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Five Ranji Behemoths: Cricketers Who Never Received an India Cap

The Ranji Trophy has produced numerous talented cricketers over the years but not all of them have had the opportunity to represent India at the highest level. In this article we explore the careers of five Ranji Behemoths who never received an India cap.

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By Crickified
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Amol Mazumdar (right) with Sachin Tendulkar

Playing Test cricket for your national team is the ultimate achievement for any cricketer. It represents the pinnacle of the sport, where players don the white jersey and proudly represent their country. However, for some talented individuals, even years of hard work and exceptional performances in domestic tournaments are not enough to earn them a place in the national team. In this article, we will explore the stories of five remarkable cricketers who made a name for themselves in India's Ranji Trophy but never received the elusive India cap. 

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1. Amol Muzumdar: The Unrewarded Talent 
Amol Muzumdar is often the first name that comes to mind when discussing cricketers who never played for India despite their remarkable skills. Over his nearly 20-year career, Muzumdar scored more than 11,000 first-class runs at an impressive average of 48, including 30 centuries. He faced the daunting task of breaking into a middle order that boasted several batting powerhouses, making his journey to the national team a challenging one. 

2. Rajinder Goel: The Spinning Maestro 
During the 1990s and 2000s, breaking into the Indian cricket team's middle order was akin to climbing a mountain. Similarly, the famous spin quartet of Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, S Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwat Chandrashekar made it extremely difficult for spinners to earn a Test cap. Haryana's Rajinder Goel stands out as one of the finest Indian bowlers never to have received an India cap. With an astonishing 750 First-Class wickets at an average of 18.58 and an economy rate of 2.10, Goel's ability to maintain accuracy while taking wickets was truly exceptional. 

3. Padmakar Shivalkar: The Longevity of Skill 
Padmakar Shivalkar, a left-arm orthodox bowler from Mumbai, is another prominent name in the list of cricketers who never played for India. His career spanned over 20 years, and he maintained an impressive average of 19.69. Shivalkar's accuracy and skill with the ball were on par with Goel's, highlighting the extraordinary depth of spin bowling talent in India during that era. 

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4. KP Bhaskar: The Elegant Batsman 
Krishnan Bhaskar Pillai, fondly known as KP Bhaskar, was an elegant and productive batsman who consistently performed well in the Ranji Trophy for Delhi. Despite an average of over 52 in First-Class cricket and more than 5400 runs, Bhaskar never received the opportunity to represent India at the highest level. He played alongside future greats but was unable to make it into the national lineup. 

5. Ranadeb Bose: The Speedster in the Shadows 
Ranadeb Bose, a pacer from Bengal, had an impressive record in domestic cricket. In the 2006-07 season alone, he took 57 wickets, the second-most by a pacer at that time. Bose earned a call-up to the touring party to England but unfortunately did not get a chance to play. Despite his consistent performances, his lack of express pace was considered a hindrance to his international prospects. Nevertheless, with 317 Ranji wickets at an average of 25.80, Bose remains one of the finest pacers to have missed out on an India cap. 

Conclusion 
The stories of these five cricketers serve as a reminder of the incredible talent that exists in India's domestic cricket circuit. While playing for the national team is the ultimate dream, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the extraordinary achievements of those who never received the India cap. Amol Muzumdar, Rajinder Goel, Padmakar Shivalkar, KP Bhaskar, and Ranadeb Bose may not have had the opportunity to represent their country, but their contributions and performances in the Ranji Trophy will forever be etched in cricketing history. 

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