The ins and outs of Navjot Sidhu
At 33, Navjot Singh Sidhu is one of India's senior-most cricketers. Banished from the team for 10 Tests after he walked out of the England tour last summer, his inclusion in the side bound for the Caribbean raised some eyebrows. This
is in direct contrast to 1991 when everyone thought his inclusion would make a difference to the team that was getting drubbed in Australia. Unfortunately, Sidhu opened his account with a duck.
This time he has effectively silenced his critics with a century -- his seventh in 38 matches -- on the second day of the second Test at Port of Spain, Trinidad. He went on to make a double century. This makes it his third century against the West Indies. He has two against Sri Lanka and one apiece playing England and New Zealand.
Sidhu, who is equally comfortable as an opener and as a middle order batsman, has the unique distinction of being the only Indian cricketer to enjoy an average of over 40 in both Tests and the one-dayers. He has been in and out of the Indian Test squad ever since his debut against the West Indies at Ahmedabad way back in 1983-84.
India has since played 92 Tests, but Sidhu has played only in 38 of those games -- being either dropped for the side or injured. That means he was absent 58.70 per cent of the time!. Two other players who have a similar record are Mohinder Amarnath and Sanjay Manjrekar. However, the celebrated trio have made spirited comebacks time and again.