With a mini-break in the current series between India and Australia, we try to keep the intensity alive by looking back at players whose careers effectively came to a halt owing to their underperformance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Take a look.
Peter McIntyre: The leg break googly bowler made his Test debut against England in 1995. He picked up only two wickets in the match that England won comfortably. McIntyre’s next assignment was against India, at the Kotla, Delhi in 1996 -- the inaugural Border-Gavaskar clash. Although McIntyrepicked up three wickets in India’s first innings, including the big one of Sachin Tendulkar, his overall figures weren’t impressive –37.4 overs, 3 wickets for 103 runs. India won the Test with ease and McIntyre never played for Australia again.
Gavin Robertson: The off-spinner from Australia played only four Tests during a short career, three of them against India during the 1997/98 tour. Although he picked up 12 wickets in the series, most of his scalps came because the Indians enjoyed going after him. Three of his four wickets in his debut Test innings at Chennai were lower order batsmen. At Kolkata, he was hammered for 163 runs in 33 overs even as he grabbed two wickets. He picked up five wickets in the final Test at Bangalore that Aussies won, but that did not do much good to his career. Robertson featured in his last Test, against Pakistan, in the same year.
Devang Gandhi: There were many casualties from India’s 1999-2000 tour of Australia as far as India were concerned, Gandhi was one of them. He arrived in Australia on the back some wonderful knocks in his debut series against New Zealand at home. However, just one game into the series Down Under, and his career was finished. Gandhi had no idea how to deal with the rising short deliveries. He made four and zero in the two knocks at Adelaide and was never chosen for India again.
Hrishikesh Kantikar: His Test career began in Australia and finished there itself. Sadly, it lasted only two matches. Kanitkar managed only 74 runs in four innings, with a highest of 45 at Melbourne. The left-hander looked completely at sea against the Aussie pacers, and was dropped after the series in 1999/2000.
Vijay Bharadwaj: The Karnataka batsman went to Australia with a reputation of being a talent batsman although he did precious little during his debut series at home against New Zealand. Bharadwaj was chosen for the final Test of the disastrous 1999/2000 series in Australia, at Sydney. He battled for 67 minutes but made only 6 in the first innings, and did not bat in the second innings owing to an injury. Bharadwaj was never seen in Indian whites again.
MSK Prasad: A surprise selection in the Indian squad, Prasad played all three Tests as the wicket-keeper during the 1999/2000 tour. While he was strictly okay behind the stumps, his contribution was virtually zilch with the bat. In three Tests, he managed only 52 runs, which effectively sealed his fate. India’s last Test in the series was also his last for Team India.
--By A Cricket Analyst