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5 Indian spinners who faded away after promising starts

Tarkesh Jha
Top 5 / Top 10

Now more of a commentary box figure, 'Siva' once had a million expectations with the ball

India has always been considered as a land of talented spinners. Since the early 1970s Indian spinners have dominated the world cricket with their enormous amount of talent.

Their ability to flight the ball in the air and extract turn out of dead pitches is a part of cricket folklore. From Bishan Singh Bedi to most recently Yuzvendra Chahal many spinners have donned the national jersey and graced the world stage with some sublime performances. Due to this very reason, non sub-continent countries always find it tough to tour India as they find it difficult to negotiate with the skill and artistry of the tweakers.

Even today, cricketers like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the driving force behind India’s tremendous run in Test cricket.

However, some spinners still found it difficult to cement their place in the national side despite showing early signs of excellence. Here we list down five Indian spinners who failed to reach their true potential on the field.

5. Narendra Hirwani

Hirwani Bowls

Not many people make their Test debuts the way Narendra Hirwani did. The bespectacled, wily young wrist spinner from Madhya Pradesh took sixteen wickets in his first match against a mighty West Indian batting lineup. He took eight wickets apiece in both the innings and hence was touted to achieve greater things in the future.

However, reality struck him hard when Hirwani endured difficult tours to West Indies, New Zealand and England thereafter.

The youngster found the conditions alien and hence found it difficult to adapt in unsuitable conditions for spin bowling. A string of mediocre performances in 1990 against England meant that the selectors dropped him and hence Hirwani was never called back again. The fact that he played domestic cricket until 2006 shows that he had enough chances to stage a comeback in the 90s, but the poor performance in England never got off his back.

He played 17 Test matches for India and took a respectable 66 wickets. He had a relatively low economy rate of 2.77 runs per over.

Hirwani scalped 23 wickets in the 18 One Day Internationals he played, but never really replicated his performance from the first match. His career is a great testament of how adaptability is a huge factor to sustain a place in the national side. 

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