India is a cricket-crazy nation. Young kids take to the game as early as 4-5 years of age. The cricketing culture in India is pretty rich. There are a million aspiring cricketers who want to represent the nation. The real talented ones do go on to play domestic cricket, List A cricket. But a healthy combination of fortune, talent, hard work, and determination is required to succeed at the highest level. Indian cricket has seen many superstars over the years. But the count of those who could not make it big far exceed the ones who did. For those who were tipped to make it big but couldn’t luck surely played its part. Here are 5 Unluckiest Indian Cricketers.
We look at the 5 unluckiest Indian cricketers of all time:
#5 Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary was one name that dominated the Indian domestic circuit during the late 2000s. He was Bengal’s star batsman. Tiwary was earmarked for greatness early in his career. His ODI credentials took a huge hit when a Brett Lee Yorker damaged his stumps. Tiwary had to wait for 4 long years to make an appearance again. To his credit, he grabbed all the chances that he got. But he didn’t get a fair run and was omitted from the squad. He was the last of the top-order batsman who bowled. But that wasn’t meant to be.
#4 Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer was a domestic stalwart. He along with Amol Muzumdar carried Mumbai’s batting on their shoulders. Jaffer played 31 Tests for India but arguably in the most difficult of conditions. He played a key role in India’s overseas win in West Indies and England. Jaffer’s average of 34.1 from 31 Tests doesn’t inspire confidence but the fact remains that his place in the side was never secure. For a man gifted with wonderful technique, the ability to score runs and translate pressure. Jaffer’s India career remains a big what-if.
#3 Abhishek Nayar
Abhishek Nayar was another of those domestic giants who refused to give up. Nayar wasn’t as gifted as others around him, but he more than made it up with his tenacity. He singlehandedly fashioned Mumbai to many wins over the years. But all that Nayar could manage was to play 3 ODIs for India wherein he batted for 7 balls and bowled a total of 3 overs. Nayar had a batting average of over 45 and a bowling average of 31 was surely a better prospect than many ‘allrounders’ who went on to play for India. But the lack of faith from India’s captain hampered his chances.
#2 Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan burst onto the scene with his swinging magic. India never had a left-arm seamer prior to Pathan who made swing talk. He debuted in Australia and soon was all over the cricketing circles. A natural talent, Pathan was quite explosive with the bat. He won the player of the match award in the T20 World Cup finals (2007) and in the Perth Test (2008). But Pathan’s international career was cut short owing to some shoddy selection calls. A handy allrounder who was tipped to be the next Kapil Dev, Pathan was another case gone wrong in Indian cricket.
#1 Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu’s career was a rollercoaster ride. He made heads turn in 2002 when he smashed 177 against England in England as part of India’s U-19 team. Rayudu went on to play the U-19 World Cup in 2004. But chances didn’t come easily to him. He made a rash call of joining the Rebel League (ICL). Rayudu served a cooling period in 2009 and was picked by MI in 2010.
His career was on the upswing when he made his India debut in 2013. Rayudu was selected for the 2015 World Cup but never got a chance. He shifted all his energies on the 2019 World Cup. Rayudu had a career-defining IPL in 2018 where he smashed 602 runs at an average of 43 and a strike rate of 150. Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper had mentioned that Rayudu is the person who will bat at number 4 for India. But in a strange turn of events, his form dipped leading into the World Cup and he was harshly dropped. In a fit of rage, Rayudu then announced his retirement.