Indian Premier League is a very popular league in India with crores of cricket fans. The domestic league enjoys great fame over other domestic leagues such as Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Duleep Trophy. Over time, Indian Premier League has become a prominent tournament to qualify for the national team. Being a T20 format, IPL has a totally different approach than Test cricket.
IPL can boost a player’s popularity but, in some cases, the tournament also leads players to lose focus in the Test format. Many players who looked promising Test specialists at the initial stages, focussed more on IPL which affected their Test career. As 2021 auction is set to take place today, we take a glance at five such cricketers who ruined their Test career to be a part of Indian Premier Leagues.
Manish Pandey is the first Indian to score a century in IPL, which he smashed in IPL 2009 to send Royal Challengers Bangalore into the playoffs. Manish Pandey was seen as a promising player for Tests with his fabulous batting in Ranji Trophy 2009-10, ending as the highest run-scorer with 882 runs. However, Manish Pandey focussed more on his IPL career, which affected his Test career. In spite of brilliant batting skills, the 31-year-old has not been able to appear in Tests for the national side.
Manish Pandey is totally active in IPL leagues, featuring in every IPL edition. He played for Mumbai Indians in the inaugural edition in IPL 2008, followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 and 2010. He later shifted to Pune Warriors India, for which he played three editions in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
From 2014 to 2017, Pandey played for Kolkata Knight Riders. For the last three seasons, Manish Pandey is a member of Sunrisers Hyderabad. His busy schedule in IPL has affected his Test career, and he has not been able to make a debut in the longer format of the game.
After Unmukt Chand led India Under-19 team to U-19 cricket world cup victory in 2012, he became a popular name among Indian cricket fans. The 27-year-old batsman was expected to enter the national side, however, he could only become a regular face in the Indian Premier Leagues.
He played back-to-back IPL tournaments from 2011 to 2016. His poor performance did not attract the selectors for a national call-up. Being a great player at the domestic levels, Unmukt Chand was expected to debut for the national side too. However, he has not been able to get a national call so far.
When KL Rahul entered the national cricket slot, he was identified as a brilliant Test specialist. He played some great knocks after his Test debut against Australia in 2014. He was moving towards a wonderful Test career. However later, he decided to focus on the shorter format of the game.
His profile completely changed from a Test specialist to a quick T20 batsman. Since 2013, the 28-year-old has been very active in Indian Premier Leagues, representing Kings XI Punjab since last two IPL editions. He was named captain of the team in IPL 2020, who also clinched the Orange cap for scoring the most runs in the season.
KL Rahul stats in IPL are incredible, however, this has affected his Test career where he has an average of 34+. He is also not the first choice of the wicket-keeper batsman in Tests, which is highly dominated by players like Rishabh Pant and Wriddhimaan Saha. The right-handed batsman Rahul has played 60 Test innings so far, scoring 2006 runs.
With his calm and patient batting style, Ajinkya Rahane looks like a perfect Test batsman. He made his Test debut in 2013 against Australia and has smashed 12 hundred and 23 fifties in the Test format so far.
The 32-year-old batsman has focussed more on his IPL career, in which he has a permanent presence over the years. Ajinkya Rahane played for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020 and Rajasthan Royals in earlier seasons, and his slow batting approach has affected few games of his team.
After making an astonishing Test debut with two back-to-back centuries in first two Tests in November 2013 against West Indies, Rohit Sharma suffered poor Test form for a couple of years. In spite of spending more than 8 years in Test career, Sharma has played only 36 Test games.
In comparison to this, Sharma has played 200 matches in Indian Premier Leagues so far. The right-handed batsman is widely popular as Mumbai Indians’ skipper, the team which has lifted 4 trophies. In 61 Test innings, Rohit has hit 7 centuries and 11 half-centuries, which are quite poor stats as compared to his ODI and T20I career.
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