'I thought that it's not worth continuing' - Dilip Vengsarkar reveals reasons behind his exit from cricket
'I was the highest scorer for India and I couldn't find a place,' said Vengsarkar.
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Even if an Indian cricketer had a stellar career, there is no assurance that it would finish well. This tendency is pretty clear if you look at some of the top names in Indian cricket. The legendary Kapil Dev toiled greatly in his final two years before calling it quits on a famous career after taking the eagerly awaited 434th Test wicket. Only a few names ended on a high, like MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sunil Gavaskar.
Rahul Dravid saw a high moment in the 2011 series against England, but he ended his career with a loss against Australia. Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag had the same fate. Harbhajan Singh was off the charts when he announced his retirement, after a six years gap from playing his last international game. And joining the bandwagon is the legendary Dilip Vengsarkar, a former India skipper.
Once the backbone of India’s middle-order lineup and a consistent run-getter for the team, the end of his career did not go the way he had imagined. In a conversation with WV Raman,former India player, and former Indian national women’s team’s head coach, on the latter’s YouTube channel, he opened up about his career and revealed the rough phases as he said:
“If you see in the hindsight, of course I was doing well in the sense. But on the tour of Australia, I was dropped from the one-day matches. That was I was the highest scorer for India and I couldn't find a place. I could understand if India were winning but they were losing each and every match on the tour of Australia. Coach Abbas Ali Baig was there and he asked me what we should do. I said you are asking an interested person.”
He was the star of India's historic Test series victory in England in 1986, and he appeared to be in good shape to play for another few years. But Vengsarkar's plans to continue were derailed by an unexpected injury. While playing in a Test match against the West Indies at Kolkata's Eden Gardens in 1988, Vengsarkar injured his hand while batting. Despite making a full recovery, Vengsarkar's career was never the same and a lot happened in his final international tour which was to Australia.
I have always believed that you should play in all formats: Vengsarkar
As a result of his poor batting performance against Australia in his final Test series, Vengsarkar finished his 116-game Test career with a total of 6868 runs. Vengsarkar appeared in only five ODIs between March 1990 and November 1991, although he did manage to hit a half-century in those five games. Vengsarkar, a former chief selector for the BCCI, claimed that he felt unhappy to have been left out, particularly given that India's ODI records at the time weren't up to par.
“I mean I can understand if you are winning all the matches and then you keep me on the sidelines. I was the highest scorer in ODIs till then. So then I thought that it's not worth continuing because I have always believed that you should play in all formats. India were playing a lot of ODIs back then and if you are playing them all, you are part of the group,” he further stated.