Free Press Journal

Cricket’s Lost Talents! Shiv Sunder Das: 3rd player from Orissa to play for India


Shiv Sunder Das, who played for Indian team during the first few years of 21st century, made a crucial spot for himself in the list of Test openers. Das was born on November 5, 1977 in Orissa. He was called up for the national squad in 2000 after he made over 2000 first-class runs in three domestic seasons. Being a right-handed batsman, he made his Test debut against Bangladesh on November 10, 2010, becoming the only 3rd player from Orissa to play for national team.

In his career, Das only played 23 Test matches and 4 ODI matches for India. But there was a time when Das amazed everyone with his performance in Test cricket. He once played a crucial innings of 84 against Australia in Chennai in 2001, which was a memorable moment for everyone. Das also scored 2 centuries in Tests, both of which came against Zimbabwe. Moreover, Das had performance well against Zimbabwe, against whom he played 6 matches and scored 560 runs at an average of 62.22. He was also awarded the ‘Man of the Series’ award during India tour of Zimbabwe in 2001.

But unfortunately, he could not manage to bat at this best against other prominent teams like Australia, South Africa and England. He scored at an average of 28.83 against Australia, 18.80 against South Africa and 32.25 against England, managing only 374 runs in 8 matches against these 3 teams. In the end, he failed in the West Indies tour in 2002, and was able to make only 124 runs in 5-match Test series. He was eventually dropped from the team after that, and was never able to make a comeback to the national side in Tests.

In ODIs, his career was much worse than that of Tests, and he could only manage to play 4 matches for the national side after making just 39 runs in total. His last international match was an ODI match against New Zealand on  Dec 26, 2002, where he scored 30 runs. After that, he never played for the national side in any format. Thus his international career, which started in 2000, ended in 2002.

Later, he kept on playing for Vidarbha cricket team in first class cricket. In his 20-year long career in first class cricket, he racked up 10,908 runs. At present he is the coach of Orissa cricket team, having taken over the role since August last year. Although, Das could not achieve much in international cricket, he will always be lauded for his performance against Zimbabwe and remembered as the Test opener who stood on the crease before entry of Virendra Sehwag.