6 Indian cricketers who did not get enough chances under MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

MS Dhoni is regarded as arguably the best captain of all time in his glorious captaincy tenure that lasted from 2007 to 2017. Under his reign, India accomplished everything in the game and were turned into world beaters from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s. His era revived Indian cricket as far as coming out on top in major tournaments are concerned as the Men in Blue emerged triumphant in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007, 2011 World Cup, and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

Apart from all these, Dhoni also led India to the summit of the ICC Test rankings in 2009 and Asia Cup victories in 2010 and 2016. While MS Dhoni added the ‘Midas’ touch to India’s fortunes and also had the ability to bring the best out of players, there have been a few cricketers who played under him that did not shine despite having a promising future in the game due to some or the other reasons. Without further ado, here’s a look at six of those players who faded away from the threshold of greatness under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s era.

6 Players who didn’t get enough chances under MS Dhoni:

6. Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yusuf Pathan is known for his brilliant power-hitting abilities in the middle order and can also provide vital breakthroughs with his right-arm off-break. Pathan was first introduced as a surprise package to stun the Pakistani bowlers in the 2007 T20 World Cup final. He scored a brisk 15 before being caught. The Men in Blue were eventually crowned world champions with a close five-run win.

Pathan was then in the scheme of things in the Indian setup going forward and his match-defining batting abilities helped him in bagging a lucrative IPL contract in 2008 with the Rajasthan Royals. The crowning moment of glory in Yusuf’s professional life came when India lifted the ODI World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011.

However, after that World Cup triumph, the Indian team went through a transitional phase which meant that Yusuf Pathan hardly got any chances thereafter. The older of the Pathan brothers never represented India again after March 2012.

5. Piyush Chawla

Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Piyush Chawla burst onto the scene at the international arena pretty early in March 2006 at the tender age of 17 during a Test match against England. The then emerging leggie was well groomed from there on and was all set to be the next champion spinner for India. Chawla was the only player of India’s 15-member squad who did not play a single game in their historic 2007 T20 World Cup triumph in South Africa.

From there on Chawla made his presence in the Indian team mostly on a regular basis and was also named in the squad for the 2011 World Cup that was co-hosted by India along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Aligarh cricketer played a few group matches before being benched after the Netherlands game which also turned out to be his final ODI appearance. The Men in Blue went on to lift the coveted trophy.

Nonetheless, Piyush Chawla was not given many chances post the World Cup triumph and he still somehow hung around there for over a year. He never donned the India jersey ever again after a home Test match against England in December 2012.

4. Munaf Patel

Munaf Patel
Munaf Patel. (Photo Source: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

Munaf Patel is one of the unsung heroes of Indian cricket not to have gotten his fair share of credit that he rightfully deserved. Having burst onto the scene at the highest level in March 2006 at the age of 22, Patel looked to be a promising medium-pace and got backing from the then skipper Rahul Dravid.

Patel almost regularly made his presence felt in the Indian side including in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean where India crashed out in the group stages. However, the biggest turning point in his career came when India won the 2011 ODI World Cup on home soil with Patel one of the integral members of the side. He accounted for a well-set Pakistani opener Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Razzaq in the semifinal to take the victory away from the Men in Green’s grasp.

It felt as if Munaf Patel would be the next big thing in the Indian pace department post that triumph, but that was not to be as he played his last India game in September that year at the age of 28 years.

3. Robin Uthappa

Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Robin Uthappa’s international career started on a promising note at the age of 20 with an 86 in a home ODI match against England in April 2006. Uthappa featured regularly in the Indian side from thereon and also played the 2007 50-overs World Cup in the Caribbean.

When MS Dhoni was named the Indian skipper in mid-2007, Robin also got his fair share of chances under him and was a part of India’s squad that emerged triumphant in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2008 tri-series in Australia. However, when the 2010s began, the veteran middle-order batter was in and out of the Indian team which also saw him miss out on cementing a place in the triumphant 2011 World Cup squad.

Despite showing consistency in IPL at that time, Uthappa was still not selected on the national side on a regular basis. Even though the Karnataka cricketer made sporadic appearances in 2014 and 2015, he never played for India after the Zimbabwe tour in July 2015.

2. Manoj Tiwary

Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary. (Photo Source: Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/GettyImages)

Manoj Tiwary is one of the examples of a fine cricketing talent who never got the spotlight to shine despite showcasing consistent performances with the bat for many years. The Bengal cricketer made his international debut way back in February 2008 against Australia in Brisbane and had to wait for three more years after that tri-series in order to make a comeback.

During the 2011 ODI series against the West Indies, it appeared as if the Bengal cricketer’s struggles were over when he scored an impressive century in the fifth game with India being reduced to 1/2. Even though that knock earned him a well-deserved Player of the Match award, it did not do any justice for him to cement his place permanently in the Indian team.

Over the years, Tiwary only made sporadic appearances in the Indian team and was no longer seen in international cricket after the 2015 limited-overs series tour of Zimbabwe. The cricketer-turned-politician then went on to play in the IPL till the 2018 edition.

1. Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

This is arguably the biggest name that could not get a fairytale push under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. A 19-year-old Irfan Pathan had put everyone on notice having clean bowled Adam Gilchrist in the Adelaide Test match in December 2003. From there on he was touted as the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Indian cricket and succeeded in earning the trust and respect of then captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

He was even a part of some of India’s biggest triumphs under MS Dhoni including the 2007 T20 World Cup and the Commonwealth Bank tri-series in Australia in the 2007/08 season. However, from early 2009 onwards, Irfan was in and out of the Indian team which eventually forced him to miss the memorable 2011 World Cup.

While he did make a comeback in the following year, he could not survive the cut-throat competition in the Indian team during the transitional phase and was no longer in the playing XI after 2012. Even though the Baroda cricketer was included in India’s 2013 ICC Champions Trophy squad in England & Wales, he did not get a single game and was slowly shown the exit door from the national team after that.

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