The game of cricket has seen many talented players who could never make it big despite having all the talent one needs
The game of cricket has seen many talented players who could never make it big despite having all the talent one needs. They had the skills but were only denied by the presence of some big names in their teams. We take a look at some of those unlucky cricketers:
He played first class cricket from 1988 to 2009, hitting 79 centuries. He scored 54 not out on his Test debut but never played another match. The reason: Australia had the likes of David Boon, Dean Jones, Mark Taylor, Mark and Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Mathew Hayden and Justin Langer.
Equally unlucky was Anthony Stuart. His career ended with his third One-day International in 1997 in which he had taken five wickets against Pakistan for 26 runs in 10 overs. He continued first class cricket for two more years but failed to get back into the team because the Australian team had such skilful pacers as McGrath, Andy Bichel, Paul Reiffel, and Damien Flaming.
From 1998 to 2008 he only managed to play 44 Tests. He was quite successful, grabbing 208 wickets in these matches. Any other team would have welcomed him. But Australia had Shane Warne then who is considered the greatest ever leg spinner in the world. So, most of the time, another pacer was preferred over him. His first class career ended with 774 wickets from 184 matches.
He could have been a permanent member of the Indian cricket team for the last 11 years, but his opportunities have been limited by MS Dhoni who without any doubt a giant in his trade. Despite having an average of 40 and 24 centuries in first class cricket he managed only 23 Tests because of Dhoni. Now that Dhoni has left Test arena, he is not in the team because Wriddhiman Saha is an equally, if not more, talented wicket-keeper batsman. Karthik is, however, young and can find a place in the team in the next four or five years.
Almost similar has been the case of Parthiv. He made his debut in 2002 and was quite impressive both as keeper and as batsman. He too has a wonderful first-class record but hasn’t been able to cement his place largely because of Dhoni.
He played 54 Tests for England. He could have played a lot more Test cricket but Alec Stewart made his debut in 1990 and then opportunities for Jack were few and far between till 1998 when he played his last Test.
He could have played a lot more cricket than he did if he had been a player of West Indies in the 2000s -- a time when the cricketing giants of the 1970s and ‘80s had no great fast bowler. But he was unfortunate in that he played in those years when there were Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft and Malcolm Marshall -- the mightiest pace battery in cricket history. He managed to play only 11 Tests from 1978 to 1982, although he took 42 wickets in these matches. Interestingly, nine out of these 11 matches were played in Pakistan and India where pitches are notoriously batsmen-friendly. He took 21 wickets in five Tests against India. He dismissed Sunil Gavaskar five times.
An exceptional batsman, with 51 centuries and an average of nearly 50 in first class cricket, he has managed only 31 Test appearances for India. The reason is obvious. He began his career at a time when there were Sachin, Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly, Sehwag, and then Gautam Gambhir. It was virtually impossible to cement a place in the Indian side in that era. He beat his rivals in first class cricket very often, but failed to prove better than these giants in Test arena.