Playing international cricket is probably the highest honor any aspiring Indian cricketer could achieve. The path to receiving their maiden cap begins by featuring in the Ranji Trophy or several domestic matches. Only by scoring a truckload of runs consistently or bowling tirelessly and taking wickets can help a player achieve his goal of representing their nation at the highest level or get closer to it.
Playing first-class cricket for their state is relatively easy. There is comparatively less pressure on them to perform, and hence the athletes do come good. However, there exist certain cricketers, especially in the Indian circles, who do not get opportunities at the highest level despite years of grinding down and performing well at the domestic circuit.
With India producing several talented players, a few might be restricted to the Ranji level only. Ultimately, due to growing age, they had to retire and resort to some other job in the sport.
We take a look at eight cricketers who shone in the Ranji Trophy but could not get to play international cricket:
Rajinder Goel, the slow left-arm spinner representing Haryana, was one of the best spinners in the domestic circuit. Rajinder Goel was a giant figure in the first-class arena; however, he played in the era of Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and Bishen Singh Bedi. Thus, his chance to play for India never came along.
The 77-year old took a mammoth 750 wickets in 157 fixtures in all Ranji Trophy fixtures. The 750 victims came at 18.58 apiece, along with 59 fifers and 18 ten-wicket hauls. Goel featured in only one unofficial Test against Sri Lanka and could never break into India’s Test squad. Even former India batting great Sunil Gavaskar rated him highly.