Being unfortunate is actually a trait that resides in many people. No matter how hard they try, things don’t seem to work out in their favour. They say that persistent hard work leads to success, but in the case of these people, even that saying doesn’t ring true.
Madhya Pradesh has been the breeding ground of some of the best cricketers in the world. Be it the former Nawab of Pataudi, Mansoor Ali Khan, or the marvellous Syed Mushtaq Ali, Madhya Pradesh has gifted a good number of legendary figures to Indian cricket.
However, there are some players who couldn’t represent the nation despite deserving to. Here are three players plying their trade in Madhya Pradesh that were/are unfortunate to not play for Team India:
#3 Ishwar Pandey
The recent surge of good fast bowlers is something that has never been seen before. Sure, the country has provided the game of cricket with some elite players, but when it comes to pacers, they fall short when compared to the likes of Pakistan or Australia.
However, with the rise of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India do not have a dearth of quality pacers like they once used to. And it is for this very reason that Ishwar Pandey, who was born in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, couldn’t get a sniff of international cricket with India.
His numbers in the domestic circuit are commendable. The 27-year-old has 203 wickets from 57 games with an average of 26.33. In any other period, such numbers would have been sufficient to seal his place in the team, but not anymore. Although he could still represent India, it is highly unlikely and that is why he features on the list.
#2 Jalaj Saxena
Decent all-rounders are always a rare breed. When it comes to India, the country known for producing some of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game, only a handful players could be counted as standout all-rounders: Kapil Dev, Vinoo Mankad, Ravi Shastri and now maybe Ravindra Jadeja and R. Ashwin.
However, there was another all-rounder who could have done a decent job for the nation: Jalaj Saxena. The Indore-born Madhya Pradesh cricketer—who was also on the roster of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians—has been among the above-average performers in the domestic circuit.
With a batting average of 36.53 in First Class and bowling averages of 31.22 and 28.87 in First Class and List A, it could be inferred that he is no muck with the bat and ball, but the stacked deck of the Indian cricket team means that he is almost certain to never get a chance.
#1 Devendra Bundela
A list without the name of the record-holding Madhya Pradesh cricketer is no list at all. Bundela, who holds the distinction of being the highest capped Ranji player in the nation, is the true definition of unfortunate.
If he was born in an era that didn’t include the likes of Dravid and Laxman, he might have been a regular in Team India. The right-handed batsman, known for his silky skills, has played in 157 First Class matches and has scored 9654 runs at an average of 44.28.
In List A, Bundela has 2299 runs from only 77 innings at an average of 41.05, which makes him the unluckiest of the lost.