Thursday, October 30, 2014

Forgotten XI... Or Maybe Not

The following is an eleven comprising of Indian cricketers whose names are likely to be remembered only by either their own families or the most diehard of cricket followers. Like any "fantasy XI" I have picked the ones which I recall from my cricket watching career. There can be quite a few alternative XIs.

  1. Iqbal Siddique - In his debut Test for India, opened the bowling and batting. Also hit the the winning runs. And never played for India again. 
  2. Sujith Somasundar - Opened for India in 2 ODIs with a lineup comprising of Tendulkar, Dravid, Azhar, Ganguly and Ajay Jadeja following up. His failures lead to India experimenting with Ganguly as Tendulkar's opening partner and the rest as they is history.
  3. Gagan Khoda - Scored 89 in his 2nd ODI earning him the Man of the Match award. And never played for India again. Just plain bad luck. 
  4. Amay Khurasiya - In contrast to Khoda, An attacking 50 on his ODI debut earned Khurasiya place in the 1999 World Cup squad. The innings warded off competition from the likes of VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag. A few games later he was dropped for good.
  5. Atul Bedade - Was the Yusuf Pathan equivalent of the pre-T20 era. A high strike rate but not too many runs ensured that Bedade represented India only in 13 ODIs. Would certainly have been in big demand in the IPL.
  6. Pankaj Dharmani - Only one game for the Ranji run machine. A wicket keeper with a first class average of over 50 but played only one ODI for India due to a career coinciding with Nayan Mongia's. 
  7. Laxmi Ratan Shukla - He is still toiling away in the Ranji and IPL circuits. Hasn't represented India in this millenium, hence the IPL considers him to be an uncapped player inspite of playing 3 ODIs for India.
  8. David Johnson - 2 Tests as Srinath's injury replacement. But never stuck around the team
  9. Noel David - Noel Who is said to have been the reaction of the then Indian captain Tendulkar, when he heard that this spinner has replaced the injured  Srinath. A brilliant ODI debut and superb fielding were good signs, But his career fizzled out within a few days.
  10. Nilesh Kulkarni - A wicket of his first ball in Test cricket followed by one more in his entire 3 Test career. A case of domestic potential not being translated into international performances.
  11. Robin Singh Jr. - Not to be confused with the more famous Robin Singh. Both played 1 Test each for India although Robin Singh Sr. played in more  than 100 ODIs also.
12th Man - Connor Williams - Slight cheating done here. He never played an international for India. or rather never played in an "official" international game for India. His only India cap came in a "Test" against South Africa which was not given Test status post the Mike Denness fiasco of 2001. 

So 4 batsman, 1 wicket-keeper who can bat, 2 seam-bowling all-rounders, 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners - in all a very well balanced side.  

Some unable to use their chances and some plain unlucky. But all (with one exception) being part of the very few to have worn the India cap.

Nishant Kumar for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Nishant on Twitter @NishantSKumar

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