In a generation of slam-bang cricket, the focus is always on the ones, who knows to entertain throughout. The likes of Virat Kohli, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle and many others are crowd pullers. It’s not a surprise that crowds are at the edge of their seats whenever these players take the field.
Hard work generally doesn’t bag the limelight if it doesn’t have glitz etched to it. The ones, sweating it out hardly get recognition they deserve. But despite the lack of attention, they turn no stones down in helping their teams win.
But luck hasn’t smiled on them in the limited-over formats. They have played white-ball cricket quite a bit and could never stay put on their spot. They are mostly being identified as Test cricketers, and not the ones who played the other formats.
In the article, let’s take a look at five Test regulars one might not know have played even ODIs and T20Is: –
1. Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara has been the bedrock of the Indian Test team as he possesses the technique to counter the best of bowling attacks. The 32-year-old has often had to face flak for his cautious approach while batting, but that hasn’t flustered him one bit.
Even as the middle-order batter doesn’t play a lot of white-ball cricket, there was a time he was a part of the Men in Blue’s ODI team. But even before completing a year since his debut in the format in August 2013, Pujara lost his place from the side.
In five ODIs, Pujara could manage 51 runs at an average of 10.20. His strike-rate of 39.23 didn’t help his cause either. It’s nearly been six years since he last featured in the Indian ODI team and a comeback seems unlikely. Pujara has continued playing one day cricket for Saurashtra though.
2. Mohammad Abbas
Mohammad Abbas has 75 wickets in 18 Tests and he has already produced some magical spells in his short career. The speedster made the Australian batsmen sweat in Pakistan’s home series in the UAE back in October 2018. The 30-year-old recently made a comeback in the Australia tour after an injury layoff.
Even as his skills in Tests are known, he also has played white-ball cricket for the national side. Earlier in 2019, Abbas plied his trade in three ODIs against Australia. To his dismay, he could pick up a solitary wicket and looked in discomfort.
Thereafter, he fell off the selectors’ radar in the 50-over format. Pakistan already have the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain and Naseem Shah as future prospects. Hence, Abbas’ wait to play the format again may never end.
3. Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar has been a trustable figure for South Africa in the last few years. Having scored 3,888 Test runs with 12 centuries, it’s been tough to get the better of the Proteas’ opening batter. Elgar doesn’t mind putting his head down in crisis, a reason why he has tasted loads of success in the most challenging format of the sport.
However, the southpaw’s limited-over career could never take off. The 32-year-old made his ODI debut way back in 2012 versus England in Cardiff and has played a mere eight matches.
In those matches, the Welkom-born churned out 104 runs at a forgettable average of 17.33. His travails can also be comprehended from the fact that he had a strike-rate of 58.75. His last ODI for South Africa was against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein back in October 2018.
4. BJ Watling
BJ Watling has played some vital knocks for New Zealand in Test cricket, batting in the lower-middle order. In 70 Tests, the wicketkeeper has 3,658 runs with eight centuries. The right-hander isn’t flashy by any means, but he hasn’t lacked in effectiveness.
However, the 34-year-old has never been able to get the measure of ODI and T20I cricket after making his debut way back on November 2009. In 28 ODIs, the Durban-born scored five half-centuries, but his average of 24.91 never helped him to feature consistently in the team.
His previous ODI was against Pakistan in November 2018 at Dubai. Watling has also played five T20Is, scoring 38 runs with his last match coming back in July 2014. For the time being, it seems unlikely that Watling will ever don the coloured jersey for the Black Caps.
5. Kraigg Brathwaite
Kraigg Brathwaite has flourished for the West Indies in Test cricket with 3,496 runs at an average of 33.29. He belongs to a rare breed of batsmen in the Caribbean Islands who can tread the patient root. The national team has been shambolic in the longest format, but Brathwaite has carved himself a niche.
Brathwaite has also played 10 ODIs in the period between September 2016 to March 2017. The 27-year-old could muster only 278 runs at an average of 27.80 with a top score of 78. The limited-overs team already has Shai Hope as someone, who could grill and grind.
Therefore, it became tough for Brathwaite to hold on to his spot. Brathwaite last played List A cricket back in February 2018. Moreover, the Barbados-born player has never played in any form of T20 cricket.
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