Who is Teja Nidamanuru? Why isn’t he playing a match against Bangladesh in T20 World Cup 2024

The Netherlands cricket team had an exciting journey to the ICC World Cup 2023 qualification by participating in the Qualifiers round and successfully entering the main event along with Sri Lanka. 

One of the outstanding performances of the Netherlands cricket team was defeating West Indies in a super over during the Qualifier round of the tournament. As a result, the two-time defending champions were eliminated out of the race to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Mainly, the Netherlands were able to seal a thrilling victory, just because of one batter who stood for his team till the end in a crucial run chase and that was none other than Teja Nidamanuru.

The 29-year-old right-handed batter scored 784 runs in his international career ( ODI- 679 runs and T20Is- 105 runs in 10 innings). Moreover, he surpassed Glenn Maxwell and Abdul Razzaq’s records by achieving the highest individual ODI score in successful run chases while batting at No.7 position or below.

Shockingly, the talented batsman was excluded out of the playing XI in a crucial clash against Bangladesh in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. You might be curious to know who is Teja Nidamanuru, his rise to international cricket, and the reasons behind his absence against Bangladesh in the T20 WC 2024.

Who is Teja Nidamanuru?

Anil Teja Nidamanuru, a right-handed batsman in the Netherlands cricket team, was born in India on 22nd August 1994. Although his hometown is in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Teja moved to New Zealand with his family at a young age and was passionate about playing cricket. Also, he represented the Auckland cricket team at the domestic level, but couldn’t succeed in sealing his spot in the New Zealand team.

Later, his family shifted from New Zealand to the Netherlands after his graduation, and was offered a job in the Dutch nation. But, his love for cricket continued to increase day by day, which made him join a club named Kampong in Utrecht. Following his exceptional performances, Nidamanuru continued to rise through the ranks and finally made his entry into the Netherlands national cricket team.

Teja made his ODI debut against West Indies on 31st May 2022 and achieved a maiden international half-century in his first match by scoring 58 runs from 51 balls (including 3 fours and 2 sixes).

So far, Nidamanuru played 30 ODI matches and scored 679 runs in 28 innings at an average of 28.29, which includes 2 centuries and 2 half centuries to his name. Especially, his career-best knock of 111 runs from 76 balls (including 11 fours and 3 sixes) against West Indies in the ODI World Cup 2023 qualifiers guided his team to level his team’s score in a thrilling run chase and won the match via super over.

Also, his 96-ball 110 runs (including 9 fours and 3 sixes) against Zimbabwe in the CWC Super League series match, guided his team to another successful run chase.

Why didn’t Teja Nidamanuru play the match against Bangladesh in T20 WC 2024?

The main intention of Netherlands captain Scott Edwards was to bring an additional off-spinner Aryan Dutt in place of the right-handed batter Teja Nidamanuru. Even though Edwards didn’t reveal the exact reason for the sudden change, it is assumed that the spin-friendly conditions in the West Indies ground throughout the tournament might have influenced his decision.

Furthermore, Teja Nidamanuru batted only in 1 out of 2 games played, where he was dismissed for a golden duck against South Africa. Despite batting at his favorable No.7 position, Teja exhibited a poor performance and wasn’t able to create an impact in his last game. Also, the Netherlands had Aryan as an additional option to strengthen their bowling department and the spinner made a decent contribution to his team in the ODI World Cup 2023 in India. Since the  Kingstown pitch conditions promise to benefit spinners, the Dutch captain decided to take a bold decision to include an additional bowler in the playing XI.

Scott Edwards’s Decision after winning the toss:

Edwards explained that his decision to bowl first was that his players were confident and had been playing some good cricket. Moreover, Scott Edwards believed that a majority of teams wouldn’t be familiar with the pitch conditions in St Vincent. This gave some hope to the Dutch skipper that his team was well-prepared and would provide a chance to succeed.

Netherlands Batting Performance in Teja Nidamanuru’s Absence

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan rescued Bangladesh’s collapsing batting lineup and counter-attacked Netherlands bowling strategy with his brilliant knock of 64 runs from 46 balls (including 9 fours) and steered his team to post a decent total of 159-5 in 20 overs. However, Netherlands would have felt Teja Nidamanuru’s absence in the batting lineup as the entire team succumbed to a total of 134-8 in 20 overs and lost the game by 25 runs.

Match Outcome after Excluding Teja Nidamanuru from Playing XI: Conclusive Facts

Although Aryan Dutt justified his inclusion in the playing XI with his impressive bowling figures of 17-2 in 4 overs, the batting line-up of the Netherlands wasn’t strong enough to chase a target of 160 runs.

In the end, Aryan’s handy contribution with the bat, scoring 15 runs from 12 balls (including 1 four and 1 six), couldn’t help his team reach the winning total. Fans feel that Teja Nidamanuru’s presence in such pressurized situations would have helped his team chase the target with less difficulty.

The Netherlands will play their final group stage match against Sri Lanka at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on June 16 (Sunday). Finally, it will be interesting to watch if Teja Nidamanuru gets another opportunity to prove his abilities at the No.7 batting position