There’s often talk about Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Joe Root and a few others and how they are successful in all three formats of the game. The way they adapt to different formats is simply remarkable. The ability to score consistently irrespective of the format has made the best in the world.
However, this seems to be a white-ball driven era and hence, there are cricketers who haven’t been able to find their feet in red-ball cricket. They’ve been star players in the shorter formats but have failed to deliver in Test cricket. Hence, here we look at five such cricketers who have been a hit in white-ball cricket but don’t seem to be made for Test cricket.
1. Rohit Sharma
It was back in 2007 and 2008 when a 20-year-old Rohit Sharma strode out for India in white-ball cricket to face stern tests. Be it the World T20 in South Africa or the CB Series in Australia in 2007-08, Rohit showed that he has the talent, the temperament and the game to overcome the toughest challenges.
However, for the first six years in international cricket, he flattered to deceive. There were flashes of brilliance but there was more disappointment as he failed to cash in when he got regular opportunities. However, once he started opening the batting, things turned upside down for the Mumbaikar. No other opener is as successful as Rohit in ODI cricket since 2013 (be it runs, average or hundreds). He is one of the best white-ball players going around.
But he hasn’t made it big in the longest format of the game. A freak injury on the morning of a Test match at Eden Gardens in 2010 postponed his Test debut by three and a half years. He finally made his Test debut at the same venue in November 2013 and started with a bang. However, since then he hasn’t been able to live up to the hype and expectation. Rohit has often been guilty of throwing his wicket away. Moreover, he has struggled big time on overseas tours, on tricky surfaces.
Hence, it doesn’t seem the 32-year-old is made for Test cricket. While he is churning out excellent numbers in white-ball cricket, he hasn’t been able to do the same or come anywhere close in Test cricket.
2. Jason Roy
There was a lot of talk about how Jason Roy could turn out to be England’s Virender Sehwag at the top of the order. However, the move seems to have backfired. After having made his Test debut against Ireland in July earlier this year, Roy was fast-tracked into the Ashes squad. But he has been found out.
The England white-ball opener’s technique has been found out and the Australian pacers have exploited that really well. In fact, they have troubled Roy both on the inside and the outside edge and hence, Roy has been constantly troubled. Moreover, his attacking style of play hasn’t really worked on pitches where the ball has moved around.
Roy has been one of England’s key batsmen in the shorter formats. He has a very good record too. In fact, he averages almost 43 and strikes at a rate of 107.40 in ODI cricket. However, he hasn’t cracked the code in the longest format and doesn’t seem to fit the bill for it as well.
3. Mustafizur Rahman
When Mustafizur Rahman made the Indian team dance to his tunes in 2015, he was touted as the next big thing in Bangladesh cricket. He wreaked havoc in that series and a couple of subsequent series’. Hence, he was fast-tracked into the Test side as well. He did have a good debut but he soon found out Test cricket is a different kettle of fish.
While Mustafizur has excellent numbers in ODI and T20I cricket, he hasn’t enjoyed the same success in the longest format. He has picked up over 150 wickets in white-ball cricket and has a very good average and strike-rate in the shorter formats. However, he has taken just 28 wickets in Test cricket.
Be it home or away, he has struggled. In fact, Bangladesh expected quite a lot of things from him. The left-arm pacer was supposed to be their pace spearhead. However, things haven’t gone according to plan. Mustafizur hasn’t found his rhythm or the knack of bowling in Test cricket.
4. Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill may have had an indifferent time in the recent past. However, he has been among the prolific run-getters for New Zealand in white-ball cricket. From the start of 2015, he has been New Zealand’s bank at the top of the order in the shorter formats. But it hasn’t been the case in the longest format of the game.
Guptill had several shots at Test cricket but never found his feet. While he had a rousing start to his ODI career, it wasn’t the case in Test cricket. He could muster just 136 runs at an average of 27.20 in his debut series. He did have a couple of good years (2010 and 2011) but soon faded away.
The opener’s technique was found out as he was constantly troubled by the ball nipping back into him. He was out bowled or LBW 34% of the times in Test cricket. Hence, he has been side-lined from the longest format and last featured in Tests back in October 2016.
5. Shimron Hetmyer
Many know Shimron Hetmyer as a bludgeoner of a cricket ball who can be very destructive on his day in white-ball cricket. However, he made his international debut in Test cricket back in April 2017. But he didn’t have a great start.
He soon made an impact in white-ball cricket and caught the world’s attention. Hetmyer is one of the many who came up the ranks through Under 19 cricket. He led West Indies to the Under 19 World Cup title in 2016. At the moment, he seems to be blowing hot and cold even in white-ball cricket but his ability to strike big and score quick has made the world sit up and take notice.
Meanwhile, he has continued to struggle in Test cricket. He’s played 15 games in the longest format and averages a middling 28.45. Hetmyer’s attacking approach has often come in to question. Hence, Hetmyer is one cricketer who doesn’t seem to be made for Test cricket.
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