The match between the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Delhi Daredevils (DD) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai was the 500th match to be played in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The twenty20 tournament has, over the years, emerged as an important platform for Indian cricketers, particularly the younger, and the often unnoticed domestic cricketers, to shine and make their case for international consideration. Many present-day Indian stars including Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and even Suresh Raina to an extent, have used the IPL to launch or re-launch their international careers.

And then there are those, who excelled in the twenty20 league, were given international call-ups (or as Sunil Gavaskar would say, given ‘India caps’) but turned out to be duds at the highest level. Here’s a list of IPL startlets who failed at the highest level (and where they stand now).

Manpreet Gony

Fresh from a great run in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, and in rich bowling form, Gony was called up to the Indian one-day team as replacement for an injured S. Sreesanth for a triangular series in Bangladesh. Gony was an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) campaign where they finished runners-up, ending the tournament as their highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets. Gony would go on to make his debut against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup in Karachi a month later, where he managed figures of 0/11 off 5 overs. Three days later, Gony featured against Bangladesh and turned out to be an expensive choice. In eight overs, he conceded 65 runs, picking Mohammad Ashraful and centurion Alok Kapali. That game against Bangladesh would also be his last. Gony, who was a part of CSK for the first three seasons, later turned out for the now-defunct Deccan Chargers (DC) in 2011 and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 2013 season. Gony is no longer a part of the KXIP setup.

Rahul Sharma

The tall, lanky leg-spinner made headlines in 2010 with his disciplined bowling for the Deccan Chargers, especially in the overs both within and outside the powerplays. The following year, he impressed again, this time for a new franchise—Pune Warriors India (PWI) and his exploits earned Sharma a call-up to the Indian Test squad against the West Indies. Sharma’s IPL performances drew instant comparison to Anil Kumble’s bowling style, by the likes of Ravi Shastri. All this, despite Sharma not being a regular feature in first-class cricket for his state team, Punjab. Yet the selectors, in their wisdom, saw him good enough to represent India, strictly based on Sharma’s performances in the IPL. Sharma made an impressive ODI debut against the West Indies in Indore in December 2011, picking 3/43. Sharma would go on to play three more ODIs for India, the last of them coming against Sri Lanka in Colombo (2012) and feature in two T20Is, both against Australia in 2012. Sharma was part of the Delhi Daredevils squad for the 2014 season, and currently is a member of the Dhoni-led CSK.

Saurabh Tiwary

When he first arrived on the scene, Tiwary was hailed as the left-handed Dhoni, for reasons best known to the media and commentators alike. The similarities, if any, ended with their hairstyle, or perhaps the odd helicopter shot. Or the fact that the pair of them belonged to Jharkhand. Tiwary came into prominence during the 2010 season, when he was a crucial cog in the Mumbai Indians’ resurgent campaign, where they finished runners-up. Tiwary made his impact with three important half-centuries for the Mumbai Indians in 2010, and he was promptly rewarded with a call-up to the Indian one-day team for the Asia Cup that year. Tiwary made his India debut against Australia in Vishakhapatnam, and finished with an unbeaten knock of 12, as they chased down a 290+ score. Tiwary played his next two ODIs against New Zealand in Bengaluru and Chennai. The game in Chennai would be his last ODI for India. Injuries and price-tags played their part in Tiwary’s decline. Tiwary was snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for $1.6 million in the 2011 auctions, but his performances for the franchise never matched the sum. In 2014, Tiwary was bought by the Delhi Daredevils.

Naman Ojha

Ojha came into prominence in the second edition of the IPL in 2009, played in South Africa. Coming on the back of some impressive numbers for Madhya Pradesh in domestic cricket, Ojha was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals, where he impressed with the bat, scoring a couple of fifties. Ojha carried his IPL form into domestic cricket, where he scored runs and was rewarded with a national call-up as a back-up keeper for the tour to Zimbabwe in 2010. Ojha’s brief tryst with international cricket lasted only three matches with his one-day debut coming against Sri Lanka in Harare, followed by two T20Is against Zimbabwe in the same tour. After he initially represented the Rajasthan Royals, Ojha was bought by the Delhi Daredevils in 2011. Currently, he plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad as their wicketkeeper-batsman.

Sudeep Tyagi

While not exactly an IPL star, Tyagi was once considered the next best thing in Indian pace bowling, impressing in the domestic scene for Uttar Pradesh. His big break came in the second edition of the IPL, where he played for CSK. While he couldn’t manage a bucketful of wickets, Tyagi’s moment came when bowled AB de Villiers with a scorching delivery. Post the IPL, Tyagi was rewarded with subsequent call-ups—to the Emerging Players’ tour to Australia and later, with India A. Tyagi was called up to the Indian one-day team in 2009, making his debut against Sri Lanka at the Ferozeshah Kotla in a game which was called off due to a dangerous pitch. Tyagi would feature in three more one-dayers for India, with the last of them coming against South Africa in 2010. Injuries, loss of form and the emergence of pacers like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav would rule him out of national reckoning. Tyagi, who played his last IPL match in 2010, was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad three years later.

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