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5 cricketers who made their ODI debut with Virat Kohli in 2008 but didn't soar in international cricket

Virat Kohli on his debut tour to Sri Lanka in 2008 
Virat Kohli on his debut tour to Sri Lanka in 2008 
Kaushal Raj

Virat Kohli shot to prominence in 2008 when he became only the second Indian captain after Mohammad Kaif to lead his side to glory in the U-19 Cricket World Cup. It is natural for the captain of the team to become famous, but one of the reasons why Kohli made more headlines than Kaif ever did was the fact that he wore his heart on his sleeve.

He was as animated as they come and soon was the name on everybody's lips as the youngster became the talk of the town. His ODI debut came soon after in the very same year, as he opened the batting along with Gautam Gambhir in Sri Lanka.

Kohli was the only U19 cricketer to earn his ODI debut in the same year as the U19 World Cup in 2008, but five other players made their ODI debuts that year.

We take a look at how their careers progressed.


5. Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf Pathan.
Yusuf Pathan.

Irfan Pathan's elder brother made his debut in national colours much later than him but burst on to the scene as a power-hitter lower down the order who could also bowl some useful off-breaks. Yusuf Pathan made his entry into international cricket in the inaugural edition of the World T20, which India won and soon after was drafted into the ODI set up with his first match against Pakistan in Dhaka. Pathan's solid performances in the IPL were instrumental in his selection, and he soon became a fixture in the side.

However, the early promise fizzled out as the blaster from Baroda was never consistent enough to stake a claim for a regular place in the side. Though an IPL old-timer, Pathan has only played 57 ODIs till now and has an unflattering average of 27 in the format. His 33 wickets have come at an unhealthy average of 41.36. It's safe to say that he never set the international scene on fire, and his international career is all but over.

4. Manoj Tiwary

Manoj Tiwary was subjected to intense trial on his debut by Brett Lee.
Manoj Tiwary was subjected to intense trial on his debut by Brett Lee.

Now 34, Manoj Tiwary might be left to reflect on a career of 'what ifs.'. Having done everything right and having progressed through the ranks at a rapid pace, he was one earmarked for greatness, especially in Bengal circles, where people fondly called him 'chotta dada.'

He was the first in this list to make his debut in 2008, coming against the most formidable opponents, the Aussies, in their backyard. After a solitary failure in his debut, he would have to wait over three years to play his next ODI, this time in the Caribbean.

2011 was the best year in his international career as he featured in 5 ODIs for India, and even brought up his only ODI century against the West Indies in December that year.

He last played for India in July 2015 in Zimbabwe. With intense competition for middle-order places in the limited-overs setup, it is unlikely that he will make a comeback anytime soon.

3. Manpreet Gony

Manpreet Gony lived the dream for a bit in 2007-2008
Manpreet Gony lived the dream for a bit in 2007-2008

Punjab speedster Manpreet Gony would have a whirlwind year in 2007 in which he made his IPL debut for the Chennai Super Kings and also his first-class debut for the Ranji side Punjab. His form was so impressive for the CSK that it merited a call-up to the ODI side in the very next year.

Gony is built like a fast bowler, and his impressive physique and ability to hit the deck hard initially caught the eye. He made his debut against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup and would play his final ODI against Bangladesh, a mere three days later.

His second season in the IPL wasn't as impressive as his first, as he displayed none of the traits that marked him out as a pace sensation in the first year. He still represents Punjab in first-class cricket and has taken 196 first-class wickets for them over the years. Gony also turned out in the Canadian Global T20 in 2019.

2. Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha has retired from international cricket
Pragyan Ojha has retired from international cricket

Much like Manoj Tiwary, Pragyan Ojha is another who has had a career of 'what ifs.' He has been in and around the Indian cricket team ever since his debut, though never a permanent spot or a long run in the squad.

A very talented left-arm orthodox bowler, he would go on to represent India in all three formats of the game. Having had a couple of consistent seasons in first-class cricket and a successful debut season for the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, he forced his way into the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour and Asia Cup in 2008.

He enjoyed most success as a bowler in Test cricket, where he racked up over 100 wickets at a rapid pace in the period between 2010 and 2013.

1. Subramaniam Badrinath

It just never happened for Subramaniam Badrinath.
It just never happened for Subramaniam Badrinath.

Talk to any Indian cricket fan about the plight of Subramaniam Badrinath's career, and you might just see them tear up a bit. A supremely talented cricketer, he was one who was just never at the right place at the right time.

He represented India in all three formats of the game but did not amass over 200 runs combined, speaking volumes about the lack of opportunities provided to him. His ODI debut came in the same series as Virat Kohli in Sri Lanka.

It would just never happen for Badrinath at the international level. Timing or injuries will come in between him and national-scheme-of-things. He is an absolute titan in first-class cricket, having scored over 10,000 runs.


Edited by Staff Editor

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