Shikhar Dhawan. PC- AFP
Shikhar Dhawan. PC- AFP

Over the years, the demands and want for specialists have meant that players have been selected specifically based on formats. It is a monumental challenge for cricketers to play and let alone specialize in all three formats. The advent of the T20 version has not only transformed the game into a fast-paced one but also increased the pressure on cricketers in terms of adaptability. The players are forced to adapt rapidly from one form to another in a matter of a few days.

The Indian cricketers in specific, play plenty of cricket in any given year across formats. There are also a few Indian stars who play just one format. Here’s a look at five such current players:

5 Indian Players Who Have Become Just One Format Player In The Last Couple Of Years

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credits: Twiiter)
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credits: Twitter)

India opener Shikhar Dhawan has made peace with representing India in only one format. Approaching his 37th birthday on December, Dhawan has made a pledge to himself. “Till the time I am playing for India, I would like to be an asset and not a liability,” Dhawan told PTI in an exclusive interaction after leading India to an ODI series victory in the West Indies.

From the start of 2020 till the end of the West Indies series, Dhawan has played 22 ODIs and scored 975 runs with 10 half-centuries, the highest by an Indian batter by a distance.

Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara. PC- Getty
Cheteshwar Pujara. PC- Getty

The rock of the Indian Test batting line-up, Cheteshwar Pujara was initially touted as someone who could play all three formats, after his initial exploits in Test cricket. Picked to play in the tour to Zimbabwe in 2013, The 29-year-old could not get going as well as he would like to have, thereby being judged as someone not equipped for white-ball cricket, yet.

A year later, Pujara was picked again for the tour to Bangladesh, but again he failed to show his prowess, albeit on pitches that suited the quicks. His place in the Test side came into question, but his response to that has been quite superb as he notched up runs against each of the teams who featured in the home season.

The Indian limited overs setup right now seems to have the right balance and so it seems difficult to fit in a player like Pujara, but surely in a couple of players, if he can maintain what he is doing right now, he could be considered for selection.

Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma, Indian Bowler
Ishant Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

The tall pacer, who will complete a decade in international cricket in a few months, started out a three-format cricketer but has been restricted to Test cricket primarily to the longer format of the game in the past 12 months and more.

Ishant’s last ODI for India was in November 2021 after which he has not played a game in coloured clothing for his country.

The veteran of 105 Tests, in which he took 311 wickets, Ishant has fallen down in the pecking order over the last year due to injuries and the rise of other bowlers

Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay (Image Credits: Twitter)
Murali Vijay (Image Credits: Twitter)

Murali Vijay was once one of the most trusted opening batsmen in India’s Test line-up. Having scored 33 and 41 in his first Test against Australia in 2008, the right-handed batsman stayed in the scheme of things. Vijay went on to play 61 Tests, scoring 3982 runs along with 12 centuries at 38.28.

The 38-year-old also played 17 ODIs and nine T20Is for the men in blue; however, couldn’t make a substantial mark in any of those. The Tamil Nadu batsman also lost his place in the longest version following the second Test against Australia in the 2018-19 series. It seems unlikely that he would make a return to the Test side in the future.

Ravichandra Ashwin

India vs South Africa 2022
Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin has not played for India in One-day international cricket since January 2022 even though he has expressed his wish to do so and is confident of doing well. However, as a highly-skilled bowler with the white ball, taking 151 ODI and 66 T20I wickets at 32.91 and 22.94, respectively, the 34-year-old can focus shift his focus to the longer format after the culmination of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.