Dinesh Mongia has quietly gone about the job of accumulating runs without ever being showered with the encomiums reserved for flashier but less effective players. Having made his Punjab debut in 1995-96, he was a steady if unspectacular performer until the 2000-01 season when he took domestic run-getting to another level, forcing his way into the national team with a string of big innings. Pugnacious and dogged, he lacks the natural grace of most left-handers, but possesses a wide range of attacking strokes. He has done a sterling job when given a chance in the one-day side, and hammered 159 in the series decider against Zimbabwe at Guwahati in March 2002. Suspicions remained, however, that kinks in his technique could be exposed on more challenging tracks abroad, and indifferent displays in England resulted in him being relegated to a bit-part role in the tours that followed. He forced his way back into the 2003 World Cup squad, where India lost in the final, but failed to set the world alight. In 2004, he played club cricket in England in an attempt to regain his place, and ended up standing in for Carl Hooper as one of Lancashire's overseas players where he was a popular player. He then joined Leicestershire where is skills were especially useful in Twenty20 cricket and remained on the fringes of India's one-day side, featuring in four matches during the six-month period between September 2006 and March 2007. After India's ignominous World Cup exit, of which he wasn't a part, he was picked in the squad to tour Bangladesh in May 2007. Mongia then took his skills to the Chandigarh Lions in the ICL, but was suspended by the unsanctioned league in October 2008. The ICL players were given amnesty by the BCCI after that, but Mongia hasn't played an official game since.
Dileep Premachandran June 2009