Over quite some years now, teams have tended to have a set of players, who specializes in only one format of the sport. The cricketing schedule has become an absolute choc-a-block one over the time period and hence, staying fit throughout the year turned out to be an issue. There have also been instances when two different national teams have plied their trade in different venues.
Some special attributes are needed in Test cricket and some superlative limited-overs players have missed out to make in big in the longest format. It requires endurance across five days, both physical and mental. Among the Test specialists, there are a few, who can weave their magic even in coloured-clothing cricket. They can be flexible and can turn out to be crucial members in white-ball cricket.
Here we look at five Test specialists who can do well in ODIs and T20Is
Marnus Labuschagne forayed into international cricket in October 2018, but it’s only in the 2019 Ashes that he has been to make an impact. The South Africa-born came in as a concussion substitute of Steve Smith in the second Test at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. Just when it was thought that Smith’s exclusion will harm Australia, Labuschagne got a gutsy fifty on day five in trying conditions.
The 25-year-old carried forward his form in the upcoming games as well. Marnus performed to such an extent that even when Smith returned in the Manchester Test, he wasn’t left out. Labuschagne doesn’t have a lot of experience in List A cricket, having played 27 encounters where he scored 809 runs. But if given a chance, he has the ingredients to survive the rigours of limited-overs cricket.
Sam Curran grabbed the limelight in England’s home series versus India. The Young Turk tormented the visiting team with his ability to move the leather. Curran also put forth his potential to wield the willow to good effect. The southpaw averages 31.81 with three fifties. Lately, he had to warm the benches in the first four Ashes Test and got a chance in the last game at the Kennington Oval.
In List A cricket, Curran has 597 runs and 68 wickets in 51 matches. In 64 T20s, the left-hander has four fifties, having gotten 803 runs. Recently, he batted in the top three for Surrey in the T20 Blast and has even opened for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. Earlier this year, he also got a hat-trick versus Delhi Capitals, bowling at the death. He can definitely be a handy prospect in white-ball cricket.
Mohammad Abbas has been a significant wicket-taker for Pakistan in Test cricket. The Punjab-born has 66 scalps in 14 matches with four five-wicket hauls. Last year in October, he equalled Yasir Shah as the joint-fastest Pakistan bowler to 50 Test wickets in only nine matches. Earlier this year, he made his ODI debut against Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but got only one wicket.
The 29-year-old has a tremendous level of accuracy up his sleeves. And the same quality can earn him success even in limited-overs cricket, especially in conditions where the ball jags around a wee bit. Abbas has plied his trade in 52 List A matches and has picked up 67 wickets with three four-wicket hauls. His economy of 4.81 suggests that he keep down the runs even in the limited-overs format.
Temba Bavuma is one of the most dynamic batsmen South Africa presently have in their Test side. In 36 Tests, the 29-year-old has 1716 runs at an average of 33. He is short in stature, but packs a punch while playing his strokes. The one century and 13 fifties in the format is a testament to his abilities at the international cricket. The Cape Town-born Bavuma can be effective even in white-ball cricket.
He already has played a couple of ODIs and has 161 runs at an impressive average of 80.50. Surprisingly, he hasn’t been considered for selection ever since. In List A cricket, he has 2123 runs in 90 matches. Bavuma has a T20 strike-rate of 126.75, which shows his hitting capabilities. He is in the selectors’ scheme of things as he was a part of the South Africa A squad for the series in India.
Mayank Agarwal broke into the Indian Test team only last year after piling tons of runs at the domestic circuit. It was after Murali Vijay and KL Rahul’s poor show that the Karnataka batter was given a chance. He looked comfortable and played his strokes without any inhibitions. Back in June, he was called up as a replacement of Vijay Shankar in the World Cup, though he didn’t get a game.
As far as his limited-overs prowess is concerned, his numbers can’t be dismissed by any means. In 75 List A matches, he has 3605 runs at an average of 48.71 and a strike-rate of 100.72 with as many as 12 centuries. In T20 cricket, Agarwal has 2939 runs at a strike-rate of 131.67. Mayank last played T20 cricket for the KXIP in the IPL. There he got 332 runs with two fifties to his name.
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