They say that India is a country known for its unity in diversity. Whenever we talk about this, we tend to think about culture, creed, religion and other social factors that unite a country. While all this certainly needs to be acknowledged, one thing that’s immense whenever we talk about unity in India is cricket. No other sport in this country has the power to enable a conversation with two random individuals, irrespective of their background and whether they know each other or not. Whenever Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli gets out, a food delivery boy in Indore who’s a cricket fan will have the same level of disappointment, perhaps like the CEO of a top-notch company in Mumbai who too, maybe had high hopes of them scoring. Well, that’s the beauty of the sport.

While India is a country known for producing superstar cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and many others, not many realize the number of talented cricketers who also got overshadowed because of the magnanimous performances that they brought to the table whenever they represented the country. Whenever you get selected to play for the Indian cricket team, there’s not much difference in skills between a legendary player and someone who’s yet to prove his mettle. Talent and potential are never different. It’s always the mindset and self-belief paired with consistency that helps you become a legendary player worth remembering from someone who’s placed only at times when people talk about talent. So today, our subject of discussion is those Indian cricketers who burst into the scene wonderfully with their talent. However, in the long run, they lost their place in the squad and never returned to the limelight due to a lack of consistency.

Ajay Ratra was among the most talented wicketkeepers in the Pre-Dhoni era. His knock of 115 against West Indies in the 2002 Test series remains one of his best. Then, however, an injury jolted his career, bringing Parthiv Patel into the squad. Soon after, MS Dhoni was in the scenario, and the rest is history.

Tinu Yohannan impressed everyone in his debut Test match, where he dismissed both the openers cheaply. Then, however, he was dropped from the squads after playing three games each in ODI and Test cricket due to inconsistent form. Poor chap never represented India ever after that.

Unmukt Chand is one of the most talented names people talk about. A lot even expected him to follow Virat Kohli’s footsteps and be the next big thing in cricket. However, he vanished from fame due to inconsistency which made him consider early retirement.

VRV Singh – He made his debut in 2006 and was rated very highly as one of the fastest bowlers in the country. However, he lost his form very quickly and ever since then, he never could make a return despite trying his best in first-class cricket.

Deep Dasgupta – Before Ajay Ratra, the name Deep Dasgupta was very prevalent in the Indian cricket scene. He scored a century to save India from losing an important Test match. However, his inconsistency got him out of the squad very soon, and there was no coming back from there.

Sanjay Bangar: He’s one of the most underrated all-rounders for team India in the early 2000s. He played 15 ODI games and 12 Tests for Team India but never really made any noise for scoring big. Even as a bowler, he wasn’t the best in performance, and sadly, after inevitable stints, the selectors showed him the exit door.

Vijay Dahiya – He was scoring good runs in domestic cricket. However, the rich display of form in domestic cricket has yet to translate into International cricket. Well, we all know what will happen if that is the scenario.

Parthiv Patel – Parthiv made his debut against New Zealand in 2003. He was one of the youngest to play Test cricket for India. He’s always had the reputation of a wicketkeeper who can also score some runs. However, while he always had a lot of talent, inconsistency didn’t help his cause, and soon after, MS Dhoni got even more difficult for him to make it to the squad.

Wasim Jaffer – He was one of the most promising openers, and in Test cricket, for quite some time, he was the preferred choice of opener alongside Virender Sehwag. However, lack of performance brought Gautam Gambhir into the squad as a replacement, and he has been a consistent member for many years since then.

Joginder Sharma – Well, the case of Joginder Sharma is indeed curious. He’s an unheard and unpopular name in cricket. Yet, everyone has heard it because one of the few wickets he’s taken in International cricket has helped India win the opening T20 World Cup. However, better options alongside his inconsistency didn’t help, and he never managed to be a regular squad member.

Well, these instances are relevant, and any young cricketer who wishes to play for India, in the long run, must learn from these examples. As it was said, when you get selected for team India, it’s never really a difference in skill between player A and player B. It’s always about self-belief, confidence and the conviction that you belong here in International cricket because it’s a temperament that separates the ‘men’ from the ‘boys’.