5 talented but unlucky cricketers

Vinay Chhabaria

Amol Muzumdar

To play cricket at the international level for their country has become a dream for billions and trillions of youngsters. But in reality, to reach such a level is not everyone’s cup of tea. 

India is home to several cricketers in the world because of the huge attraction towards this sport. However, it is not possible to play at the international level for all cricketers. Luck and talent are the most promising factors playing their role in every cricketer’s life.

There are some cricketers who get their chance based on their fate with minimal talent in them. On the other hand, there are other cricketers also who didn’t get enough chances despite having the maximum talent in them. One of the best examples is the greatest domestic player, Vinod Kambli.

Vinod Kambli entered the cricket world with a bang as he was the quickest Indian to reach the milestone of 1000 Test runs and averaged close to 120 after 7 matches. But pertaining to his hard luck, his downfall began in 1994 when he was found wanting against the short ball against the West Indies. After that, he made 9 comebacks for India but didn’t have the right fate as he failed.

Here‘s a list of 5 such players who were talented but just did not have the luck on their side:

#5 Padmakar Shivalkar

Padmakar Shivalkar is famous for his Ranji spell where he picked up 13 wickets for 34 runs against Tamil Nadu

Born on 14 September 1940, Padmakar Shivalkar is a former Indian first-class cricketer who had the perfect talent but was just born in the wrong era. Pertaining to his slow left-arm orthodox bowling nature, he was the highest wicket-taker for Bombay.

Shivalkar took the entire world with a storm when he bagged the best bowling figures in the final of 1972-73 Ranji trophy. Padmakar took 13 wickets in that match by just conceding 34 runs. He took 8 for 16 in the first innings and 5 for 18 in the second innings in the most crucial final match against Tamil Nadu. He took the total of 589 first-class wickets from just 124 matches but never got the chance to play for his national side. His career coincided with Bishan Singh Bedi, one of the greatest of all time and thus Shivalkar did not get more chances.

#4 Rajinder Goel

Rajinder Goel holds the record of most first-class wickets in the history

Rajinder Goel is a former first-class cricketer from Haryana who played for various domestic teams but never got the national call. Just like a rolling stone, he played for 4 teams during his domestic career. He made his first-class debut on 23 December 1958 for Patiala against the Services. After that, from 1959/60 to 1962/63, he played for Southern Punjab, and from 1963 to 1973 he played for Delhi.

He ended his first-class career on 9 March 1985 after playing for 10 years for his home side, Haryana. He holds the record of most wickets in the Ranji trophy. Goel bagged 750 wickets in his career and became the first one to achieve this feat. However, his fortune didn’t favor him as Indian team already had 4 front-line spinners in their squad which kept him away from the national squad.

#3 Stuart MacGill

Stuart MacGill had better stats than Warne when they played together

Stuart MacGill is a former Australian cricketer who lost his place in the national side due to the dominance of the legendary Shane Warne. However, in a few matches, they played together and shattered the opposition team with their might leg-spin. During the 16 games in which they played together, MacGill performed way better than Shane Warne. He picked up 82 wickets from that 16 matches while Warne picked up 71 wickets.

MacGill even had a better average of 22.10 as compared to Warne’s 31 runs per wicket. However, he was always considered as the secondary spinner after Shane Warne as he only got the chance to play when Warne was unavailable. He made his comeback as a full-time spinner in 2007 after Warne’s retirement but it was too late. Thus, MacGill had the talent but just with a hard luck as he got his national call-up after the Warne era.

#2 Amol Muzumdar

Amol Muzumdar scored a total of 11,174 domestic runs in his career but could never make it to Indian cricket team

Amol Muzumdar is a domestic player who was the classmate of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar during his school days. He had the potential to become the next Sachin Tendulkar of cricket but had the worst luck by his side as he never got the national call-up. Consistently performing in the domestic tournaments, he had made immense records to his name. Muzumdar holds the world record for the highest-ever score by a player on his first-class debut. He even held the record for most runs scored in the Ranji trophy, which was later on broken by Wasim Jaffer.

He got the call for India A side under the leadership of Rahul Dravid pertaining to his consistent form in domestic seasons. Despite having a first-class average above 50 and over 11 thousand runs, he disappeared under the shadows of his competitors Dravid, Sachin, and Ganguly.

#1 Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer could be considered as the best opening batsman to have played in the Indian domestic circuit. Jaffer started his career playing for Mumbai and went on to be the greatest batsman on the domestic platform. Currently, he is the leading run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy history. Jaffer has so far scored 18,110 runs at an average of 50.44 from his 242 first-class matches.

He played the Test format for India from 2000-2008 but only played 31 matches in the 8 years. The Mumbaikar smashed 1944 runs in those matches which included 5 centuries and 11 half-centuries with a top score of 212 runs. However, pertaining to his failures in some matches, he lost his place from the Indian side in 2008 and from then he has never made a comeback. In spite of his consistent performances in the domestic platform, he never got his second chance.