5 Players Who Didn’t Get The Credit They Deserve: Like the way, cricket has paved the path for several individuals to take the stairway to heaven, similarly, the game hasn’t been forgivable to everyone who has spilled blood and sweat on the field. A very few have managed to climb the rungs of the ladder of greatness, while others have failed to attain the legend status of the game.
One single game has mixed contributions from those 11 players plying their trade on the field. A few go on to leave an emphatic mark while the others battle it out with whatever flair they have up their sleeves. We will take a glance at 5 of those cricketers, who were renowned names of the sport, but didn’t really hog the limelight despite their limited heroics. In one single word, we can call them “underrated”.
1. Paul Collingwood
Despite the fact that cricket hasn’t remembered the legend for his outstanding contributions to the game, he was still a significant appellation in the international cricketing canon.
After making his debut in 2000, he kept on playing until 2011, where he made his presence felt with some resolute batting in the middle order, with some adept medium-pace bowling, and with some fine fielding.
He was considered to be a fine companion to one of the most hard-hitting talents of the game, Andrew Flintoff.
In Test cricket, Paul Collingwood averaged 40 and in ODI he ranged close to 36. Alongside his batting credentials, he went on to scalp 111 victims with his dicey bowling. At one point in time, he became the most capped English player.
He also had a major impact as a captain when he went on to lead his squad in 2010 to a T-20 World Cup triumph. He was finally axed from the international squad after 2011 to accommodate young talents.
He kept on playing county cricket until 2018 before he called it quits.
2. Mohammad Yousuf
Initially known as Yousuf Youhana, he was a pillar in the Pakistani middle-order. With classic stroke-play being his chief ability, he induced fear in the hearts of his opponents.
He was a specialist in both Tests and ODI’s where he averaged 52 and 42 respectively. His career started in 1998 while he went on to play until 2010.
In this span of 12 years, he garnered 18000 international runs, which is not an easy feat to achieve.
However, the legendary batsman didn’t really achieve the cult-status in the game due to a controversial exit, and cricket never remembered him either.
3. Damien Martyn
Australia was relishing unparalleled supremacy at that point in time when Damien Martyn set foot in the international arcade. With their batting order starting with the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, and then followed by Ricky Ponting, it seemed like a massive constellation of stars.
However, whenever the top 3 failed to leave a mark and Australia wobbled early in the innings, the man who used to hold on to the mast was none other than Damien Martyn. He made his debut in 1992 but it took him considerable time to leave a significant footprint for the Aussies.
He played a pivotal role in the 2003 World Cup triumph of Australia as he went on to score a scintillating 88 in the final alongside Ricky Ponting’s blistering century that dismantled India.
His average spanned above 46 in Tests and more than 40 in ODI’s. He was a rock-solid anchor who steered the nation to several glories when the big shots failed. In fact, he was a massive back up to the cream of Australian batting that gave them the leeway to unleash their explosives early in the innings.
4. Ajit Agarkar
Equipped with the phenomenal quality of producing the most lethal inswinging yorkers at any point in time of the game that left the batsmen dazed and confused, Ajit Agarkar was considered to be a bowling allrounder.
In fact, much to the amazement of the Indian fans, it is Agarkar who holds the record of the fastest half-century by an Indian in ODI cricket. His batting heroics also included a brilliant century at Lords, thereby giving India a downright chance to fight the might of England.
However, Agarkar was more renowned for his prolific bowling skills. Though he used to be pretty expensive, his wicket-taking capability made him an absolute favorite to captains.
From 191 ODI’s, he ratcheted up 288 wickets at a stunning average of 27. If we go by the numbers, his ODI bowling record is better than one of India’s best fast bowlers, Zaheer Khan.
Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid heavily relied upon Agarkar and he returned their faith with handsome dividends. However, with Ganguly and Dravid stepping down from captaincy, he couldn’t make another comeback to the national squad. His last foray was the 2007 ICC T-20 World Cup which India went on to win. He even bowled the famous final over in the first game for India with Pakistan that produced a remarkable tie, which was won by India through a bowl out.
5. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Chanderpaul was a consistent name in the West Indian outfit who stayed as reticent as ever and yet silently kept on building to his greatness.
In the presence of Lara, he always used to play the second fiddle, learning from the ace of the West Indian cricket. Once Lara stepped down in 2007, Chanderpaul hogged the limelight with his brilliant technical prowess.
In between the years 2007 and 2010, a lot of Caribbean stalwarts departed from the game, thereby leaving an unfathomable void. Chanderpaul single-handedly took over the reins of the side and stunned everyone with his ever-improving batting ability.
Playing 164 tests, he plundered 11864 international runs at a staggering average of 51. His numbers in the shorter format of the game read 8700 runs at an average above 41. Despite being such an illustrious moniker of the game, he never really craved the limelight in his sails.
As age started catching up with this technical great of the game, his form nosedived into a receding tailspin and the board shortly axed him from the squad in 2015. A 21-year long career slipped into oblivion just like that because the board couldn’t really support one of their greats.