Five players you may not remember representing India in a T20I
Playing for the Indian team at the highest level is a dream come true for every player in the nation. However, it is not a simple feat, since each player is up against millions of other players, and anybody who makes it to the team is deserving of recognition. However, as tough as it may be to break into the squad, it is as critical as maintaining one’s position. Despite boasting a lot of talent, many players have been unable to hold their place in the team. Because of bad performances or the return of experienced guys, several players have only been able to play one or two games for India before disappearing from the spotlight. On that note, let’s take a look at five players who you may not remember representing India in T20I.
1. Sudeep Tyagi
Sudeep Tyagi was one of the most talented fast bowlers from Uttar Pradesh. Tyagi made his mark in the domestic competition in 2007-08, taking 41 wickets at an average of 21.63 in the Ranji Trophy for Uttar Pradesh. His domestic accomplishments drew the attention of Chennai Super Kings, who signed him ahead of the 2009 IPL season.
Tyagi continued to put in strong performances and was shortly selected for the 2009 series against Sri Lanka. He made his T20I debut against the Lankans in Mohali in December 2009, however, he struggled under the strain of the big stage, going wicket-less in two overs and conceding 21 runs. Tyagi was promptly removed from the senior squad and has never appeared for India since then.
2. Rahul Sharma
Rahul Sharma was a tall leg spinner who was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a form of facial paralysis that affected his vision. He hailed from Punjab and was known for bowling stump to stump line and extracting extra bounce from the pitch, similar to Anil Kumble.
Sharma represented Deccan Chargers in the IPL 2010 and moved to Pune Warriors India in the next season where he had a promising season picking up 14 wickets. A decent showing in the IPL saw him earn a national call-up and made his T20I debut against Australia on 1st February in Sydney.
He bowled brilliantly in the two T20Is against Australia, grabbing three wickets at an economy of 7.64 but after testing positive for consuming drugs in 2012, Sharma was dropped from the team and never made a return since then.
3. Rishi Dhawan
Rishi Dhawan was among the handful of candidates that India considered when looking for a potential all-rounder. He was the highest run-scorer in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, with 519 runs in eight games, and he first gained prominence in the IPL in 2014, when he took 13 wickets for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) but not many people remember him representing India.
His performances in the domestic circuit and IPL saw him earn a national call-up for the Australian tour. He played three ODIs there but didn’t feature in any of the T20Is, but eventually went on to make his international debut in the T20 arena against Zimbabwe on 18th June 2016 in Harare.
Unfortunately, Dhawan was hammered for runs as he ended up with the figures of 4-42-1 and was dropped from the squad after that, failing to make a comeback ever since.
4. Naman Ojha
Despite his dynamic batting approach and a string of strong performances, Ojha was never able to establish himself as a first-choice wicket-keeper and spent the majority of his career on the bench.
Ojha has been exceptional for Madhya Pradesh in the domestic circuit, scoring close to 10,000 runs at an average of 40+. He was also a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad that lifted the trophy in IPL 2016.
The Madhya Pradesh wicket-keeper made his T20I debut in 2010 on 12th June in India tour of Zimbabwe in Harare but has a poor run as he managed to score only 12 runs in two matches and was dropped after that series. While he might be remembered by the locals for his domestic performances, not many remember him for representing India.
5. Parvinder Awana
Parvinder Awana represented Delhi at the domestic level and impressed everyone with his ability to generate raw pace along with a decent movement. He has 191 wickets to his name at the first-class level and also was the highest wicket-taker for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2012.
A string of consistent performances saw him a place in the T20I series of England tour of India, where he made his debut on 20th December 2012 in Pune. Unfortunately, Awana didn’t deliver as per the expectations, conceding 71 runs in the two games without picking up a wicket.
Thus, he was dropped from the squad and was never able to make a name for himself again.