Wriddhiman Saha is now in national reckoning in the absence of skipper MS Dhoni and he is now leading the competiion for India’s second wicket-keeper among Karthik, Patel and himself
But still Dhoni is the obvious first choice wicket keeper for India. India found a permanent keeper in him after trying many wicket-keepers at international stage.Before him Nayan Mongia was the only wicket keeper who spent some long days at international arena. India then once used 5 wicket keepers in 16 months. Let us see some wicket keepers who played after Nayan Mongia and before Dhoni for Team India.
1. MSK Prasad
Manavva Srikant Prasad made his debut against Bangladesh in 1998 in a trianglular series. He played only two games in the series, another one was against Kenya. Prasad was second choice keeper for India. He got chance in the Test side after Mongia sustained an injury post the 1999 World Cup. He then got 6 Test and 17 ODI caps. He played last for India in a Test match against Australia in Sydney back in 2000. He performance dismally for India.
2. Saba Karim
Saba Karim was selected for the 1989 tour to West Indies where he just warmed the benches. Thereafter he was forgotten till 1996/97 when he was called for the South African tour where he made his debut and scored some useful runs. But he couldn’t cement his place in the team in presence of Nayan Mongia. Later he fought his way back in to the team but an eye injury sustained during the Asia Cup match in 2000 ended his career. He played 34 ODIs for India and also played a Test against Bangladesh in 2000.?
3. Vijay Dahiya
The Delhi wicket-keeper managed to don Indian cap for only one season of 2000-01. In that season, he played 2 Tests against Zimbabwe and was also part of the Indian team in the ICC Knockout Tropy in Kenya where he made his debut. He was an ordinary batsmen with better temprament and a safe wicket-keeper. He represented India last in front of Australia in Margao which was one of his 19 ODIs.
4. Sameer Dighe
At the age of 31, he had given up cricket and was studying in USA when he got an Indian call out of the blues for the triangular series in Australia. He showed some good character in Australia. He made his Test debut in the historical Chennai Test against Australia and played a match winning unbeaten knock of 22 with the tail to carry India to victory. He scored his highest individual ODI score of 94* in a losing cause where he proved his worth as batsmen. But he could not carry it for long and his short career ended at after tour of Sri Lanka where he played his last ODI and Test. From January 2000 to August 2001, he played 6 Tests and 23 ODIs for India.
5. Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta was selected for the Indian side after Saba Karim got injured in the South African tour where he made his Test and ODI debut. He was dropped from the ODI team after he failed to impress anybody with his 54 runs in ODIs and was never considered for ODIs later. But he played 8 Tests in the season for India. He was an attacking batsmen and played some good knock but his inconsistency made him lose his place. He was the first wicket keeper for India after Nayan Mongia to score a Test hundred.
6. Ajay Ratra
A natural athlete, light on his feet, Ajay Ratra made it to the Indian ODI team against England in 2002. He later made it to the Test side for the tour of the West indies where he scored a century and became the youngest Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test hundred and also became the second only to go past 100 runs in an innings outside India. He was also part of India’s U-19 World Cup winning squad in 2000. He was probably one the most promising young Indian, but unfortunately he lost his place in the team. He played the last of his 6 Tests and 12 ODIs in England against the hosts.
7. Rahul Dravid
One of the finest batsmen India has ever produced, Dravid was given an added responsibility behind the wickets ahead of Ratra in England during the Natwest Trophy. He was made to keep wickets only to keep the balance of the ODI team. He then went on to be the regular ODI wicket keeper for India and was also keeper for India in the 2003 World Cup where India reached the finals. He never kept wickets in Tests apart from when MS Dhoni had a bowl during India’s tour of England in 2011.
8. Parthiv Patel
He was called to replace injured Ratra in England where he made his Test debut as the youngest Test wicket-keeper.His childish looks made him loveable in the team and among fans but he was unable to perform on the field according to expectations. His keeping was under a huge scanner after his poor show behind the wickets. He made his ODI debut against New Zealand in 2003 and was also a part of the 2003 World Cup squad where he did not got chance to play. He was dropped from the Test team in 2004, but was recalled to play his last Test till date in 2008 in Sri Lanka in the absence of Dhoni. He was dropped from the ODI team as well in 2004 but then later he played for India from 2010 to 2012. He has played 20 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20Is for India and is still playing first class cricket in India and is part of RCB in IPL.
9. Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik is the last wicket keeper to play for India before MS Dhoni, and has been consistently in and out of the team. He made his ODI debut in 2004 in England and Test debut in the same year against Australia. Despite his comendable performances in domestic circuit his immature attacking play costed him his place for Dhoni. He made his comeback in 2006 against South Africa and was first choice keeper for India, he scored his maiden ton in Bangladesh in 2007. But, soon he was replaced by Dhoni. He also played some games alongside Dhoni as a pure batsmen. He was the part of the World T20 winning team in 2007, and was also the part of 2013 Champions Trophy winning team. He last played a Test in 2010 against Bangladesh and also played his last ODI in Bangladesh in 2014 in Asia Cup. He was bought for a whooping price of Rs 12 crores in the last IPL auctions by Delhi Daredevils. He has worn the Indian jersey in 23 Tests, 71 ODIs and 9 T20Is.