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Will Abhishek Nayyar follow Agarkar’s footsteps?

Most cricket followers may no longer recall the name of former Indian paceman, Ajit Agarkar. However, it is worth mentioning that he was once, the most promising of the Indian fast bowlers to have arisen from the famous Mumbai factory of cricketers. Often dubbed as the ‘perpetual underperformer’, Agarkar had promised a lot as a leading swing bowler and more so, as an all-rounder. His batting abilities never really surfaced during his decade-long career but most analysts and coaches from the Indian domestic circuit had believed that he was the one who would be able to replace the vacuum created by Kapil Dev’s retirement, to some extent, some day. That never happened and Agarkar never rose to the status that nearly everyone who had seen him blossom as a young performer believed was his for the taking. Now, another youngster from the same Mumbai team and one of Agarkar’s current bowling partner Abhishek Nayyar is being billed as the next big thing to arrive from the Mumbai stables and a complete all-rounder that the Indian team has been missing for some time. Yes, Irfan Pathan did promise a lot but he too has fallen by the side and no one really knows what he is doing at the Ranji circuit and whether his performances are being even watched by the selectors. Nayyar had been included in the Indian ODI squad after a string of decent performances in the first edition of the IPL but then, many observers say that he is being over-hyped simply because he is neither a very pacy bowler nor a very talented batsman in terms of being technically superb or a brilliant hitter of the ball. Many critics have gone on to say that the prime reason for the undertones regarding his selection are arising simply due to the desperation of the Mumbai supporters to get someone from their team in the Indian squad.

To be very honest, Delhi has left Mumbai way behind in terms of hogging the spots in the Indian team and besides Tendulkar there is literally no other player who is even in the scheme of thing — plz don’t raise the name of Rohit Sharma, we all know that he is just another bubble about to burst at any point. For me, even the comparison between Agarkar and Nayyar are misplaced, simply because Agarkar’s rise-to-fame and the huge expectations were because of his natural talent that was very evident in the very first ODI game he played. He had the ability to swing the ball on dead pitches and had the panache of a natural batsman — Nayyar on the other hand seems to be peddling on a wave of optimism regarding his capabilities rather than having actually delivered or showcased as much as Agarkar during his long but not-so-impressive career.


  1. I forgot to mention the name of Romesh Pawar, another Mumbai player who did seem to pack a lot of talent besides an overtly visible waistline. To me, he really did look like a good bowler and his flight was very impressive. Somehow, due to lack of opportunities and some lazy strokeplay, he couldn't display his batting talent in the international matches which is a bit surprising, considering he was regarded as the 'eternal saver' for Mumbai's batting collapses. My gut feeling says that he could have been handled, much, much better.

  2. I would say that Nayyar is more of batsman who could be used as a part-time bowling option. You cannot seriously expect him to take wickets with his bowling ability, simply because he just does not have much in this department. Yes, he is a dependable bat and can be useful in the number 7 ODI slot for india that dhoni has been struggling with, i.e. a batsman cum utility bowler.


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