Team India has been on a roll in the last decade. The Men in Blue won the 2011 World Cup and were one of the semi-finalists in the next two editions of the World Cup. They won the Champions Trophy in 2013 and were the runners up in the 2017 edition of the said tournament. India is currently ranked number one in Test cricket as per the ICC Test rankings.
There has been a lot of competition in India's national team as there have been several cricketers who have performed well in international cricket, domestic cricket, domestic cricket, and A tours. Due to the said competition, players have to perform to the best of their abilities as and when they get a chance to represent team India.
Despite match-winning performances, some cricketers could not establish their place in the Indian team.
Here is a look at four such cricketers who did not play a single international game/ game in the format in which they won the Man of the Match award in their last appearance in the previous decade:
#1. Pragyan Ojha:
The left-arm orthodox spinner was a handy spinner for India in Test cricket. He picked up 113 wickets at an average of 30.27 in 24 Tests with seven 5-wicket hauls to his credit. He represented India in 18 ODIs and 6 T20 internationals.
He played 20 of his 24 Test matches at home and picked up 101 wickets. He picked up ten wickets in a Test against West Indies at Mumbai in 2013. Despite his heroics at the Wankhede, Ojha was never considered for selection again, and the West Indies test was the last one for Ojha in his international career.
India fancied Jadeja, as he was a better batsman and fielder than Ojha, adding balance to the team.
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The left-handed spinner despite picking up ten wickets in a Test could not cement his place in the Indian team for around seven years and, after that announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in February 2020.
#2. Amit Mishra
The 37- year old leg spinner, debuted for team India in the year 2003 in an ODI against South Africa. He made his Test debut seven years later in 2010 and his T20 international debut in 2013. He was never given a consistent run in any of the formats.
He has 76 Test wickets, 64 ODI wickets, and 16 T20 international wickets in his career.
Mishra, in an ODI series against New Zealand at home in 2016, picked up 15 wickets at an average of 14.33. In the last ODI of the said series, the leggie picked up five wickets for 18 runs and led India to a series win. He was the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series in the said series. Mishra despite his heroics against New Zealand, did not play a single ODI after the series. He played 2 Test matches for India against England in 2016, and since then, he has not been considered for selection in the national team.
He continues to IPL cricket and is only the only cricketer to pick up three hat-tricks in IPL cricket.
#3. Subramaniam Badrinath:
The middle-order batsman has the distinction of winning the Man of the Match award in a solitary T20 international he played for India.
Badrinath made his T20 international debut against West Indies at Trinidad in 2011 and played a mature inning of 43 runs of 37 balls while batting at number 4 for India. Riding on his innings, team India scored 159 runs in their innings beat West Indies by a margin of 16 runs in the said match. Badrinath was awarded the Man of the Match award for his batting performance.
Strangely, Badrinath did not play a single T20 international for India after his match-winning knock against the West Indies. He represented India in 3 ODIs against the West Indies in 2011 and could score only 40 runs in 3 innings and thereafter was never considered for selection in any of the formats.
#4. Irfan Pathan:
The 35-year-old all-rounder represented India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20 internationals. He was a vital part of the Indian team which won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
Irfan last played an ODI for India against Sri Lanka in the year 2012. The all-rounder scored 29 runs and was unbeaten in India's innings. He picked up five wickets with the ball and was awarded the Man of the Match award for his heroics with the ball. He picked up the wickets of Tharanga, Dilshan, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perara and Senanayake in his spell.
It is a real surprise that Irfan did not play a single ODI for the team after the said game, considering that he was a real asset with both the bat and the ball.
He represented India in a few T20 internationals in 2012 and since then failed to make it to the national team and, after that, announced his retirement.