Home > Features >

Rajat Bhatia’s years of domestic grind rewarded with selection in India’s 30-man squad for ICC World T20 2014

Rajat Bhatia has been the go-to man for Delhi in domestic cricket for years now. Photo Courtesy - Rajat Bhatia Fan Club's Google + page
Rajat Bhatia has been the go-to man for Delhi in domestic cricket for years now. Photo Courtesy – Rajat Bhatia Fan Club’s Google + page

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

It is said that Twenty20 cricket is a young man’s game, but time and again, we have seen old warhorses dazzling the stage. Be it Shane Warne’s remarkable captaincy that helped Rajasthan Royals win the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 or a Brad Hogg making a comeback to international cricket at the age of 40, T20 cricket has given the veterans a second shot at limelight. Thus, age has not been a factor and performances are of paramount importance, so is fitness. Considering these factors, Rajat Bhatia has made his way to India’s 30-man provisional squad for the ICC World T20 2014.

Bhatia is your quintessential T20 player — someone who bats well lower down the order and his nagging medium-pace can cause problems for the batsmen. With the bat, he can chip in with a few runs if the opportunity comes his way, however, he has been more useful as a bowler for Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He bowls in tight channels and is fairly accurate with his dibly-dobly pace. With the batsmen looking to smash it around, hitting Bhatia for runs is not easy as he doesn’t have pace and the batsmen have to use their strength to send it miles. Most of the wickets Bhatia has got are because of his change of pace and well disguised variations.

For Delhi and later Kolkata, Bhatia has been a fixture in the line-up. His record isn’t outstanding as such and, one would say that they do not exactly measure the kind of contribution he has made to the sides. In 68 IPL matches, he has taken 51 wickets at an average of 27.29 with one four-wicket haul — a best of four for 15.  In those 68 matches, he has had only 33 hits with the bat and has managed 225 runs at 10.23. He has remained unbeaten in 11 matches.

In T20 cricket, there is room for those utility players who may contribute in those short bursts and that seems to have helped Bhatia’s case. The other interesting thing is that he had a good season with the bat for Delhi as he amassed 492 runs in seven matches at an average of 54.66 with two tons. That form when coupled with his proven exploits with the ball in T20 cricket strengthened his chances. Though one may be a bit surprised as his name has featured ahead of the likes of Irfan and Yusuf Pathan — men who have been crucial to India’s limited-overs plans in the past, but his performances leave out all the doubt.

But as we know, a call-up for the 34-year-old Bhatia is unlikely. In the past, he has done well in First-Class cricket and couldn’t quite break through into the Indian team as there were more superior batsmen and his bowling wasn’t very strong for the longer format. T20 cricket is a different ball game and it has brought him in the national mix after years of struggle. Yet, Bhatia himself knows that he may not make it, but it nevertheless is a recognition for one of the most respected warhorses in domestic cricket.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

England England vs India England vs India 2014 Ian Bell India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa Sri Lanka

Ravindra Jadeja playing ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s tour of England a disaster, says Erapalli Prassana

Nasser Hussain praises Alastair Cook after victory in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swollen ankle worries MS Dhoni ahead of 4th Test at Old Trafford

Sachin Tendulkar inaugurates shopping mall in Vijayawada

Ian Botham praises England’s performance in third Test against India

An open letter to Pankaj Singh

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Should Umesh Yadav be sent as cover for Ishant Sharma?

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

Faisal Iqbal: Political interference harmed my international career

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

HP Gilt is the newest smartwatch in the block

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan should patch up, reveals an online survey!

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Ankit Tiwari, the priceless composer for Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan starrer Hamari Adhuri Kahaani!

Apple’s iPhone 6 may debut on October 14

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here