Nayan Mongia – Most Competent Indian Wicket Keeper
Former Indian wicketkeeper and right batsman Nayan Mongia was born on December 19, 1969, in Baroda. On the tour of England in 1990, the young Mongia impressed Alan Knott with his natural acrobatic skills. Nayan Ramlal Mongia spent several years as a deputy wicketkeeper for Kiran More.
Nayan Mongia’s habits of always having a cheerful, smiling approach to the game have been refreshingly different. Nayan Mongia made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lucknow in January 1994. He scored 44 runs and took four catches and one stump in the first outing for India, which was indeed a very satisfactory performance.
In the mid-1990s, he was first made into the Test team, and after that, he was the number one wicketkeeper for India. He was a very friendly and modest person, but he was deadly serious about his game. On the tour of England in 1990, his professional approach impressed Alan Knott. As an efficient wicketkeeper, he really keeps up with the bouncing and uneven bowling of Anil Kumble. Nayan Mongia displayed his skills with lightning-quick reflexes while diving to wrap up the catches and bringing off a smart stump.
Mongia has substantial records against Australia, scoring 348 runs in just 6 matches at 43.50. Nayan Mongia was a very useful wicketkeeper batsman at home, scoring 959 runs in 26 matches at an average of 28.20. However, he was a bit struggling with batting in overseas conditions, scoring 483 runs in 18 Test matches.
Probably he was one of the best Indian wicketkeepers who kept up the bowling of Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and many other spinners. He has been helped by his terrific keeping on the turning track in India. He was the third Indian keeper after Syed Mujtaba Kirmani and Kiran More to achieve the double of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 catches. In one-day matches, he was also used as a pinch-hitter in the middle order as well as in the opening position.
Nayan Mongia Maiden Test Century
Mongia has provided his immense value to the side in the middle order. In 1996–97, the Australian team came to India to play a one-off test in Delhi. Mongia played a superb inning of 152 on 366 balls, including 18 fours and 1 six. In this maiden hundred, he batted for 497 minutes on a slow-turning wicket. Ian Chappell compared his innings to pure skill, patience, and concentration. He showed remarkable discipline and composure against the hostile bowling of Glenn McGrath and Paul Reiffel.
Nayan Mongia Match-Fixing Allegation
Mongia’s off-the-field controversies have been dropped from the India team for apparently not trying to win a match. He was involved in match-fixing (allegedly) on October 30, 1994. The Indians were chasing a target of 258 in 50 overs. India could have chased the target until he came to bat and scored merely 4 runs off 21 balls. He was along with Manoj Prabhakar, who played a slow knock for his selfish milestone (102 of 154).
As a result, India lost the match by 46 runs after requiring 74 from nine overs. His name was featured in the match-fixing probe in 2001. Nayan Mongia was dropped from the team after dissent at an umpiring decision and allegations of match-fixing. Finally, he retired from first-class cricket in December 2004.
Nayan Mongia Cricket Stats
Mongia played first-class matches for Baroda and the West Zone cricket team. He was making his debut in November 1989. He took 353 catches and 43 stumpings and scored over 7,736 runs at an average of 38.48, including 12 hundred and 45 fifties. In Test matches, he played 44 matches and scored 1,442 runs at 24.03 with one hundred and six fifties.
As a wicketkeeper, he had 99 catches and 8 stumpings. Mongia also played 144 ODI’s for India, scoring 1,272 runs at 20.19 with the help of two fifties. He also had 110 catches and 44 stumpings. His career ended in an epic Kolkata Test against the Australian cricket team in March 2001.
After retirement, he opted for a professional coaching career and was named coach of the Thailand cricket team and the national under-19 cricket team as well. He was the coach for the 2004 ACC Trophy in Malaysia. He also worked as a cricket analyst. It is awful luck that he could not achieve greater things in his playing career.