Playing for India is no less than a dream. Every year a few players are able to complete their dream of playing for their country. Out of the players who play, only a few are able to leave a mark. However, in the history of Indian cricket, there have been a few bowlers who left marks in one game and then weren’t able to repeat that performance. Let us take a look at three such bowlers whose one performance will engrave them in the minds of every Indian cricket fan:
Before Anil Kumble cemented his place into India set up, another leg spinner seemed destined for greatness in the Indian jersey. The UP born, MP Ranji player Narendra Hirwani caught the attention of the world in his debut game when he took 16 wickets in his debut test in Madras. Eight wickets each in both the innings made him the hot property of Indian cricket for a brief moment. He took 20 more wickets in his next three home tests.
Things changed once the overseas tour of India started. The pace friendly wickets did not suit his bowling style and the arrival of Anil Kumble onto the scene further hampered his chances to cement his place into the national side. He ended his career at 66 wickets in 7 games. His career average was a mere 30.10.
The case of Jasu Patel was none less than that of a movie story. Jasu Patel made his debut in 1955. The player did not leave any mark on the game of cricket for nearly four years. He was a forgotten man. Suddenly, on the insistence of Lala Amarnath, he was called to the Indian team for a test against the mighty Australians.
The game was played on a newly laid pitch in Kanpur, and this is where Jasu Patel had the moment of his life. He took 14 wickets in the match. His nine wickets in first innings and 5 in the second innings led India to their first test victory over Australia. Jasu Patel became a legend and is the first cricketer along with Vijay Hazare to be honoured with Padam Shri. Patel ended his international career at the end of the Australian series.
Calling Joginder Sharma a one-match wonder would be unfair to the other two as Joginder did not perform in the same historical way as the other two. However, the history of modern Indian cricket will be incomplete without the picture of Joginder Sharma.
Sharma was the surprise selection to bowl the last over of the 2007 T-20 Final. Misbah-Ul-Haq was hitting anything and everything out of the park. Sharma started with a wide and a six followed. The next bowl, however, was enough to make the history.
He took the wicket of Misbah and in the process took India to the victory in the finals. Joginder never represented India after that game but that one match was enough to make him a household name in India even to date.