First-class cricket is an integral factor for international cricket as it provides players with an opportunity to showcase their talent. Their performances in domestic cricket are responsible for earning them an international call-up. The ladder to success begins from this all-important level, in India domestic competitions like the Ranji Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy are considered important in order to earn a national call-up.
Over the years, a lot of players have transformed their domestic success into international success but a few domestic heavyweights have failed to capitalize on their domestic glory. On this note, let us take a look at five Indian domestic heavyweights who couldn’t make it big in international cricket.
#5 Rajinder Goel
Rajinder Goel, the slow left-arm bowler was one of the best in Indian domestic cricket. He was one of the most feared spinners in the 1960s and 1970s but Goel could never make it to the Indian side because of the spin-quartet of India. Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishan Singh Bedi formed the fearsome spin-quartet of India.
He earned the respect of batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar due to his bowling ability. He scalped 750 wickets at an average of 18.58 with an incredible economy rate of 2.10. Despite his best efforts in domestic cricket, Goel could never find a spot in India’s test XI albeit he played an Unofficial Test against Sri Lanka.
#4 Sunil Valson
One of India’s finest fast bowlers, Sunil Valson. Delhi’s Sunil Valson never had the privilege to represent India though Valson was fortunate enough to experience India’s first World Cup triumph. He was a part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad. “As for myself, I was one among the fortunate 14, it does not matter that may not have got to play a single game, I did share the dream, I still do” said Valson.
Valson picked up 212 wickets in 75 first class matches. The Delhi lad could never make it to the Indian side after the World Cup but the triumph would always be one to remember for the fast bowler.
#3 Mithun Manhas
Delhi’s Mithun Manhas was regarded as one of the finest batsmen in domestic cricket. He made his way through the ranks as he played for Delhi U19, India U19 and then India A. He has also represented the Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India and the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Manhas has scored 9714 runs in 157 first-class matches. He has scored 49 half-centuries and 27 hundreds at an average of 45.82.
Manhas was born in the wrong era as the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman dominated the bowler throughout the 2000s. Manhas could never make it to India’s playing XI.
#2 Wasim Jaffer
With over 18,000 runs in first-class cricket, Vidarbha’s Wasim Jaffer is regarded as the best batsman in domestic cricket. The experienced campaigner has dominated India’s first-class circuit since his arrival. First, he represented Mumbai and later shifted to Vidarbha who won the Ranji Trophy in the 2017/18 season.
Jaffer has scored 18200 runs at an average of 50.41. He featured in 31 tests for India in which he scored 1944 runs at an average of 34.10. He was dropped due to his poor form. Sehwag and Gambhir’s dream run at the opening spot killed Jaffer’s chances of making a comeback. He also played two ODIs in which he recorded scores of 10 and 0. Jaffer is one batsman who could’ve easily played more cricket for India.
#1 Amol Muzumdar
Amul Muzumdar was compared to Sachin Tendulkar when he put his foot in domestic cricket. Amol was the next batsman padded up for Shardashram English School when Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli had the 664-run-partnership. His technique was solid and he was looked like a man for the future. Muzumdar has represented Assam, Andhra, and Mumbai in domestic cricket.
His statistics are exceptional, Muzumdar has played 171 matches in which he has scored 11167 runs at an average of 48.13. On multiple occasions, he has guided his side to victory with his batting exploits. He scored 60 half-centuries and 30 centuries in first-class cricket. Muzumdar could never make it to the Indian side. He is another unlucky player who was born in the wrong era.