It is often said regarding the Indian cricket team – that it is easier to make a debut than to make a comeback after being dropped from the side once. For the management and selectors need to be assured that the player has overcomed the weakness for which he had been dropped in the first place.
There are a few cricketers who were picked to play for India in the recent years, but were dropped for various reasons – of course, disappointing form being the top-most of all. And now it’s close to impossible for them to make a comeback to the national side.
Here are 3 such Indian players whose comeback is almost impossible:
After some decent performances here and there – in the IPL and in domestic white-ball cricket – Vijay Shankar was fastracked in the Indian team in March 2018 when he made his T20I debut, and his ODI debut in January 2019 in the all-rounder’s role, despite the presence of Hardik Pandya.
It came a big surprise when Shankar was selected in India’s main squad for the 2019 World Cup, the selectors preferring his “3-D” abilities over batsman Ambati Rayudu. Shankar did well with the ball in the game vs Pakistan and played couple of more match – vs West Indies and Afghanistan with little to show with the bat. An injury ruled him out of the World Cup.
However, once again surprisingly, Shankar was dropped after the World Cup and never played for India again – with the management trying out the likes of Shivam Dube and more recently Venkatesh Iyer. Hardik Pandya’s resurge as a proper seam-bowling all-rounder has now made it difficult for the likes of Venkatesh and Shivam Dube to return, and impossible for Vijay Shankar’s comeback – who himself has been in atrocious form in the IPL over the past couple of seasons.
Krishnappa Gowtham got to make his India debut on the tour of Sri Lanka last year when the first-choice players were in England for Test series. Gowtham, an off-spinner and a lower-order batsman, featured in one ODI match in which he managed only 2 runs with the bat and picked up 1 wickets; Sri Lanka won the close game by 3 wickets.
At the moment, it is unliklely that Gowtham, 33, will get a recall to the Indian side, irrespective of his performances in domestic cricket and in the IPL – for R Ashwin has made his comeback to the T20I side, and Washingston Sundar, 22, is earmarked a the future of Indian cricket. With Gowtham already 33, it is difficult to envisage him playing another game for India.
Faiz Fazal could only sit back and consider himself really unlucky to have not played another game after his debut. A left-hand batsman from Nagpur, Fazal made his ODI debut vs Zimbabwe in 2016 in Harare in which he scored 55* opening with KL Rahul, who scored 63* as the pair took India home with 10 wickets in hand in the chase of 124.
While KL Rahul went on to have a long, successful India career, Faiz Fazal was left in the lurch, constantly being ignored despite racking up good numbers in domestic cricket. He is 36 of age now, and with Rohit and Rahul still there, while other youngsters already waiting in line, Fazal’s isn’t going to add any more game to his tally of one ODI.