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.
It has been noticed that when a youngster makes it to the Indian team, the player becomes overwhelmed. The entire idea of playing for India is so huge that youngsters find it difficult to keep focus. There are players who like Dravid and Tendulkar who go on to become legends of the game after a decent debut.
However, there are also instances of supremely talented players who go through a dip in form. We shall look at 5 players who everyone expected to have a spectacular career for India but they could not deliver on the promise.
1. Saurabh Tiwary
Tiwary was the talk of the town after the 2010 IPL season where he scored 419 runs for Mumbai Indians. He was dubbed the left-handed Dhoni because of his ability to score fast and hit big boundaries. There were expectations from him to break into the white ball team of India. Tiwary was called into the squad for the 2010 Asia Cup but did not play. He made his ODI debut against Australia in Visakhapatnam in October 2010. However, he could not solidify his place in the team with eye-catching performances and with time lost his place in the Indian team.
2. Mohit Sharma
Sharma was at one time India’s first pick in the T20s and ODIs. He teamed up with Shami and Bhuvi to form the pace attack for the 2015 World Cup. He was adjudged the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He played for India throughout 2015-16 but was not consistent. He had a horror series against South Africa when they toured India in 2016. With the likes of Bumbrah, Siraj, and Thakur coming into the squad, he soon lost his place.
3. Unmukt Chand
Chand was the talk of the town in 2012 when he led India in the ICC U-19 World Cup victory. He was a captain who led from the front. He was also considered a “big-match player” having scored a century in the finals against Australia. Most people expected him to be another Virat Kohli. However, he was never able to break into the national team. he was picked by various IPL teams but couldn’t stay long in a franchise due to lack of performance.
4. S Badrinath
Subramaniam Badrinath was observed by the selectors during the 2011 IPL season, playing an important role in the team’s success and becoming known as “Mr. Dependable” and reliable for Chennai Super Kings. He was picked for the West Indies tour for limited-overs cricket. He also got a chance in the squad after VVS Laxman’s retirement in 2011. However, in the 7 ODIs that he played, he could not put up a performance of repute and was dropped shortly. The selectors moved to better middle-order batsmen coming through the system. Badrinath retired from all forms of cricket in 2018.
5. Irfan Pathan
The man who created hysteria in India when he picked up a hat-trick in the first over on his tour to Pakistan in 2004. He was picked to compliment Zaheer Khan from the other end and bolster the pace attack. His ability to score runs with the bat also went in his favor. He enjoyed a golden run of form in ODI and test from 2003 to 2004. However, post-2005 his form kept fluctuating with every series. His pace dropped and his ability to swing the ball declined. Post the debacle in the 2007 World Cup, the selectors started to move away from Pathan as an option and he momentarily made a comeback in 2008-09 for the Australia series. However, post-2010 Pathan was out of the picture and the final nail in the coffin was when he was dropped from the 2011 World Cup campaign.