Over the years, we have seen several cricketing greats who have stamped their authority on the game. With their heroics, they managed to mesmerise the audience and won the hearts of millions of fans. While every cricketer is great in his own rights, there are a few players who never really got as much credit as they deserved. This was primarily because they were overshadowed by their teammates.
Without a doubt, these cricketers are hailed as legends of the game. However, a slightly better performer managed to hog all the limelight. Subsequently, the performances from these cricketers were undermined and are highly underrated.
Here are five players who overshadowed their teammates:
1. Sachin Tendulkar – Rahul Dravid
You only realise the value of a player when he is no longer around. This holds quite true for Rahul Dravid – ‘The Wall’. The Karnataka cricketer achieved everything possible in his long career and was an inspiration to many.
There are a very few cricketers who have scored over 10,000 runs in both ODIs as well as Tests. Rahul Dravid even led India for a brief while. In 344 ODI games, he piled 10,889 runs. Furthermore, he represented India in a mindboggling 164 Tests. He accumulated 13,288 runs and often tired out the oppositions with his gritty batting.
But, there was the ‘Master Blaster‘ who played his cricket at a whole different level. Sachin Tendulkar represented India in more Tests and ODIs than anyone else. With 100 international centuries to his name, Sachin achieved everything remotely possible. In the process, Dravid took the backfoot and is undervalued for his contributions.
2. Brian Lara – Shivnarine Chanderpaul
This pair here is pretty much similar to the one of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. While one was a master craftsman, the other was someone who was assiduous. Watching Brian Lara was nothing less exciting than a titbit.
His drives through the off-side were extravagance personified. Lara mustered thousands of runs throughout his career without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, it was completely the opposite with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. With his unorthodox stands, he wasn’t really the batsman who is pleasing to the eye.
He often worked hard for his runs and churned out over 20,000 international runs. Chanderpaul carried the burden of his team for over a decade. Yet, he is largely underrated because of the presence of someone like Lara in the same team.
3. Virat Kohli – Rohit Sharma
This choice could be slightly controversial. Some of you might not really agree as well. However, Virat Kohli overshadows Rohit Sharma more often than not. When Rohit emerged on to the scene – much before Kohli – everyone sang praises for him. He had this lazy elegance in his strokeplay which hypnotised one and all.
But, like Kohli, Rohit couldn’t make a mark early in his career. While he had it all, there weren’t many runs under his belt to back his talent. Thus, he wasn’t picked for the World Cup 2011 as well. Subsequently, in the chances that Kohli got, he made his mark. The current Indian skipper also got the right kind of backing and was the preferred choice in Tests.
As a result, Virat has surely managed to overshadow Rohit in the early parts of his career. Even now, despite Rohit Sharma being a much-improved batsman, Virat Kohli continues to reign supreme. He is playing some truly extraordinary cricket in the last few years. Rohit Sharma, despite being almost on-par at least in the ODIs and T20Is, continues to remain in the shadows of Kohli.
4. Dale Steyn – Morne Morkel
Many of you would agree that bowlers like Dale Steyn are hard to come by. Very few bowlers have that aggression, flare, determination, consistency and hunger. For 263 week continuously, Steyn was the highest-ranked Test bowler which is a testimony of the package that he is.
With the way, he dominated at the peak of his career, it is quite obvious that he has managed to overshadow many of his teammates. The most prominent of them all is Morne Morkel who is a great acquaintance of Steyn. The tall, lanky fast bowler has produced several match-winning performances for his team.
With his intimidating height and high-arm bowling action, he extracted more bounce than anyone else off a pitch. Batsmen were always in a tough spot facing him due to this awkward bounce. Yet, Morkel has always remained in the shadows of Dale throughout his career.
5. Muthiah Muralidharan – Chaminda Vaas
The trademark late in dipper from Chaminda Vaas was quite a sight. It was mesmerising to watch and awed many. Vaas, easily, is one of the best new-ball bowlers Sri Lanka has ever produced. However, the left-arm pacer has never hogged as much limelight like some of his teammates.
Vaas’ skill with the new ball was exceptional with his ability to move the ball both the ways. But, throughout his playing days, he was dominated by none other than Muthiah Muralidharan. Until Rangana Herath raced past him quite recently, he was the second-highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in Tests.
Moreover, he even had 400 ODI wickets. Though, the brilliant act that Muralidharan is, Chaminda Vaas was always overshadowed. Murali finished his Test career with 800 wickets. With the kind of magician, he was with the ball, it is fair to say that he’d have overshadowed any player with his brilliance.
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