There are usually two types of cricketers. The first ones are those whenever they get the opportunity in the early days of their career, thrive in their respective role and cement their place in the national side. Whereas there is a different bunch of players who are just unlucky. These cricketers usually have a dream start to their career as a youngster but when selected in the national side, they fail to grab the early opportunities.
But with so much talent around, many cricketers around the world miss out because of chronic injuries, poor form and lack of opportunities. One must admit that whenever an individual tries to play for his country, there is immense competition.
When you are not performing for your national side even for a couple of matches, players from the domestic circuit are breathing on your neck. Many cricketers have made their international debut in the last decade but after so many years, are still struggling to cement a regular spot for themselves in the national side.
Here are some of such cricketers who are hugely talented and scoring runs for fun in the domestic circuit for many years. However, they are still being ignored by the national selectors:
Shaun Marsh (Australia)
The left-handed Australian batsman has seen a lot over the years. Making his international debut at the age of 24, Shaun Marsh, the son of Jeff Marsh made the headlines throughout Australia. Many referred him as the successor of some of the great Australian left-handed batsmen. But he got limited opportunities in limited-overs cricket in his early days.
Marsh made his T20I and ODI debuts in 2008. He looked so promising with his stylish batting style. He was even technically sound when he played those typical textbook shots. He had a decent start to his ODI career.
But he made his Test debut three years later. However, constant injuries played a major setback for his Test future. After the injuries, he was just a shadow of his former self. He didn’t get too many opportunities afterward and to the addition, whenever he got opportunities, his performances were inconsistent.
First-class records of Shaun Marsh are just mind-blowing. In 163 matches he has scored over 10,000 runs over there consistently. He has also thrived as an IPL player in his early days. But in an eleven-year long career, he has played fewer matches for Australia which doesn’t reflect his caliber as a player that’s for sure.
Robin Uthappa (India)
The great Indian cricketing tale of Robin Uthappa – Oozing some much class with his batting, Uthappa promised to be the next big thing in Indian cricket when he made his debut in 2006 at just 20 years old. He was a vital batsman of India in the late 2000s. The right-hander was an aggressive top-order batsman who played with a lot of freedom.
With a strong and settled Indian batting line-up those days, it was hard for him to make a comeback after being dropped. He scored consistently in the domestic cricket but got constantly ignored by the selectors. In playing over 300 first-class and List A games, he scored more than 15,000 runs over there and is still scoring them to this date.
After being ignored for several years, he got a call-up for the national side. However, India’s batting order was once again strong and well settled with the next generation of players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan being the top three. Uthappa was lost in the shadows with some inconsistent performances and never really got a lengthy window to cement his place into the side.
Fawad Alam (Pakistan)
One must feel bad for Fawad Alam of Pakistan whenever his name pops up in the cricketing world. Such a consistent performer in the domestic circuit from the last decade or so, but still he has constantly been underlooked by the national selectors. With so many inconstant performers getting opportunities after opportunities in the Pakistan national side, it is so cruel on Fawad to not get a single game.
If you combine his stats, he has scored over 20,000 runs in his career. These are just mind-blowing stats for a player who hasn’t had the best of careers in international cricket. He is constantly performing year in and year out for his domestic side. With more than twelve thousand runs alone in his first-class career, he has played only three tests for Pakistan.
Fawad Alam though is not disappointed by this a bit and wants to try even harder to make a long-awaited comeback in the national side. With Pakistan performing inconsistently especially in Tests in the past few years, selectors might think of giving Alam the last shot to revive his career which averages more than 41 in Tests and around 40 in ODIs.
Kamran Akmal (Pakistan)
One of the most promising wicket-keeper batsmen from Pakistan, Kamran Akmal was a regular member of the Pakistani cricket team in the last decade. After playing over 250 international games for Pakistan, Akmal is still not able to cement his place in the side. Yes, he was inconsistent when he was dropped from the side but right now, he is the best they have got in their country.
Despite having average wicket-keeper at their disposal in the international squad for the past five to six years, Pakistan Cricket Board is still persisting with them in place of giving a long run to Kamran Akmal. The 37-year-old had appeared in more than 800 games when you combine his domestic and international stats. These numbers are just phenomenal for Akmal having scored more than 28,000 runs in the process.
The main problem with Akmal is that his wicket-keeping skills have gradually gone down over the years. And his tag which says he is a wicket-keeper batsman and not a pure batsman is pulling him down from getting a national call-up. When you are a specialized wicket-keeper then you must be exceptional at it if you want to be the best. But looking at the current quality of Pakistan wicket-keepers, Akmal is surely the best among them all.
Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka)
Many would be surprised to see Former Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s name in this list, but the fact is right now it is very difficult for him to make into the national squad despite having an above-average career so far. The 30-year-old was recently dropped from the long term captaincy of the Sri Lankan cricket just before the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
After the retirement and departure of batting stalwarts of Sri Lanka like Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, everyone was looking at Chandimal like the leader of his side’s batting attack. But, he failed to make the same impact as former greats. Though his captaining skills shined in those days as he was made the skipper of the national side.
In his captaincy tenure, Sri Lanka was in a transition phase losing the majority of their matches and series. And as they say, when the team performs poorly, all the blame game strikes their captain the most. With more than 16,000 runs under his belt in first-class and international cricket and with age on his side (30), he has some hope to get picked in the side soon.
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