International cricket can be a little intimidating for any player from domestic cricket and trying to establish his place in the national side. Many famous players have revealed that it takes one good knock or one good spell to make a cricketer feel at home in international cricket.
However, not everyone is assured with an established spot in the XI of their country even after a great start to their international cricket. Some are left out because of the presence of other experienced players, some get injured and never get back and some players have their spots being filled with players with better performance. It is unfortunate that there are many players who had a great start to their career but unfortunately, couldn’t continue.
5 Cricketers who faded out of the limelight after having a great start
1. Haseeb Hameed
Haseeb Hameed was a 19-year-old batsman from Lancashire, who had shown promise against spin bowling and the England selectors were quite happy to send him to the Indian tour. Hameed made no mistake, in 2016 when he marked his debut against India but Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were at the peak of their powers of bowling over sides in the turning conditions.
But, the young batsman showed courage, grit and promise against the two great spinners. He became the talk of the town by the end of two Tests. The third saw an unfortunate incident as he got injured and was ruled out of the tour. Keaton Jennings, another boy from Lancashire, replaced him and scored a century on debut.
Hameed, who scored 219 runs in the six innings at an average of 43.80, never came back to play Test cricket again for England. He found it difficult to make it to the first choice XI for Lancashire as well. As of 2021, he has moved to Nottinghamshire, prior to the last season and has performed well ever since then.
2. Joginder Sharma
Joginder Sharma’s name will be edged forever in the history books of Indian cricket. The right-arm pacer bowled the final over of the World T20 in South Africa in 2007. He was a hero for the entire nation. But, what can baffle many fans, is the fact the ball which got Misbah-ul-Haq out in Johannesburg was the last ever ball which he bowled in international cricket.
After that famous win, Sharma found it difficult to make a cut into the Indian squad. Probably, he wouldn’t have been on that flight to South Africa in 2007, had Zaheer Khan not got injured. He played for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. He represented Haryana till 2017, after which he hasn’t played any top-level cricket. He only ever played four ODIs and four T20Is for India.
During the early times of the lockdown, he once again came in news, when he was seen helping medical officials in their fight against coronavirus. He is serving as the Deputy Superintendent of the Haryana Police currently.
3. Steve O’Keefe
In 2017, Australia arrived in India with a great heart, a good team and two spinners, whom they hoped would rip apart the Indians. In the first Test, it went according to the plans. Steve O’Keefe had arrived in international cricket. He wasn’t unplayable, yet Indians succumbed to his slow left-armers.
On the track which was heaven for any spinner in Pune, he notched up an identical 6-35 in each of the innings as Indians folded for 105 and 107. At the time, Kohli called it their worst performance at home. However, Indians figured out how to counter him in a few days. He didn’t have the same impact in the entire series or the series after that in Bangladesh. He was finally dropped and never came back to play for Australia.
As of 2021, he is playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League 2020-21. He is still a member of the New South Wales cricket team. He is 36 years old now and doesn’t seem to have a chance in making another comeback in the side. He has represented Australia in nine Tests and seven T20Is.
4. Phil Jacques
In the aftermath of Justin Langer’s retirement, Australia decided to bring in Phil Jacques of New South Wales to partner up with Matthew Hayden. He had already played two Tests and made loads of runs in domestic cricket. He scored a century in his comeback Test. He followed that up with another in the next match.
In the next few series, Jacques showed quality to sustain in the Australian Test side. However, Hayden didn’t play the series in West Indies in 2008, which forced Australia to open with Jacques and his NSW mate, Simon Katich. On a surface which was bound to create issues for the batsmen, the duo scored centuries in the second innings of the last Test of that tour. Katich smashed 157 and Jacques scored 108. Australia got back and was looking at a tour to India. Jacques managed to injure him and stayed ruled out for a stretch of time.
By then, Katich had started outperforming Hayden, who was in the twilight of his career. Jacques never came back to play Test cricket or any sort of cricket for the Aussies. His stats are still good though, 11 Tests, 902 runs, an average of 47.5 with three centuries and six fifties. He retired from cricket in 2014 and became a coach of domestic sides in Australia.
5. Jayant Yadav
Jayant Yadav was drafted into the Indian Test squad to play in India during a long home season. He was a quality off-spinner who was performing well for India A. The fact that he was a capable batsman to go with proper bowling skills, he was someone Virat Kohli wanted to add to the list of Indian spin-bowling all-rounders.
He justified his selection by picking up four wickets in each of his first two Tests. But, just not that, he was contributing heavily with the bat. He scored 35, 27*, 55 and then smashed a 104 against England in Mumbai, where he stitched a batting partnership with his captain, batting the opposition out of the game.
He then went on to play just one more Test. The one in Pune in 2017, which we talked about earlier. He was never picked for the Indian XI. His batting average stands at 45 while his bowling average is 33, which is pretty good for an all-rounder. He represents Mumbai Indians in the IPL and Haryana in domestic cricket and has been trying hard to get back in the mix.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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