Indian cricketers who lost their momentum midway: Cricket being a very demanding sport always needs a lot more than fitness from a player to remain in the hunt. A few of them manages to stitch it together in a piece while others come in bits and scraps to gain reckoning but fade away to oblivion shortly after.
The sport being a religion in India has always had a vivacity like none other and the high hopes of the fans from the cricketers disrupts the basic expectations that can be humanly strapped onto a cricketer.
India has seen many players starting with considerable promise but in the long run throwing it all away, owing to injuries or a steep decline. In this story, we will take a look at five Indian cricketers whose career came to an abrupt halt wherein there was so much promise in the air.
#1 Reetinder Singh Sodhi
This youngster exploded on the international scene with a couple of remarkable performances as the U-15 captain of India where he managed to smash 82 in the finals against India’s arch-rivals, Pakistan and scalped three crucial wickets to keep India’s unbeaten heritage against Pakistan at World Cups intact.
His brilliant credentials in the World Cup helped him earn a call-up for Punjab and he shot to fame with a brilliant double-century. He followed up his success in the U15 World Cup with another rippling display in the U19 World Cup final that led to him finally attaining a call-up for the national team. Sadly, with all the promise in the hut, he failed to survive in the international arena and a sequence of low scores compelled the selectors to take out the hard-hitting all-rounder from the equation.
#2 Hemang Badani
The talented southpaw from Tamil Nadu felt like a perfect choice for India in the middle order in the wake of the match-fixing catastrophe that left India reeling. He made his debut at the age of 23 years and crafted some excellent strokes and a couple of brilliant knocks where his ability to stay unbeaten imbued India with hopes of a young finisher.
However, despite a blistering ton against Australia, Badani failed to perform shortly and was warming the bench in no time. With Yuvraj Singh riding roughshod over bowlers, his career fell tremendously short of breath. After the first ouster from the national team, a couple of sizzling showdowns in the Ranji final and against England as a part of India A team, brought him back into the limelight. Sadly, for him, the return to international cricket was as hallowed as he expected it to be and in no time, he was back to the bench before finally falling out of the national line-up.
#3 Iqbal Siddiqui
It is hard to connect the words promising and just one Test in your fold together. Agree or not but when he arrived at the international scene, he had a legacy of incredible impression in his trail. He wasn’t just one of the meaty fast bowlers but a reckless all-rounder with scintillating figures of 8 for 72 with the ball and a highest score of 116 with the bat.
Sadly, he could only manage one international match against England and despite India winning handsomely in that Test, Siddiqui couldn’t live upto his potential and was out of contention at the national level after excessive contest in a tightly packed line-up of young sensations.
#4 Robin Uthappa
It was 2007 and Rahul Dravid faced an impossible challenge from England on the road. Things were spiralling into a tailspin of chaos and India was being downright dominated by the three Lions. In the sixth ODI where India were trailing 3-2 in the series, England posted a mammoth total of 316. Yuvraj Singh was thrashed for 5 sixes in the final over.
Tendulkar and Ganguly gave India the much-needed start but the middle-order couldn’t sustain the initial momentum. It needed a special knock from a special man in the end and it was none other than Robin Uthappa stitching a valiant 47 from 33 balls to impart a remarkable series-levelling victory for India. In the 2007 T20 World Cup semi-final when India was stuttering heavily against Australia, Uthappa joined forces with Yuvraj to fire them to a formidable spot. The man kept on blowing hot and cold in international cricket because he belonged to one of those versatile cricketers from whom the nation needed everything. Sadly, for the hero who stunned the world with a capped kiss of timber in the bowl-out against Pakistan, his career fell out of favour a long time before it should have.
#5 Irfan Pathan
Remember the ball of the century from a newly-arrived youngster at Sydney that claimed Gilchrist, leaving him and the entire Australian team bamboozled in its wake? Remember the match-winning performance against Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup final that wrecked Shahid Afridi for a duck? Remember the first-over hat-trick against Pakistan with some crazy movement of the ball?
The man hailing all the way from Baroda was destined for greatness. India, a nation starved of aggressive reverse-swing bowlers found a blessing in the southpaw. More to the surprise of the fans, he was an amazing batter too and played impeccable knocks for the nation. Sadly, for him it was his ability to bat that acted as a curse. Chappell’s insistence in using him as a batsman backfired and what could have been a fairytale of ascendancy exploded into a whirlwind of decline.