The day Laxman announced his retirement it looked like S Badrinath had got a fresh lease of life. As one would’ve thought, he was fittingly drafted into the Indian Test team for the series against New Zealand. Nobody deserved to be picked for the Indian Test team more than S Badrinath, for he’d been scoring truckloads of runs in the Indian domestic circuit. Having scored nearly 8000 first-class runs at a SR of 60, it was rather unfortunate that he played only 2 Tests and 7 ODI for India.
At times you’re simply born in a wrong era and no matter how much you perform in domestic circuit, you never get picked for the Indian team because the spot that you’re vying for is occupied by the best in the business. Indian cricket has many such stories; the likes of Rajender Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar didn’t get even a single game for India because the world’s finest left-arm spinner—Bishen Bedi was in his prime.
Badrinath, for the best part of his career, was also stuck in that time zone because the Indian middle order was occupied by some of the best the world had ever seen.
Now, the retirements of Dravid and Laxman have opened a couple of slots in the middle order, and hence there was some hope for the likes of Badrinath. While he hadn’t set the world on fire in the limited opportunities he got at the highest level, his fighting half-century against Dale Steyn’s South Africa did show glimpses of his technical prowess. India’s is in search of some experience and solidity at number 6 and Badrinath could’ve been one of the candidates to fulfil that role.
Unfortunately, the door that Badrinath was badgering for the longest time opened only briefly. He wasn’t picked in the XI against New Zealand as Pujara and Raina were given the number 3 and 6 slots respectively. While Pujara has made number 3 his own (at least for the time being), Raina’s poor run in the longer format kept the hopes of other middle-order batsmen alive. Everyone, except Badrinath, who had a remote chance of making it into the Test side, was picked for either India-A or Mumbai-A to play against England in the warm-up. It’s rather cruel to not give Badrinath even an opportunity to fail.
The only silver lining in all this is that he’s still a part of the list of contracted players with the BCCI. While a central contract means that a player is still in the loop, it would be naïve to deny that time is in fact running out for the most prolific domestic performer.
This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 1:52 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.