When you play for your country and perform well over the years, it’s only obvious that you will get a lot of recognition. However, not every player is lucky to have the limelight on them. As cricket is a team sport, there are certain players who just don’t get an equal amount of credit for what they are doing on the field for their side.
Over the years, there are many stars of the game who have been celebrated by the cricket fraternity. But, again, there are some players who didn’t get the credit they deserved. Without further to do, let us dive into our pick of 7 cricketers who never got the credit they deserved.
Here are five such cricketers:
1. Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood probably one of the least talked about English cricketers, but his achievements are just too good to be ignored. The man from Durham made his debut in the early 2000s and went on to play for the English team until 2011. He played a vital role through this time and was a perfect companion to someone like Andrew Flintoff.
With the bat in hand, he had something of a key role to play in both Tests and ODIs. In fact, he averaged above 40 in red-ball cricket and close to 36 in ODIs. He has also picked up 111 wickets in the one-day format. At one point in time, he was England most capped ODI player as well.
However, his biggest contribution to English cricket was that he led the national team to a World cup win. In 2010, Collingwood and his side went on to win the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (known as World T20 then). He was dropped from the squad after the World Cup 2011 and never made a comeback He went on to play county cricket till 2018.
2. Mohammad Yousuf
In a country which has been known for producing fast-bowlers, Mohammad Yousuf should have been one of the more celebrated batsmen. However, with all the recognition around players of the current generation, Yousuf slips under the radar.
The right-handed batsman from Pakistan has an average above 52 in Tests and close to 42 in ODIs. He was a solid middle-order batsman with unparallel skills. He started out 1998 and played till 2010. During this time, he scored more than 18,000 international runs. His legacy would remain alive for some time but only in record books.
Due to his controversial exit from the national side in 2010, Yousuf name isn’t always seen when people talk about legendary batsmen from the country. But, the stylish batsman has always had a calm head on his shoulder and was a regular performer.
3. Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid had a long and illustrious career for the Indian cricket team. Between 1996 and 2012, Dravid played 164 Tests and 344 ODI matches. He was one of the finest batsmen of his generation. However, for the number of runs he has scored for India, he never gets enough credit.
Dravid belongs to the elite group of batsmen who have scored more than 10,000 runs in both formats of the game. But, while talking legendary batsmen, his often is skipped. Dravid through the 90s and 2000s did everything he could have done. He scored runs in both home and away conditions and stood like a ‘Wall’ in front of the opposition bowlers.
Since his retirement, the Karnataka player has been serving as coaches for different teams. He had mentored IPL teams before coaching India U19 to a world cup win. He is currently the director of the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Dravid has revealed in several interviews that he enjoys working with young cricketers and would love to do for the rest of his life.
4. Damien Martyn
When Martyn first made his debut for Australia in 1992, he was looked upon as the next big thing in the Australian cricket. But, it took him some time to get his foot set in the international arena. With the emergence of Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting, the limelight shifted to them from Martyn.
Some people Martyn should have played more, but former batsmen had revealed that he knew his time was up. He was an integral part of Ponting’s side which lifted the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. In fact, he played a superb knock of 88 in the final.
He averaged above 46 in Tests and above 40 in ODIs. He records are too good and his contribution toward Australian cricket was massive through the 2000s. Anytime, the likes of Ponting, Hayden or Gilchrist failed, Martyn was there to back the side. It is unfortunate that Martyn doesn’t get the credit that he actually deserved.
5. Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener was one player who made one-day cricket exciting. Long before MS Dhoni became the coolest finisher, this South African all-rounder was what a finisher should be. In numerous matches, he has helped the Proteas to get back on track.
He was the man of the tournament during the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 in England. He played some superb cameos during that tournament and world took notice. His ODI average was 41 with a strike rate close to 90. Not only this but he also took 192 wickets from his 171 ODI matches with an average of 29.
With those, he should be right up there with the more celebrated players. However, that isn’t the case. Klusener is not remembered by the cricket fraternity as he should. For someone, who was that good at delivering with both bat and ball, Klusener never really got all his due credit.
6. Ajit Agarkar
There was nothing that Ajit Agarkar couldn’t do. He would pick crucial wickets and then go on smash the ball to all over the park. A lot of people might not be aware of this, but Agarkar still holds the record for the fastest ODI fifty ever scored by an Indian batsman.
In fact, he has a Test century at Lord’s. He was an effective batsman but mostly a bowler that every captain would have loved to have. In 191 ODIs, he picked up 288 wickets at an average of 27. Interestingly, his bowling record in the format is better than Zaheer Khan, one of the most celebrated bowlers in Indian cricket.
For Ganguly and then Dravid, Agarkar was a gem. He used to bowl in the middle overs and had a few variations which would help him fox the batsman. The Mumbai player sadly never got the due respect for his performance as he never was a player to hog the limelight. He slipped off the radar after 2007 and never played for India again. Interestingly, he was part of the Indian world cup winning squad from the ICC World T20 2007.
7. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
For every Brian Lara, there’s a Shivnarine Chanderpaul. While Lara was breaking the records and making everyone inferior with his batting, Chanderpaul was a player who slowly but steadily become a great player. After Lara bid his goodbye to international cricket in 2007, Chanderpaul started to become the mainstay of the West Indies batting line-up. He was playing some really good cricket and helping the Caribbean side from recovering.
He played 164 Tests scoring 11864 runs with an average of 51.37. Apart from that, he scored more than 8,700 runs in the ODI format as well with an average above 41. His record was too good to be ignored but he never had the limelight towards him.
With the time, his form dropped and the management decided to drop him from Test side in 2015. For a career that lasted for 21 years, Chanderpaul deserved a lot of appreciation but never got any. He is without a doubt one of the selfless cricketers to have played our game.
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