Syed Saba Karim
November 14, 1967, Patna, Bihar
Right hand bat
Syed Saba Karim was a surprise choice for the tour of West Indies in 1989 but being the reserve wicketkeeper, never got to play a single international game. He was forgotten for some time but came back into the Indian side during the 1996 tour of South Africa. He made his debut in that series at Bloemfontein and scored a useful 55, which incidentally remains his best till date. Thereafter he never really got a chance to cement his place in the side, mainly due to the presence of Nayan Mongia. Even after Mongia's dismal 1999 World Cup campaign, Karim could not find a place in the squad as the selectors preferred MSK Prasad and Sameer Dighe. But with the two failing to capitalise on their chances, Karim who is also a useful late order batsman, got his due during the South African tour of India in 2000. Just when he seemed set to consolidate his position in the team, he received an untimely setback when he was injured on his right eye while keeping to Anil Kumble during the Asia Cup at Dhaka. He had to undergo surgery and the injury ended his playing career.
Karim started his domestic career in 1982-83, representing Bihar in the Ranji Trophy. A profilic run getter in the domestic arena, he recorded a career best of 234 against Orissa in the 1990-91 Ranji Trophy season. He was a mainstay with the Bihar side till 1994-95 when he switched to Bengal in an effort to catch the selectors attention. This proved to be a worthwhile move since he got a second chance to represent the country thanks to some good performances behind the stumps and before them.
He took to television commentary after his playing days, and was named national selector in September 2012.
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