5 Indian Cricketers Who Played For India Prematurely 

Updated - 27 Nov 2023, 03:54 PM

Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik
Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik. (Photo: Twitter)

For any player to represent their country in a sporting event brings a great amount of pride not just for them but also for their near and dear ones. In a cricket-obsessed country like India, where the players are not just praised but worshipped in the resemblance of gods, it is an exhilarating moment for any player to represent the national team.

Players go through leaps and bounds at school and domestic levels in different age groups to earn their call to the national level. A player is representing the ambitions of 1.2 billion and that is to achieve glory in the game. With the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), every year a pool of talented players get the due recognition and are further pushed to fulfil their international journey.

The likes of Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Hooda are just the latest set of examples of how talent marries with a platform like IPL. It is only a win-win situation for Indian cricket and its loyal fans.

However, there are cases where players have been rushed and failed to deliver on the international stage. Some of the players might never get the opportunity again to represent India with the abundance of talent and stiff competition at a time when a player of Virat Kohli’s stature is being questioned for his place on the Indian playing XI.

5 Indian Cricketers Who Played For India Prematurely

5) Varun Chakravarthy

With his impressive performances in the IPL and TNPL, Chakravarthy was named in India’s squad for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka, which included a host of youngsters under the captaincy of Shikhar Dhawan.

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Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

Chakravarthy made his debut for India in the Sri Lanka T20Is and picked just two wickets in three matches at an economy of 5.30. With his impressive figures in IPL 2021 – 18 wickets in 17 games – the Tamil Nadu spinner was touted as a mystery bowler who can trick the batters in the middle overs.

However, Chakravarthy did not stay up to the hype and didn’t pick a single wicket in the three games in the T20 World Cup 2021. After India’s exit from the mega event in the group stage, Chakravarthy has never played a game in the Indian colours.

4) Vijay Shankar

To read this page you need to wear your 3D glasses. Yes, you read it right. That is what former national chief selector MSK Prasad had described the Tamil Nadu all-rounder while selecting the squad for the 2019 World Cup. Shankar had played a few ODI matches before the marquee event, his ODI debut was made in January 2019, and he impressed the selectors with his bowling and batting performances, the former stressed his selection.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. Image-AP

His selection fuelled anger on Twitter after Ambati Rayudu took a jibe at the selectors for dropping him from the squad. Shankar’s opportunities in the World Cup were limited to just three games with the all-rounder scoring 58 runs and claiming two wickets before getting ruled out of the tournament due to a toe injury.

3) Krishnappa Gowtham

The Karnataka all-rounder has played for three franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He grabbed the attention during his time at Rajasthan Royals for getting breakthroughs in the middle overs with his classy off-breakers and finishing the game with big shots.

Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Gowtham had to wait to earn his cap for the senior Indian team. Just like Chakravarthy, Gowtham also made his India debut on the Sri Lanka tour in the final ODI match. He made just two runs and picked the wicket of Minod Bhanuka conceding 49 runs from eight overs. The strange thing is that game happens to be the only international game for the 33-year-old.

2) Shivam Dube

Dube’s story is no different than any other player who rose to province from the IPL but one bad game and it brought the curtains on a career. Perhaps not in the case of the Mumbai all-rounder, who hasn’t played any game for the Indian side since February 2020.

Shivam Dube[photo: Twitter]
Dube scored 105 runs in nine innings and picked five wickets in the 13 T20I matches in the span of four months. It was that Bay Oval game where Dube was hammered for 34 runs in what was a combined effort of Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor. To make the matters worse Dube had bowled a no-ball on the fifth delivery.

It will be interesting to see if Dube can earn his spot back in India’s white-ball formats in the coming years.

1) Umran Malik

Malik impressed the cricket experts, fans, and selectors and guess who not? The Jammu and Kashmir bowler had wreaked havoc in the opposition camps with his searing pace in the IPL 2022. Bowling 150 kmph was a child’s game for him. He had the record of bowling the fastest delivery (157kmph) of IPL 2022 until Gujarat Titans pacer Lockie Ferguson pipped him to bag the award with a 157.3 kmph delivery in the final.

Umran Malik (Image Credits: Twitter)
Umran Malik (Image Credits: Twitter)

With 22 wickets in 14 games, Malik finished the tournament as the fourth highest wicket-taker, the most among pace bowlers. Malik was selected for the T20I series against South Africa but didn’t play any game. He made his debut against Ireland and conceded 42 runs in the second game. He was also tried against England in the final T20I in Nottingham, his figures diminished with 1/56 from four overs.


India National Cricket Team Krishnappa Gowtham Shivam Dube Umran Malik Varun Chakravarthy Vijay Shankar