“A game of glorious uncertainties” is how cricket is famously described. But we can also go on a little bit and say the game is also full of colourful characters, which includes both the good and bad ones. Every sports person comes in with a personality which becomes a facet of recognition for the fans.
Gentlemen like Ronaldinho, Roger Federer or Rahul Dravid have always added great value to the game with their persona, but none can disregard a fact that the likes of John McEnroe, Shane Warne, Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr. etc also add value to the game, no matter how many controversies they got into.
In the next few slides, we will look at a bunch of cricketers who were famously remembered for a specific facet, which we can bluntly call “Laziness”. Although it is not fair to give them such names by watching them on the screen for just a few hours in a week, there were certain aspects in their game which clearly showed they were a bit on the sluggish side.
1. Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)
One of the cult legends of the game, Christopher Henry Gayle recently surpassed the immortal Brian Lara to become West Indies’ all-time highest run-scorer in ODIs. He is also the highest run-scorer in T20s and it will take a monumental effort from anyone in the current generation to overtake this record of his.
No matter how many mammoth sixes he hit and the tons of runs he accumulated, Gayle will always be remembered for his sluggish movement on the field. Although it is fun to the viewer’s eye to see him celebrate every time he stops a ball, he is also one of the least productive fielders in the team.
He makes up for it in a way not many can, but his running between the wickets and his fielding effort make us add him into this infamous list. Despite all the adversities he had with his fitness, his sheer presence in the side was enough to intimidate the opposition and that is what makes him a real superstar of the game.
2. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Talk about swagger, there are two names which reverberate in the gentleman’s game. One was a certain Sir Vivian Richards back in the 80s and the other was the Nawaab of Najafgarh, Virender Sehwag. As far as mindset and fearlessness were concerned, he was in a league of his own, doing things which many cricketers can barely imagine.
In his early days, Sehwag moved brilliantly in the field but by the time he was closing to the 30s, his running between the sticks slowed down and he wasn’t being very swift on the field. Fitness clearly was an issue for him and although some writers termed his batting style lazy, it was just his belief in hand-eye coordination which made him not use his feet much.
After the 2011 World Cup, Sehwag scored just one 3-figure score in International cricket, the famous double-ton against the West Indies in the Indore ODI in 2011. His illustrious career was cut-short perhaps by a couple of years because of a little negligence towards fitness, but what he did was still enough to be remembered for a long time.
3. Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad. (Photo Source: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Not many would disagree with this name in this list. Mohammad Shahzad is a classic example of how lack of fitness can show you the exit doors in cricket, especially in this day-and-age. With the game demanding so much more physical involvement, Shahzad’s slow movement behind and between the sticks wasn’t helping Afghanistan move forward.
Shahzad was controversially taken out of the Afghanistan side from the 2019 World Cup, which ended with their side not winning a single game. Controversies continued to take centre stage as Gulbadin Naib, who was appointed full-time captain just a fortnight before the World Cup began, was sacked, which made no sense.
He is also one of the highest run-scorers in Afghanistan cricket history, scoring over 2,500 runs in the 50-over format and nearly 2,000 runs in T20Is. Yet, a player with such fitness levels was always going to find it difficult to survive the current demands.
4. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C)
Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq hits the ball. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Perhaps the captain of this XI, history doesn’t remember Inzamam-ul-Haq the way it should. One of the great batsmen of all time in cricket history, the former Pakistani captain was given the name “Aloo” (Potato) for his chubby personality. Although he was very slim and energetic in his early days, most memorably in the 1992 World Cup, he put on a lot of weight in the early 2000s.
But even before his body fat was beginning to affect his batting, Inzamam was always on the lazier side when it came to running between the wickets. He ran himself out 38 times in ODIs, which is a joint-record in the format alongside his long-term teammate Wasim Akram. In fact, Inzamam contributed profusely to Akram’s tally as well.
Inzamam always struggled on the field and he preferred fielding inside the 30-yard circle most of the times. No matter how much we talk about this facet of his game, he was one of the most technically astute and mentally strong batsmen we can find.
5. Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga and Muttiah Muralitharan. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
The great man from the emerald isle will forever be remembered for his contribution to the gentleman’s game, but his physique never helped him grow as much as he should’ve. Sri Lanka’s ever-green legend Arjuna Ranatunga famously led the side to a World Cup triumph in 1996, which till date remains as their most iconic triumph.
The ones who have seen Ranatunga field will understand why he falls into this not-so-enviable category of cricketers. Despite all his legendary feats, there were always incidents where he pulled himself back from giving his 100%.
No one can question the tactical genius he was, which helped Sri Lankan cricket grow immensely. He inspired a generation of cricketers who went on to add more glory to Lankan cricket like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and many more. Yet, this was one aspect of his game which he would’ve loved to forfeit from his history.
6. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Whenever cricket writers talk about the mastery of the Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma, they keep using the term “lazy elegance”, which precisely describes most of the shots he plays. It seems like his feet remain glued to the ground while playing some fast bowlers, which isn’t helpful on most occasions.
Although the dashing batsman lost many opportunities to score big because of this facet, he worked on it and did get better after a time. But he still remains devoted to his hand-eye coordination, which is one of the main reasons why he is successful. His five centuries in the World Cup 2019 made people draw comparisons to an immortal of Indian cricket named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
It was also rumoured that Rohit failed to clear his yo-yo Test initially, but there was no authenticity to this piece of news. He garnered numerous fans after his heroics in recent years, which made people ignore this facet of his game.
7. Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk)
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)
Not many can forget the famous yawn from Sarfaraz Ahmed during the India-Pakistan game in Manchester during the 2019 World Cup. As much as it was used a meme content, a lot of people came out very harsh on the Pakistani skipper for that little moment. Although it was just a yawn, it got magnified on social media and became a huge talking point.
Sarfaraz’s inclusion in this list didn’t happen because of that one incident, but a collection of many. He isn’t the quickest behind or between the wicket and has historically struggled whilst keeping against spinners who bowl with a very flat trajectory. This is what didn’t help him from achieving the heights he should’ve.
Under his leadership, Pakistan famously defeated India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final to clinch only their 3rd ICC trophy in history. Yet, he never had the cult respect like that of the other two ICC trophy-winning captains in Imran Khan and Shahid Afridi.
8. Thisara Perera
Thisara Perera. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Thisara Perera will also fall into a category, which will talk about some of the finest talents wasted. Despite working very hard on condensing his body fat, Perera couldn’t do much about it and that impacted his game big time. The talented all-rounder from Sri Lanka showed glimpses of excellence during his career but is still struggling to find consistency.
Despite being a bowling all-rounder predominantly, he is one of the slowest fielders in the ground. It would be wrong to say he doesn’t put a lot of effort while he is bowling, but it always looks a little timid when compared to others. He prefers amassing runs in the form of boundaries because of his issues with running.
He played for several T20 franchises across the globe and has represented Sri Lanka in nearly 250 International matches. Despite all the experience he boasts, he doesn’t really add significant value to the team with his endearing presence.
9. Samit Patel
Samit Patel of Notts celebrates. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Kevin Pietersen famously called Samit Patel “unfit, fat and lazy” despite having a lot of faith in his ability as a bowler. Another one of those cases in cricket where we expect a lot from that cricketer, but fitness ends up ruining his/her career and eventually, they just vanish from the limelight.
Samit Patel played 6 Tests and 36 ODIs, before he was deselected from the English team back in 2009 for failing to meet the fitness standards of the English cricket board. The national selector at that point, Geoff Miller went on record to say that the board was utterly disappointed with his work to better his fitness levels.
He nevertheless was added to the 2011 World Cup squad as England coach Andy Flower expected him to shine in Indian conditions. The talent was always there in abundance, but the off-spinner couldn’t stamp his authority at the International level.
10. Munaf Patel
Munaf Patel. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)
A pacer who promised a lot during his initial days and had a simple action with least complications, Munaf Patel should’ve achieved a lot more than he did. He did produce some memorable bowling performances, most important of which came in the 2011 World Cup semifinal game against Pakistan, where he picked up two crucial wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Razzaq.
Munaf’s slow movement on the field was always questioned and trolled. He had a certain threshold as far as his ability to run fast was concerned, which would end with him completing his quota of overs. His fitness concerns developed new injuries and deteriorated his pace as well, eventually kicking him out of the spotlight.
Munaf Patel will still be remembered as one of the 15 men who helped India triumph in 2011. He played 70 ODIs and 13 Tests for the national side, picking up 121 wickets collectively. He announced his retirement last year in November.
11. Mohammad Irfan
Mohammad Irfan. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
Mohammad Irfan officially is the tallest cricketer to have ever played the game, even surpassing the great man from the Caribbean Islands, Joel Garner. The left-arm fast bowler did have some interesting moments in his career and there was so much talk of him being one of the bowlers to watch out for before the 2015 World Cup. That wasn’t to be the case, unfortunately.
It is never easy for anyone with that height (7’1 feet) to be physically fit, especially because he spent a lot of time in his early 20s as a plumber, not a sports professional. He was pretty slow on the field and had great difficulty in saving runs. He was mostly restricted inside the circle as his movement was on the slower side.
His bowling was beginning to tarnish because of his fitness and he was beginning to lose pace. Pakistan being a pool of pacers had several other fishes in the sea to try out and was eventually dropped from the scenario.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- IPL 2021: Top 5 batsmen with highest individual scores in IPL history
- IPL 2021: Top 5 batsmen with most fours in IPL history
- WI vs SL: 2nd ODI, Match Prediction – Who will win today’s match?
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar – The warhorse India needs the most in 2021
- Hemang Badani not pleased with Varun Chakravarthy after the spinner fails to clear fitness tests ahead of the England T20Is