HomeCricketTop 5 unlucky Ranji stars who never got to play for India

Top 5 unlucky Ranji stars who never got to play for India

The Indian cricket heroes Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Laxman, and Ganguly have been villains for some cricketers' careers like that of Amol Mazumdar.

India’s huge population makes every career competitive. However, India is a land that worships cricket which makes cricket a much more desired career option for many youngsters. It is often said that Indian cricket is overflowing with talent and skills but sadly, the team has a limited number of berths. Thanks to domestic cricket gaining more importance, there is still, enough scope for those who are unable to don the blue colors. However, this is not a new case for Indian cricket. The situation has been the same even for five decades ago from now. There was no IPL, so Ranji Trophy performances have always been the standard for selection to the Indian side. Here, we will be looking at 5 Ranji stars who could never play for India. Despite abundant talent reasons like ‘unlucky’ and ‘born in the wrong age’ stood firm between them and the Indian jersey.

Top 5 unlucky Ranji stars who never got to play for India

5) Padmakar Shivalkar

Shivalkar is India’s best spinner who was deprived of the blue jersey at the hands of fate. His precision was unmatched and the ability to bowl at tight lengths for hours is not a skill most bowlers can master. Despite his exceptional abilities, he could not play even a single match for team India. The Indian team had pretty strong bowling back then. Three world-class spinners Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwat Chandrashekhar were already a part of the team. Which left the place for only one other spot for a spinner which was snatched off Padmakar by Bishan Singh Bedi. Bedi had a lot of variations in his armory and has been a part of the World Cup-winning team in 1983. Moreover, he captained India in 22 Tests matches. His career was going absolutely well which restricted Padmakar to domestic cricket. 

He played 124 matches picking 589 wickets, which to date is the highest for any spinner for Mumbai in the domestic circuit. For most bowlers playing beyond the age of 35 is a huge challenge. But hats-off to his fitness, Padmakar Shivalkar played first-class cricket till the age of 48.

4) Amarjeet Kaypee

Despite breaking records in the domestic circuit, Amarjeet was another unlucky cricketer who could not represent India. His hunger to score more and his techniques made him a force to reckon with. In Ranji, he amassed 7894 runs with 27 tons. In addition, he to date is the only Indian to score 150 runs in both innings of a Ranji match.

The batter from Haryana appeared in 117 first class and 32 List A games scoring 7894 and 682 runs respectively. However, Amarjeet was born in the wrong generation as he competed with Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azhar for a place in the team. 

3) Sridharan Sharath

So far, the only Indian to play 100 plus Ranji Trophy matches and has an average of over 50. One of the greatest to play for Tamil Nadu, Sridharan Sharath has scored 8700 runs in 139 First Class games. Most importantly he has maintained an average of 51.17 in 139 games. Looking at India’s premier domestic competition, Ranji Trophy, he has surpassed 8390 runs at an average of around 52. In an unfortunate event, Sharath met with an accident that affected the traction he was getting because of his performance badly.

Recalling the accident he says “It was on December 7. The tibia and fibula of my left ankle broke into two pieces. I was unable to play cricket for six months and missed an entire first-class season. And only a few months ago, I had scored a hundred and two fifties against the New Zealand under-19 team that featured Stephen Fleming and Dion Nash.”

Moreover, his prime coincided with the Indian team’s strong batting lineup with the likes of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, and VVS Laxman. Because of little scope for change in the batting order, Sridharan could never wear the blue jersey. However, he is still known as one of the most

2) Rajinder Goel 

Goel was a great spinner of his time. He has 637 wickets in his Ranji career. He still holds the record for most wickets in Ranji by any player. Despite the fact that he stopped playing cricket almost 27 years ago. Rajinder Goel might not be a very famous name now. But, Sunil Gavaskar named him as his idol in a book. Sunil talks about how dreadful he was off playing against Goel. Despite his exceptional, record-breaking bowling Goel could never play for India. Many cricket veterans blame the “Indian spin quartet” for his absence on the national side. Bishen Singh Bedi bowled in a very similar manner, obstructing Goel’s International career. However, not being able to play for India doesn’t make him less of a legend. Rajinder Goel went on to become a selector for Indian Junior and Haryana teams. The record-holder passed away in 2020. 

1) Amol Mazumdar

Mazumdar will surely top the list of Top 5 Ranji stars who could never play for India. Amol Mazumdar is a record-breaking domestic cricketer. He has played and coached closely with Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli. He along with Tendulkar was coached by Ramakant Achrekar. In his debut Ranji match, he scored an attacking 260 against Haryana in 1993-94. This was a record debut score until 2018. On India’s tour of England in 1994, Amol was named the vice-captain. Amol went on to become the highest run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy in 2007.

His jaw-dropping performance made some people call him the ‘New Tendulkar’. He also played with Dravid and Ganguly in the India-A team. All his contemporaries went on to become big names in Indian cricket. However, he was never selected on the Indian squad, despite a domestic average of near 50. In spite of his exceptionally promising game, he could never get to represent the country. 

These are just a few names who couldn’t live up to live their dream to play for India. There are many other cricketers who have been selected in team India but still didn’t get to play even a single match. There is no surety of playing a match even upon selection to the team squad. Therefore, players should make the most out of the Domestic Leagues like Ranji, Vijay Hazare, and Syed Mushtaq Ali trophies. In addition, after IPL states have started their own T20 Leagues. This way there is definitely a wide range of platforms available for cricketers to showcase their talent. Playing the IPL gives exposure not just at the national but also at the International level.

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Sanskruti Yadav
Sanskruti Yadavhttp://thesportslite.com
Sanskruti, is a journalist in making, an avid reader, and a cricket enthusiast. Her passion for cricket and writing is what brings her here.

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