Cricketers generally come into the team as specialists in certain positions and based on what the team requires, they are slotted in. However, there are times when the team have found hidden talents in certain players that have proved to be more valuable. Here are 5 players who changed their roles to succeed:
One of the best Test bowlers in the world, Jadeja came into the Indian team as a middle-order batsman who could bowl a bit. He did not fare well with the bat and was dropped from the team in 2010. However, he found out that he was an above average bowler and then worked on that aspect of his game. Soon, Jadeja was picking wickets at regular intervals and providing breakthroughs. He ended becoming one of IndiaÂ’s best bowlers who could bat a bit in due course of t ime.
Currently the Australian captain and one of the best batsmen in the world, Steve Smith was first drafted into the Australian team as a spin bowler. He was known to have a little batting talent but his game was focused more on his bowling. Soon, he changed all that and was allowed to play his natural, unorthodox game in the batting department. It helped and Smith plundered ton after ton to become AustraliaÂ’s best batsmen.
The prolific Englishman started out as an off-spinner but found out that his talents lay elsewhere. He was able to get prized wickets of Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton and Michael Vaughan in a practice game. However, due to a lack of bowling opportunities, he switched his focus to batting and the rest is history.
The decent middle order batsman did not start off in that role. He was first an off-spinner who could play a handy innings lower down the order. However, after a knee injury curbed his bowling instinct, Styris concentrated on his batting and had a fairly decent career as a batsman, making 9 centuries. He had a splendid 2007 World Cup too for the Black Caps before quitting in 2011.
Jumbo, as the former captain was fondly called, used to be a fast bowler back in the day. He went on to become one of the greatest leg spinners in the history of the game and this was only because his friends felt his action wasn’t right for a fast bowler. He did retain some of those trai ts while bowling and was famous for extracting extra bounce and pace thanks to his height.
By Rohit Nair