Sunday, February 25, 2024

Saurabh Tiwary’s retirement a tale of unfulfilled potential

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Mumbai Indians cricketer Saurabh Tiwary reacts after playing a shot during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on May 13, 2017. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: A tinge of sadness was evident in Saurabh Tiwary’s retirement speech on Monday.

“I think, if you are unable to make in the national team or IPL, it is best time to leave space for talented youngsters,” Tiwary said.

It encapsulated his career succinctly as Jharkhand’s final Ranji Trophy league match against Rajasthan in Jamshedpur from February 16 would be his last game in professional.

The left hander would hang up his boots with the regret of not fulfilling his potential in international cricket, only appearing in three ODIs, scoring 49 runs, remaining unbeaten in two of them.

In a career of 17 years, the 34-year-old turned out for four IPL franchises and was part of the Virat Kohli-captained U-19 World Cup that won in Malaysia in 2008.

The big-hitter made his Ranji debut in 2006-7 season and bagged a contract with Mumbai Indians in 2010. He scored 419 runs in 16 games that led to his India call-up in in June but his international debut occurred in October.

Journeyman IPL career

From there on, his career failed to take off. Royal Challengers Bangalore spent big to get him in 2011 but in three years he failed to fire. A shoulder injury kept him out of action in 2014.

One year spells at then Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Rising Pune Supergiant didn’t bring back into national contention. He returned to Mumbai in 2021 but at 31, his dreams of donning the blue jersey of India seemed over.

He remained prolific in domestic cricket though, scoring 8030 runs with 22 tins and 34 fifties in 189 innings at an average of 47.51 playing 115 first-class matches.

In 93 IPL games, he made 1494 runs at an average of 28.73 and a strike rate of 120 and racked up 3,454 T20 runs in 181 games, with 16 fifties at an average of 29.02 and strike rate of 122.17. He has also captained Jharkhand 88 time across formats.

Yet, he would have dearly parted with all those for more representation in international cricket.

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