One of the finest Indian domestic talents to have found himself at the wrong end of a systematic equation. Having announced his retirement from the game recently, right-hand batsman Subramaniam Badrinath has said that there's absolutely "No doubt I should've played more Test Cricket" for the country.
Badrinath, who scored 10,245 runs at an average of 54.49 across 145 first-class games, got the chance to play only 2 Tests for India. He made his debut for the country against South Africa in 2010 and made a very fine first innings 56 at Nagpur before finding himself out again with the great VVS Laxman coming back.
Fans would also remember Badrinath for being one of the most invaluable contributors for Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League history.
Talking about his decision to Cricket Next, Badrinath was quoted saying, "I had actually decided one year back that I wasn't going to play, to be honest. The reason for me not playing was purely in my mind because over the last season, when I played for Hyderabad, even though I was enjoying playing, but somewhere in the middle of the season, I started feeling like it was getting to a point where it was getting on me."
"I was playing first-class cricket continuously for the last 18 years, it was getting on to me. Somehow I felt that I wasn't driven enough. Even though I had the drive, I felt it wasn't enough and what was needed from a professional cricketer. The way I have played my cricket over the years I felt I was not there 100%." he added.
Talking about his debut for India, he specially remembers, "And of course, receiving my Test cap from Sachin (Tendulkar) and going on to get the 50. Incidentally, I went in after Sachin got out. Even the time when I played with my brother in the backyard... there are so many memories that went through my head."
Badri also revealed what he went through for years being rejected in selections for the Indian Team and added, "What else can you do? Whatever was in my control, I did. I can't go and select myself. I can only score runs. Especially at that time in 2010 and 2011, those were the best years. I was batting really well, I was on top of my game, seeing the ball like a football. That's when I think I should have got the chance. But that was beyond my control."
Thankful for the platform that Tamil Nadu Cricket provided him, Badrinath expressed, "TN cricket, when I started off, they were a far far superior side to what it is now. Without a doubt. The quality and caliber of players in the early 2000s was something phenomenal. If you make that side play against today's side, they will just smash the current team hands down. Especially the batting, it was on a different level. S Sharath, Sriram, Hemang Badani, Sadagoppan Ramesh, Robin Singh... these are the names you're talking about."
"I don't see any kind of names like that now. The quality in that time in batting was on a different league. Even the bowling, there was Ashish Kapoor, S Mahesh, Robin Singh, MR Shrinivas, L Balaji, Balaji Rao... that talent was phenomenal." he added.
While he also unveiled the future plans that the man has, "I've signed up with Star Sports, I've been lucky and blessed that just when I was retiring Star Sports came up with a broadcasting role.", he said, "I've signed with them for the next two years, that will be my main job for now. I'll continue to do TNPL coaching if needed, it's only for a month. I love golf too." and added, "It's about time I did whatever things I like. In the last 20 years, I've not done anything I've liked."
In conclusion, he talked about how Subramaniam Badrinath would like to be remembered as a cricketer.
The modest man said, "I don't know what to say but I always thought of myself as a fighter. I'm a fighter to the core. I'm actually a street fighter. I came from nothing, whenever there was no safety net to fall on, it brought out the best in me. That's the way I am. I never had any cushion in my life, there were big decisions to take all the time and hurdles all the time. That got the best out of me and that's what made me."
"I would like to be known as a fighter with a great attitude. I don't know about the talent, I always felt of myself as not so talented. But I was hard-working and pretty tough. That's how I'd look at myself."