competition to make it to the national team is so cutthroat that a lot of youngsters spend their entire childhood and early life just playing cricket and honing their skills.
A lot of players aspire to play international cricket for their country someday but unfortunately, only a handful make it. In India, millions dream of donning the blues. With such intense competition, a lot of talented youngsters miss out.
Today, the main feeder routes to the Indian international team are Ranji Trophy, IPL, India A, and other domestic circuit tournaments. Various players from across the country play in these leagues and competitions and attempt to put a good performance. They hope to catch the attention of the selectors and management through some spectacular performances.
There have been instances when players have played brilliant cricket at the domestic level and created a buzz but that has not translated to selection into the Indian team. We look at 5 players who have great starts but have never been selected in the international team.
1. Anmol Majumdar
Majumdar played in the era of Dravid and Tendulkar and according to analysts he possessed the skill level of these two greats. He arrived at the domestic scene with a bang scoring 260 on debut against Haryana in the 1994-95 season. In his long career, he got 11,667 runs at an insane average of 48 but it was never enough to get him a place in the Indian team which was crowded with legends at that time.
2. Mithun Manhas
A right-handed batsman and part-time right-arm off-break bowler, Manhas made a name for himself through his performances in CSK. Manhas captained Delhi since the start of the millennium and led them to Championship victory in 2007-08. He scored a huge 921 runs at 57 that season and everyone expected him to make it to the national team. However, Manhas remained a Ranji legend and sits as the second-highest run-scorer of all time.
3. Rajinder Goel
By far the biggest name in the domestic circuit, Goel was a slow left-arm spinner from Haryana. His domestic career spanned more than 20 years in which he picked up a humongous 750 first-class wickets. However, like other spinners of that time, he could not make it to the team because of the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi.
4. Shreyas Gopal
Gopal who is currently 28 years plays domestic cricket for Karnataka and IPL for Rajasthan. Gopal identifies himself as a leg spinner with the ability to tonk the ball lower down the order. He has played for Karnataka since 2013 and picked up more than 180 wickets and got close to 2500 runs. He has a hat-trick in the IPL too against the famed RCB batting line-up. However, he has never been picked for India with the spin quota populated by Chahal, Ashwin, Jaddu, and now with the likes of Chahar, Sundar, and Varun Chakravarthy.
5. Rajat Bhatia
The ultimate utility player for KKR during their 2012 and 14 campaigns was Rajat Bhatia. He captained Uttrakhand in the Ranji’s and played 112 domestic first-class matches scoring close to 6500 runs and picking 137 wickets. He was instrumental in the KKR set-up as well. He was the original pace-bowling all-rounder. However, the selectors never looked at him as a prospect for international cricket. He retired from all forms of cricket last year.