The Indian Premier League has always been a sweet home to the budding cricketers in the nation. The league has contributed a number of players to the Indian national team, since its beginning in 2008.
Not only India, but foreign national sides too have relied on IPL to pick their players. IPL, at the same time, is a piece of entertainment as well as a source of hunting talent.
The league, now entering its 12th edition, has a long list of players who have established their names through this competition. Everyone speaks about those careers which prospered, but only a few remember those careers that went down after promising starts.
Over the years, we have seen many faces who were once considered the future backbones of the national team. But many among them didn't reach anywhere close to their dreams. Here we take a look at 5 such players who couldn't make big even after successful IPL campaigns.
#1 Subramaniam Badrinath
Subramaniam Badrinath is one among those who deserved chances in the Indian national team but couldn't grab it. The Tamil Nadu batsman is still considered as one of those domestic giants, who earned himself a name in the First Class tournaments. His good days were not limited to the state sides alone but extended up to IPL.
Badrinath had been a well-heard name in Indian cricket since 2006. He managed to make his international debut in an ODI match against Sri Lanka, months after the first IPL season.
Badrinath was an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings squad, until the 2013 season. In a lineup filled with power-hitters, the local man remained a necessary backbone. Providing the much-needed rescues very often, Badrinath scored 1441 runs from 67 innings in the league. An average of above 30, shows how worthy a player he was for CSK. The 38-year old was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2015, but couldn't make an appearance.
He failed to be a consistent name on the national radar, despite being a regular performer for CSK. The first four seasons with the club were memorable for the player, but it could get him only 2 tests and 7 ODI's. He ended up being the Man of the Match in the only T20I he appeared in (against West Indies in 2011).
Not being able to keep up with the race, Badrinath was always under the shade and retired from the game in 2018.
#2 Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary is yet another middle-order batsman who couldn't reach his great heights, even though he possessed immense potential. The West Bengal player started his domestic career in 2004 and received huge attention for his attacking style of play.
He made his international debut in 2007 against Australia, but couldn't continue for long in the national colors. In 2008, he was roped in by the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. From 2010, Tiwary was a regular fixture in the Kolkata Knight Riders' batting lineup for 3 years and eventually won the cup with them in 2012.
Returning to the Capitals, Tiwary represented the team in 13 games in the 2014 and 2015 season respectively. He was then picked up by Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017, where he played a key role and scored 324 runs from 15 matches at a strike rate of 137. The next season, he played for Kings XI Punjab.
Having played for 4 different IPL teams, the 33-year old has some invaluable experience in the shorter formats of the game. His league stats account to 98 matches from which he has scored 1695 runs at a decent average of over 28.
His contributions show us how valuable he was for his teams. However, Tiwary couldn't make a huge impact on the Indian jersey. During his 12 ODI appearances, he only scored 287 runs. The 3 T20Is were also not enough to showcase his ability. Tiwary last played for India in 2015, against Zimbabwe.
#3 Iqbal Abdulla
Once a promising name in the Indian cricket circuit, Iqbal Abdulla was later overshadowed by other left-arm spinners like Ravindra Jadeja. Being a sharp weapon with the ball and an innings-saver with the bat, Abdulla was every captain's spearhead.
Abdulla rose to fame courtesy of his performance for the U-19 teams at both the domestic and national levels. His consistent performances got him a spot in the Kolkata Knight Riders team that lasted till the 2013 season. Over this span, he played 33 matches and picked 28 wickets. In 2014, he was with the Rajasthan Royal but had a quiet season with only 1 game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore snapped up the Uttar Pradesh born player in 2015. At RCB, he played 15 matches, picking up 12 wickets in the process. Until 2017, Abdulla has played 49 matches and picked up 40 wickets.
However, the 29-year old never got a chance to wear the Indian Blue. After 2017, Abdulla was not eligible to play for Mumbai in domestic cricket for a season as he chose to play for Kerala. This period made it difficult for him to grab an IPL contract.
#4 Mandeep Singh
Not many would have forgotten the 2012 season when a young chap in the Kings XI Punjab lineup started giving some bowlers a real hard time. Mandeep Singh, the vice-captain of the Indian Under-19 team that played the 2010 U-19 World Cup was once a well known-hero of Indian domestic cricket.
The 27-year old started his career with Punjab in 2010 after being selected for the U-19 World Cup. Mandeep Singh had a bright start to his career, emerging as one of India's highest run-getters in that tournament. The same form in the domestic circuit earned him a call-up in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad.
However, 2010 was not a good experience for the youngster in the IPL. From 2011 to 2014 Singh was part of Kings XI Punjab and went through the best days of his IPL journey. In 2012, he was the top scorer for KXIP and was awarded the Emerging Player Award. At Punjab, he scored 763 runs from 41 matches.
From KXIP, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore and played there for 5 seasons. In the 'hard-hitting' RCB batting lineup, the top-order batsman had mixed results, fighting for chances. But still, he was a regular figure in the 2015 and 2018 seasons, scoring 157 and 252 runs respectively.
Singh's IPL numbers read 1364 runs from 84 matches. Even after good results for different IPL franchises and impressive domestic stints, he couldn't earn a call up to the national team. The right-handed batsman has made only 3 international appearances (T20Is) against Zimbabwe.
#5 Naman Ojha
Naman Ojha is only another wicket-keeper batsman who was sidelined due to the MS Dhoni era in the Indian team. Ojha was a player suitable for India in the longer formats of the game. Even after good performances in the IPL and other domestic platforms, the Madhya Pradesh born player's Indian chances were limited.
Ojha started his career for Madhya Pradesh in 2001. After long waits and consistent performances, his national team debut came in 2010, in an ODI against Sri Lanka. In 2009 and 2010, he was part of the Rajasthan Royals, scoring 545 runs from 22 matches.
In 2011, he was bought by the Delhi Capitals, where he played 34 games and scored 424 runs. After this relatively gloomy stint, Ojha shifted to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he took a vital role in their IPL triumph in 2016. In all the 4 seasons at SRH, the 35-year old was a frequent presence. Being a strong pillar in batting, he scored 584 runs from 56 matches.
In total, Ojha has made 113 IPL appearances and scored 1554 runs for 3 different teams. Despite being the first-choice keeper of all his clubs, Ojha could never really make his presence felt in the Indian team.
He played one test after Dhoni's retirement and was picked for 2 T20Is at Zimbabwe. With only 4 international appearances, a career with potential was rejected.