Long breaks: Indian Players with longest gap between ODI appearances

Over the years, the game of cricket has become more intense and competitive. Thus, it is no big thing to witness the players getting dropped frequently from their respective teams. In order to achieve the perfect balance, the selectors and team management do not shy away from giving chances to new players instead of the older ones or bringing older legs back into the fold. There have been many instances in the history of the game where the players have made their comeback in international cricket after a lot of years

Here is the list of Top 5 Indian Players with the longest span between appearances in ODIs.

5. Sairaj Bahutule (5 years, 294 days)

Bowling all-rounder Sairaj Bahutule was a renowned figure in the domestic circuit in the 1990s and 2000s. After his international debut for India in 1997, Sairaj could feature in only eight ODI and two Test fixtures taking 2 and 3 wickets respectively. In his short ODI career, the leg-spinner had to bear a huge gap of nearly six years. After representing India in the Independence Cup in January 1998, Bahutule was left in the wilderness for about 5 years and 294 days before playing his final ODI in late 2003, against New Zealand in Cuttack.

4. Robin Uthappa (5 years, 344 days)

Robin Uthappa was included in India’s squad for the inaugural edition of ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 for his ability to bat at any position, be it the opening slot or the middle-order. However, the right-handed batsman saw a dip in his career when he was out of the team after the game against Sri Lanka in the finals of the Asia Cup in 2008. To get his next call for the National team, Uthappa had to wait for 5 years and 344 days. He returned to the team in 2014 in a match against Bangladesh. Despite scoring a fifty in his comeback fixture, the batsman failed to impress the selectors and made only 7 ODI appearances before getting dropped again.

3. Parthiv Patel (6 years, 133 days)

One of the youngest players to represent India in Test cricket, Parthiv Patel kick-started his international career at a tender age of 17 in 2002. Following this, he soon made his ODI debut in January 2013 against New Zealand. However, the emergence of MS Dhoni as the potential wicketkeeper-batsman for the Indian team, meant that Parthiv didn’t get a chance for a long time after his game against Sri Lanka in 2004, in the Asia Cup. He only returned to the Indian cricket team in 2010 under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir but was soon sacked after a series of poor performances.

2.  Amit Mishra (6 years, 160 days)

The leg-spinner Amit Mishra was always in and out of the Indian team despite his decent performances. Mishra made his ODI debut in 2003 against South Africa in Dhaka, during the TVS Cup. The leggie didn’t get many opportunities and could return only in 2009, in the view of the 2011 World Cup. However, after a game against Zimbabwe in July 2010, he was dropped from the team as captain MS Dhoni preferred Piyush Chawla over him. Thus, Amit was left in the wilderness yet again for 6 years and 160 days. He made his final ODI appearance for India in 2016 against New Zealand where he bowled exceptionally well and finished with the figures of 5-18.

1. Robin Singh (7 years, 230 days)

Topping this list is Trinidad-born Indian all-rounder Robin Singh, who played for India between 1989 and 2001. He made his 50-over debut in 1989, against his home country and featured in one more fixture before he was kept out of the team for a period of seven years. Robin finally made a comeback in late-1996 and played more than 134 games. However, the all-rounder was dropped from the national team in 2001 as the captain Sourav Ganguly was keen on building a young team.