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5 Indian cricketers who used county cricket to resurrect their careers

Pujara did pretty well for Yorkshire last year

Most of the top teams in the cricketing world have a proper domestic structure in place and it helps them produce champion cricketers from time to time. In this regard, England's county cricket has been the most popular as it has opened doors to players from different nationalities to come and take part.

Over the years, there have been a number of Indian cricketers have ventured into county cricket. While some of them did it to improve their skills in foreign conditions, there have been a few who have used county stints to brought their careers on the right track and also take them to the next level.

Here are 5 Indian players who resurrected their careers through county cricket:

5. Cheteshwar Pujara

The most recent instance of an Indian cricketer heading towards county cricket in order to resurrect his career happened last year when Cheteshwar Pujara signed up with Yorkshire for a short period of time. Pujara had been struggling for form throughout the year 2014 and also during the early part of 2015.

After being snubbed at the 2015 IPL auction, the Saurashtra batsman decided to use the opportunity in order to test in skills in English conditions. He played six innings for his county side and scored 264 runs at a 50-plus average.

Although he did not get an opportunity in the Indian team soon after, he was included in the team for the 3rd Test of the Sri Lanka series last year. Playing as an opener, Cheteshwar Pujara hit an unbeaten 145 which set up the match for India and helped him win back his place in the team.

4. Javagal Srinath

Srinath’s career changed for the better after he played county cricket

Javagal Srinath is easily among the best pace bowlers that India has produced and also one of the fastest. Srinath played 67 Tests to pick up 236 wickets and spearheaded the Indian pace attack for most part of the 1990s. The Karnataka pacer showed a lot of promise during his early days but lacked the consistency that could make him a world-class bowler.

However, he made a prudent decision in 1995 to play county cricket and signed up for Gloucestershire. After a successful season for them, Srinath became a different bowler and started to perform well for India on a regular basis.

In the year 1996, the lanky fast bowler claimed 33 wickets in just 7 Tests at an average of just over 27. Javagal Srinath also represented Leicestershire later on and ended up with 123 wickets in the 23 matches that constituted his county cricket career.

3. Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly’s county stint helped him make a comeback to the team

Sourav Ganguly is known to be one of India's greatest captains ever but apart from that, he also had a terrific career as a batsman. During his stint as skipper of the Indian team, Ganguly resorted to county cricket quite often in order to improve his batting even more. He started off by joining Lancashire in the year 2000 and later played for Glamorgan in 2005.

After he lost his captaincy and eventually his place in the Indian team, Sourav Ganguly headed to England once again to play for Northamptonshire in 2006. The southpaw returned a better batsman and earned back his place in the team.

In his last 2 years as an Indian cricketer, Ganguly proved to be one of the better batsmen in the team and did particularly well in 2007, scoring more than 1000 Test runs at an average of over 60. He ended his career on a high in 2008, scoring 85 in his last Test against Australia.

2. Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan starred for Worcestershire in 2006

Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan had a glittering international which saw him become one of his country's best fast bowlers. The left-armer showed a lot of promise early on in his career and managed to impress many with his pace and swing. However, he managed to hit a rough patch in the year 2005 as he struggled to perform.

In 2006, Zaheer decided to sign a contract with English county side Worcestershire and came up with a blockbuster performance for them. He played 16 matches for his team and claimed as many as 78 wickets. The Mumbai fast bowler has often referred to his county stint as a turning point in his career as it helped him gain a better understanding of the game.

Zaheer Khan's career took a turn for the better post his time with Worcestershire and he went on to become the spearhead of the Indian pace attack.

1. Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid in action for Kent

Perhaps the greatest example of an Indian cricketer resurrecting his career after a foray in county cricket is that of Rahul Dravid. The Wall, as he is fondly known, had cemented his spot in the Indian Test side but was completely out of sorts in the 1999/00 season as he failed to score a single half-century in 14 innings.

In a bid to get his career back on track, Dravid joined Kent for the 2000 county season. The legendary batsman was brilliant with the bat and scored more than 1000 runs in just 16 matches for his team. By the time he returned, his big transformation as a batsman had happened.

The years that followed saw Rahul Dravid become one of the pillars of the Indian batting line-up as he notched up the runs for India at the No. 3 position. He retired with more than 13,000 runs in the 163 Tests that he played for India.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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