In countries where there are millions of cricket fans, many young talents want to make a cricketing career. Generally, most of the Indian youngsters dreamt of becoming a cricketer at least once in their lifetime. However, it is not everyone’s cup of tea as it demands enormous skills and dedication. It is very much difficult for an international cricketer to hold his position in the side. Even a petite failure can ruin his entire career.
With a bunch of players already warming the bench, every match is vital for international players. Their sudden dip in form can lead to their exit from the side. Many big names resorted to domestic cricket to gain their shape back. Here’s a look at the top five international names who went back to the domestic arenas:
After winning the award of Emerging player of the year in 2004, India’s left-handed bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan’s career started witnessing a severe downgrade because of his form. He lost his pace and swing, which became a critical issue. Hence, he went back to the domestic format and played the Ranji Trophy. His first Ranji match fared out to be an average one where he scored 84 runs with the bat and grabbed 3 for 167 against Uttar Pradesh.
His performance began to improve in the next matches as he grabbed five wickets against Tamil Nadu and seven wickets against Mumbai. Later on, he made his international comeback during the World T20 conducted in South Africa.
VVS Laxman had a great debut in Tests as he smashed a half-century in his first match. However, he failed in the next two games, which created troubles for him. He lost his opening slot to Ajay Jadeja during the series against New Zealand in 1996.
A duck in his debut ODI match worsened the scenario and forced him to go back to the domestic format. His turnaround proved to be the best one as he smashed 1415 runs in 9 matches during the Ranji Trophy 1999-2000. This performance led to his comeback in the international side against Australia in 2000.
Kevin Pietersen returned to domestic format in 2015, where he joined Surrey in County Cricket by giving up the contracts of the Indian Premier League and Caribbean Premier League. His decision proved to be the perfect one as he smashed 170 runs against MCC Universities, his first great innings after the 2013 Ashes series. Continuing his form, he went on to record his highest ever first-class score of 355 runs against Leicestershire, an innings which comprised 36 boundaries and 15 sixes.
After Sachin Tendulkar gave up the captaincy in the year 2000, Sourav Ganguly became the captain with Rahul Dravid being the vice-captain. The pressure was immense on Dravid, which led to a downfall in his form. As he wanted to improve in English conditions, he decided to debut for Kent in County Cricket and gain his touch back. Just in his 2nd county game, he smashed a hundred and eventually ended up scoring 1221 runs in 16 matches at a breath-taking average of 55.50. He even dominated the legendary spinner, Shane Warne. He made his comeback during the 2000 ICC knockout trophy for India.
Even a legendary cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar had faced a downfall in his form, which forced him to go back to Ranji Trophy. After the England tour of India in 2012, Sachin decided to play for Mumbai against The Railways in Ranji Trophy.
He went on to smash 137 runs in that match consisting of 21 fours and three sixes. Tendulkar then played a knock of 108 against Baroda in quarterfinals and 56 against Services in the semifinal of Ranji Trophy 2012-13 that led to Mumbai’s victory in that season.