The Indian cricket has seen some great cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman represent the Indian team for a long time and also played in domestic cricket simultaneously. But there are few other cricketers in the country that did not get many chances to play for the Indian team because of these great players. Their contribution in the Ranji Trophy is worth calling them as unsung heroes. 

Here we look at the 5 unsung heroes of Indian cricket, following a unique achievement of Wasim Jaffer on 8th November 2015 in the Ranji trophy tournament; he became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs against Bengal. 

1. Wasim Jaffer

In the Ranji trophy tournament, Wasim Jaffer became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs surpassing Amol Mazumdar on 8th November 2015. He has played for India in 31 Test matches scoring 1944 runs with an average of 34.10 with 5 centuries and 11 half centuries. He opened for the Indian team and in domestic cricket also. Wasim Jaffer made his Ranji debut in 1996/97 and played for Mumbai for a long time and in 2015/2016 season he has changed the team to Vidarbha. He has played 126 matches scoring 10002 runs with an average of 57.81. He has the highest score 314 not out to his credit. In Ranji Trophy career, he has 35 centuries and 41 half-centuries to his name. He has the ability to play the long innings.

2.  Amol Mazumdar

Amol Mazumdar made his Ranji Trophy debut in 1993/94. He has played for Mumbai, Assam and Andhra Pradesh. He retired from Ranji Trophy in 2013/2014. His records in Ranji Trophy tournament has been exceptional playing 136 matches scoring 9202 runs at an average of 51.40 with the highest score of 260. He scored 28 centuries and 45 half-centuries to his name.  In the 2006-07 season, he was appointed the captain of Mumbai team and led the team to Ranji Trophy victory. In 2007, he became the highest runs scorer in Ranji Trophy cricket for Mumbai surpassing Ashok Mankad. In Sept 2009, Amol moved to Assam after he was not selected for Mumbai team for Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. In 2012, he signed for Andhra Pradesh but by mid-2013-14 decided to mentor Andhra youngsters. Unfortunately, he was never selected for the Indian team in Test matches or One day Internationals.

 3. Mithun Manhas

Mithun Manhas started his Ranji Trophy career in 1997/98. He has played for Delhi till last season and shifted to Jammu and Kashmir this season. He has played 130 matches scoring 8197 runs. His average in Ranji trophy has been 48.79 with a highest score of 193. He has 24 centuries and 43 half-centuries to his name. He has been a consistent performer for Delhi. He has played the Indian Premier League for 3 franchises.

 4. Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Hrishikesh Kanitkar has represented India in only 2 test matches in 1999/2000. He played 34 One day Internationals and scored 339 runs. He started his Ranji Trophy career in 1993/94 for Maharashtra and then moved to Rajasthan team.  In 2010/11 season, he captained the Rajasthan team and led them to their maiden Ranji trophy title defeating Baroda in the finals. He played for Madhya Pradesh also before moving to Rajasthan. He played his final game in 2013/14 season. He has played 105 matches scoring 8059 runs. He has an average of 58.82 with the highest score of 290. He has 28 centuries and 35 half-centuries in this tournament.

5.  Devendra Bundela

Devendra Bundela has been a solid player for Madhya Pradesh. He started his Ranji Trophy career in 1995/96 and is continuing to play for Madhya Pradesh. He has played 125 matches scoring 8057 runs. He has an average of 46.84 with the highest score of 167 not out. In his Ranji Trophy, he has 23 centuries and 41 half-centuries in his tally. Bundela has performed exceptionally well and when the team required him he comes with a special knock. 

Name

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100

50

Wasim Jaffer

126

10002

57.81

314*

35

41

Amol Mazumadar

136

9202

51.40

260

28

45

Mithun Minhas

130

8197

48.79

193

24

43

Hrishikesh Kanitkar

105

8059

58.82

290

28

35

Devendra Bundela

125

8057

46.84

167*

23

41

When compared to the fab five of Indian cricket, all these players have contributed well in the domestic cricket and held the fort for their respective cricket associations. The fab five have played almost half the matches in domestic cricket and also have scored nearly half the total runs, as they were on national duty. The table below shows their contribution in Ranji Trophy tournaments.

Name

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

HS

100’s

50’s

Catches

Sachin Tendulkar

38

57

4821

87.37

233*

18

19

 

Sourav Ganguly

55

76

3666

54.71

200*

9

19

42

VVS Laxman

53

83

5764

80.05

353

23

19

45

Rahul Dravid

50

74

4918

76.84

215

17

23

61

Virender Sehwag

52

81

3585

43.76

187

11

15

48

If one looks at the highest runs scored the ranking would look like 1) Laxman (353) 2) Wasim Jaffer (314-NO) 3) Hrishikesh Kanitkar (290), 4) Amol Majumdar (260) and Sachin Tendulkar (233). Based on the average the ranking would be Sachin (87), Laxman (80), Rahul Dravid (76.84) Hrishikesh Kanitkar (58.82) and Wasim Jaffer (57.8). Among the fab five Sachin Tendulkar (15921), Rahul Dravid(13288), Sourav, VVS Laxman(8781), Virender Sehwag(8586) and  Sourav Ganguly(7212).Wasim Jaffer and Kanitkar have better averages than Sourav Ganguly.  This proves that it is a sheer luck that Kanitkar and Jaffer were unlucky not to get more opportunities to play for the country.

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    I am pavan Suresh. I have done my schooling from LPS. I am big fan of sports especially cricket and want to become a sports journalist. I want to write cricket articles.

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