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Nayan Mongia birthday special: Some interesting facts about former Indian wicket keeper

Nayan Ramlal Mongia, born 19 December 1969 is a former Indian cricketer & Cricket Coach. He was a right-handed batsman and a wicketkeeper.

By Newsd
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Happy birthday Nayan Mongia: There have been quite a few players who’ve promised a lot on their arrival, grabbed every opportunity thereafter to become an asset, but remained unsuccessful in their quest to end on a high, whatever the reasons may be. India has had its fair share of such cricketers, and Nayan Mongia is certainly one among them.

Nayan Ramlal Mongia, born 19 December 1969 is a former Indian cricketer & Cricket Coach. He was a right-handed batsman and a wicketkeeper.

Nayan Mongia was accused of match-fixing against West Indies as he gobbled up 21 balls to make a mere 4 runs along with Manoj Prabhakar who made a slow century. This resulted in West Indies win the match by 43 runs. Mongia was dropped from the team in the year 2001. He was a lower order wicket-keeper batsman and batted occasionally on 7th or 8th position. He has represented India in 2 World Cups, 1996 and 1999.

When he played his last Test against the Australians in the March of 2001, Mongia was still the best wicket-keeper around, and was probably next only to Syed Kirmani overall. Yet, he was handed a raw deal by the selectors and never got an opportunity to don the national colours again.

Nayan Ramlal Mongia is one of the finest wicketkeeper batsmen to have ever played for India. His crafty glove-work behind the stumps at a time when spinners of the calibre of Anil Kumble were at their peak remains to be appreciated.

His screams of ‘aiga’ from behind the stumps always encouraged his fellow bowlers. Also, his gritty batting proved to be an asset to the team.

Here are some interesting facts about Nayan Mongia:

1. Early days:

Mongia was born in Vadodara, also known as Baroda. He debuted for Baroda in 1989-90 and scalped 17 dismissals while scoring 305 runs.

2. Inauspicious Ranji debut:

In his debut game against Saurashtra, Mongia managed to take a catch and scored a duck batting at number 8.

3. Star performer for Baroda:

In only his second season, Mongia scored 555 runs in merely 5 matches at an average of a healthy looking 79. This was in addition to his exceptional work behind the stumps.

4. Test debut:

After the retirement of Kiran More, Nayan Mongia got a deserved national call. His first Test was against Sri Lanka in Lucknow in 1994. He impressed with the bat scoring 44 runs and furthermore by ensuring 5 dismissals behind the wicket.

5. ODI debut:

He made his ODI debut against the same team next month. Though he didn’t get an opportunity to bat, he still affected 3 dismissals behind the stumps.

6. Shocking Kanpur run chase:

In an ODI match against the West Indies in Kanpur, India looked set to win as they required 63 runs off 54 balls with 5 wickets in hand. Contrary to everyone’s expectations Nayan Mongia and Manoj Prabhakar just didn’t make any efforts to chase down the target. Prabhakar scored 102 runs off 154 balls while Mongia made just 4 runs off 21 balls. Both these batsmen were dropped later for the rest of the series. The match also came under the fixing scanner.

7. Test hundred opening the innings:

In the Test against Australia in Delhi in 1996, India wanted to go with 3 spinners and as a result Mongia was asked to open the innings. He took the opportunity and grabbed it with both hands as he scored a match-winning knock of 152. He also secured 5 dismissals behind the stumps. He was rightly adjudged the man of the match for his efforts.

8. Keeping with a broken finger:

In the 1999 World Cup, Mongia took one of many spectacular catches over his career when he took a reflex catch of Azhar Mahmood behind the stumps. He rated this as the favourite catch of his career and also admitted that he kept with a broken finger during the entire tournament.

9. Over appealing:

Although Mongia was known for his overly enthusiastic nature as a wicketkeeper, it also landed him in some troubles occasionally. He was banned in an ODI on three occasions when he vented out his frustration openly on being turned down by the umpire.

10. Most catches by an Indian in a Test:

Mongia holds the prestigious record for most catches by an Indian in a Test. He took eight catches, that too on two occasions – first, against South Africa in Durban in 1996, and repeated the feat against Pakistan in Kolkata in 1999.

11. Most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test:

He also shares the record for affecting the most dismissals (8) in Test with MS Dhoni.

12. Ranji Trophy triumph:

In the semi-final against Orissa in 2001, he scored a marathon innings of 181 off 452 balls. In the second innings, he again scored a fifty as Baroda qualified for the final. They eventually went on to become the champions.

13. Match fixing allegations:

Former BCCI Secretary Jaywant Lele in his book, ‘I Was There – Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator’ published in 2011 wrote that both Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar claimed that Mongia was indirectly involved in fixing. Lele defended Mongia later but not before these events had already impacted Mongia’s career.

14. Career statistics:

Nayan Mongia compiled 1442 runs in 42 Tests and scored 1272 runs in 140 ODIs. He affected 8 stumpings and took 99 catches in Tests while his numbers in ODIs stand at 110 catches and 45 stumpings.

We wish this champ a very happy and healthy birthday!


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