2 Indian cricketers who deserved a longer run
The Indian cricket team has given the world some exceptional talents across the generations. Be it the "Haryana hurricane" Kapil Dev or the original little master Sunil Gavaskar, the list of cricketing greats produced by India has been endless.
In the early 90s, the world witnessed another cricketing genius in the form of Sachin Tendulkar, who went on to all the significant batting records in the world. Among the current generation of cricketers, captain Virat Kohli has taken forward the legacy of Tendulkar, his idol.
Rohit Sharma: An apt case study
It is fascinating to witness the skills these cricketers have shown time and again. However, most of them did not have the best of starts to their career. Be it Tendulkar, Kohli or MS Dhoni, all had a string of average matches to start off their careers.
But they were persisted with by their skippers, allowing them a fair share of opportunities.
Rohit Sharma could be a prime example in this regard. He recently completed the feat of 200 ODIs for India, an extraordinary achievement by the Mumbai batsman.
However, Sharma had a really torrid initial phase in the Indian side. It took him more than 39 innings to score his maiden century in ODIs, in what turned out to be an extended run.
The fact that the team management persisted with him speaks volumes of the faith they had in the Mumbai lad, who eventually has turned out to be one of the best openers in limited overs cricket.
However, not all cricketers had their share of luck; many of them disappeared after promising starts in their career. Here, we take a look at two cricketers from the last two decades who definitely deserved a longer run in the side.
1. Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif gained immortality in the fans' memories courtesy his match winning innings in the Natwest series final of 2002. However, those same fans probably don't recall how he vanished from the international scene all of a sudden.
The irony in Kaif's case is that he registered his highest Test score of 148 against West Indies in a series which eventually turned out to be his last.
In 13 Test matches, Kaif scored 624 runs at an average of 32.8. In 125 ODIs, he amassed 2753 runs while averaging 32. Apart from being a good batsman, Kaif was also a superb fielder and impacted plenty of dismissals courtesy his sharpness in the field.
Kaif would have surely not imagined being dropped from the side after scoring a career-best 148. He was someone who would have been an asset to the Indian side in the MS Dhoni era of cricket, which emphasized fielding standards highly.