Team India: Several star players who have carved a niche for themselves in the Indian cricket team over the decades and consistently won everyone’s hearts with their performances are now moving out of the team. This includes names from Shikhar Dhawan to Wriddhiman Saha. And perhaps none of them will be seen playing for Team India again. The primary reason for this is the continuous entry of young players into the team, who are winning hearts with their impressive performances.
These youngsters have not only won the hearts of the audience with their performances but have also permanently closed the doors of entry for many senior players. Apart from Gabbar and Pujara, the names of many stars are also included. However, in this article, we will specifically discuss five players who were once people’s favorites and may now never be seen in the blue jersey again.
These 5 Players might never to return to the Team India
India’s star opening batsman, Shikhar Dhawan, played his last international match in December 2022 against Bangladesh in Chattogram, which was a One Day International (ODI). While his last T20 match was in 2021, and the last Test match was in 2018. Since then, he has not been seen in Team India’s jersey, and it seems unlikely that he will play for the team again. Currently, the team has a lineup of young and promising openers, including Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Additionally, Dhawan, at the age of 38, may find it challenging to make a comeback, especially with the emergence of these star young players.
Gabbar, not just a name in India but also among the best openers in world cricket. He is the 10th highest run-scorer in ODIs for Team India. Dhawan has accumulated 6793 runs in 167 matches with an average of 44.11 and a strike rate of 91.35, including 17 centuries and 39 half-centuries. His highest score in ODIs is 143. In Test cricket, Dhawan has played 58 matches, scoring 2315 runs with an average of 40.61. He registered a highest score of 190, including 7 centuries and 5 half-centuries. In T20 cricket, he has scored 1759 runs in 66 innings from 68 matches, with an average of 27.92. Dhawan’s best score in T20s is 92, and he has scored 11 half-centuries.
He represented Men in Blue in the 2015 and 2019 ICC Cricket World Cups and was named the Player of the Series in the Champions Trophy 2013. Despite these impressive records, due to a lack of opportunities in the team and his advancing age, he might announce retirement anytime.
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Even the acclaimed ‘Swing King,’ Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has now found it impossible to wear the blue jersey again. With a constant influx of talented bowlers into the team, who have the ability to change the course of a match in any situation, Bhuvneshwar’s return seems unlikely. Bhuvi played his last match on November 22, 2022, and since then, he has not been a part of Team India. Somewhere deep down, he is also aware that making a comeback to the team is now beyond reach. This realization prompted him to remove the reference to being an Indian cricketer from his Instagram bio. Despite this, he continues to actively play domestic cricket and is performing quite well.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his international debut against Pakistan on December 25, 2012. From then until 2022, he has played a total of 21 Tests, 121 ODIs, and 87 T20 Internationals. During this time, he has achieved several significant records. Currently, he is the second-highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is. The 33-year-old fast bowler has claimed 63 wickets in Tests, 141 in ODIs, and 90 in T20Is. His best bowling figure in T20Is is taking 5 wickets for just 4 runs.
The name of the 35-year-old fast bowler Ishant Sharma is also included in the list of those players who are unlikely to be seen playing for Team India again. Ishant Sharma played his last match for India on November 29, 2021, against New Zealand. This Test match marked the end of his international career. Since then, he has not made a comeback to the team and is unlikely to do so in the future. The consistent exclusion of Ishant from the team is attributed to his advancing age and the entry of one impactful fast bowler after another in the team.
At present, India has notable fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Mukesh Kumar, and several others. Additionally, many young pace bowlers are gradually making their mark. In this scenario, it seems unlikely that he will become part of the team again. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that he has not been given an opportunity in white-ball cricket for quite some time. His last One Day International (ODI) match for India was in January 2016, while the last Twenty20 International (T20I) match was on October 10, 2013.
He is the only second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to have played more than 100 Tests. Apart from 105 Tests, he has represented India in 80 ODIs and 14 T20 Internationals. In terms of wickets, he has 311 in Tests, 115 in ODIs, and 8 in T20Is. Many experts also believe that he might announce retirement at any time.
One of India’s finest wicketkeeper-batsmen, Dinesh Karthik, is also included in the list of those players who are unlikely to be seen playing for Team India again. Karthik played his last international match for India during the 2022 T20 World Cup, and since then, he has been out of the team. With his age now at 38, the possibility of him making a comeback to the team is entirely unlikely. Moreover, at present, the BCCI has several impactful wicketkeeper-batsmen options such as Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan. Due to the presence of these players, the chances of Karthik making a comeback seem highly improbable.
Dinesh Karthik, who made his international debut in 2004, has played a total of 26 Test matches, scoring only 1025 runs in 42 innings with an average of 25.00. This includes 1 century and 7 half-centuries, with his best score being 129. In the 94 ODIs he played, Karthik accumulated 1752 runs in 79 innings at an average of 30.20, including 9 half-centuries. In T20 Internationals, he has scored 686 runs in 60 matches with one half-century. His role in the team was often to come in the final overs and play match-winning innings, a task he has demonstrated on several occasions.
Wriddhiman Saha, one of India’s star wicketkeepers, is also among those players who may never be seen playing for Team India again. Saha played his last international match for India in December 2021, and since then, he has been out of the team. At the age of 39, it is now entirely impossible for him to make a comeback to the team. Currently, India has several options for wicketkeeper-batsmen, including Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan, making Saha’s return practically unattainable.
Saha, who made his international debut in 2010, has played a total of 46 Test matches for India, scoring 1353 runs in 56 innings at an average of 29.41. This includes 3 centuries and 6 half-centuries, with his highest score being 117 runs. Apart from Tests, Saha has had the opportunity to play only 9 ODIs, scoring just 41 runs in 5 innings. He has not been given the chance to debut in T20Is.