In a country where people revere cricketers, making it into the playing XI of their national side is the common fantasy of all players.
When a cricketer starts playing cricket at a young age, he is motivated to toil hard seeing his heroes do just the same at the international level.
However, the competition gets tough as one progress upwards since the national side is selected based on rigorous plans. The unluckiest are the ones who are chosen in the squad but never gets to show their skills on the field.
Here are five cricketers who were added to the squad but never played for Team India:
Dheeraj Jadhav is a Maharashtra opener who piled up 1066 runs in just 12 innings in the 2003/04 Ranji Trophy.
His batting brilliance earned him a call-up to the national side in the 4th Test against Australia at home in 2004 but couldn’t break in as Gautam Gambhir was handed the cap.
Jadhav didn’t lose hope as he kept on besieging the opponents with his bat at the inter-state tournaments. But the efforts of the former openers went in vain as Gambhir and Virender Sehwag cemented their spots as openers in the Indian cricket team.
The Malegaon-born amassed 7679 runs in his First-class career in 111 matches before retiring 2015.
Ranadeb Bose, with his splendid bowling performance in the domestic circuit, saw himself winning an opportunity to be selected for the 2007 England tour of India.
The Bengal pacer picked up 57 wickets in just eight games at a strike rate of 39.4 during the 2006/07 Ranji Trophy.
But the then 28-year-old couldn’t find a place in the playing XI as RP Singh, Zaheer Khan, and S Sreesanth made it into the wings ahead of him.
Ishwar Pandey had scalped 48 wickets in 8 matches in the 2012/13 Ranji Trophy and was the tournament’s highest wicket-taker.
The 6′ 2″ bowler possessed the ability to swing the ball at around 130 kmph and was also a trainee at the MRF Pace Academy.
Earning a call for the 2014 New Zealand tour, Pandey was dismayed at not being given a chance to play throughout the leg.
The pacer was also bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of the 2014 IPL auctions.
Another pacer Basil Thampi approached the selector’s radar after receiving the emerging player of the season award in IPL 2017.
Picked up in the T20 squad against Sri Lanka in 2017, Thampi didn’t get a chance on the field as inexperienced bowlers like Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar and Jaydev Unadkat were preferred ahead of him.
After that, the Kerala cricketer was dropped from the India A team and also couldn’t justify his place in Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He could only pick six wickets in the eight games he played in successive seasons.
Deepak Hooda is another player who was picked for the same T20 series as Thampi against Sri Lanka in 2017 but warmed the bench.
He was also selected for the Nidahas trophy only to miss the cut. However, Hooda maintained his appearances in the IPL, scoring 741 runs from 76 matches at a decent strike rate of 131.38.
In the recently postponed IPL 2021, Hooda represented Punjab Kings (PBKS) and had aggregated 116 runs from 8 matches with the help of a half-century.