There have been numerous heroes in Indian cricket, right from Vinoo Mankad to Rishabh Pant, who are very well known, owing to their consistent feats over a period of time. But, what is the benchmark to call someone a hero? Are the players who perform well for long time, only considered heroes? If yes, then what about those players who had a short career in the eras ruled by some legends?
In a country of over a billion people, there have been players who made it to the Indian XI and made their mark in international cricket, albeit for a short while. In our latest series of articles, we will revisit the heroics of such forgotten heroes who left their mark in Indian cricket history.
One such is former Tamil Nadu batsman Hemang Badani, who was very well known for his aggressive batting approach and was drafted into the Indian team after the allegations on former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin. Badani played four Tests and 40 ODIs for India and his short career witnessed lots of ups and downs.
International debut at 23
Born in Chennai, the southpaw batsman Hemang Badani was highly impressive as an all-rounder and also was a reliable lower-middle order batsman. At the age of 23, Badani came into an ODI side, which was bogged down by the match-fixing allegations on Mohammed Azharuddin. In the absence of Ajay Jadeja, Badani was asked to fulfill the void in the middle order.
Soon, he scored his first century against Australia in 2001, a knock where he batted with long tail. At this point, he looked promising, but was quite inconsistent. Before being left out of the squad in 2004, his career witnessed a final peak, when he and Ajit Agarkar rescued India from 75/6 to 222.
Averaged around 46 in first-class cricket
Badani was a regular feature in domestic cricket in India and kicked off his first-class career for Tamil Nadu on a high, scoring 366 runs in just three matches. His career spanned for 121 matches, in which he also played for Vidarbha and amassed 6,758 runs across 168 innings at an average of around 46, and crossed the three-digit mark 14 times.
A short stint in the Indian Cricket League
In 2007, Badani signed up for the Indian Cricket League for Chennai Superstars team. Owing to this, he was ruled ineligible for representing Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. After playing for two years, he quit the ICL and made himself available for the Indian Premier League and was picked by MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, however, he did not play any matches. The left-arm batsman took up the role of the Head Coach at Chennai Super Gillies in Tamil Nadu Premier League thereafter.