Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Farewell Rajat Bhatia

Rajat Bhatia, after two decades of toil in the domestic circuit has finally called it a day at the age of 40. 

One measure of greatness is longevity and, in this parameter, Rajat Bhatia certainly qualifies with over 100 matches in each of the three formats of the game (only Indian to do so without representing India as well). He was a rare commodity in the Indian circuit – a medium pace all-rounder. Overall numbers were decent (10,000+ runs & 300+ wickets), more consistent than spectacular, but just did not have that extra edge. 

He never played for India. Closest he came to a national call-up was being selected in the probables for the T20 World Cup and an India A call-up for a tour to Israel (yes, you read that right). 

Has won the Ranji Trophy and IPL – a feat which has eluded many India superstars and his last representative matches were in Bangladesh! It was the IPL which got him into the limelight. For serious Fantasy League players, he was a first-choice pick – somebody who could bowl economically and bat a bit - a safe points bet, came in at a low cost and was uncapped! What else did one need! 

And most importantly he seemed a likeable fellow. During the IPL he played the mediator between his Delhi state-mates Gambhir & Kohli who had got into an ugly spat. And there was the news channel sting which showed him in a positive light. And it was telecast moments before being he got hit for a last ball six! 

Farewell Rajat Bhatia, who intends to pursue a career in biomechanics post-retirement. Good way to take care of those sore muscles after two decades of toil. 

P.S. Remember Harsha Bhogle’s comment about Rajat Bhatia having three variations in his bowling – slow, slower, slowest!

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