Strike rates weren’t of as much importance in limited-over cricket in the 80s or in the 90s as they are now. A run a ball in ODI cricket is the standard these days which wasn’t the case a couple of decades back.
There was hardly any player who used to strike it at a run a ball back in the day. The strike rates of most of the batsmen, who used to play in the 80s or the 90s, would be considered extremely slow in modern-day cricket.
Here are the 5 Indian batsmen with the worst strike rate in ODI cricket (min 4000 runs):
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu played 136 ODIs for India and scored 4413 runs at an average of 37.08. But his strike rate was less than 70.
This can be considered a little low even by the standards of the 80s and the 90s because Sidhu used to open the batting for India most of the time and had the opportunity to take advantage of the fielding restrictions.
Ajay Jadeja scored 5359 runs for India in 196 ODI games at an average of 37.47.
But, Jadeja’s strike rate was also pretty similar to that of Sidhu which is very surprising because Jadeja was considered an aggressive finisher towards the end of the innings and he had built that reputation by playing some quick cameos down the order for India. However, his overall strike rate remained less than 70.
Rahul Dravid played more than 300 ODIs for India and scored more than 10,000 runs at an average of close to 40, but his strike rate was only 71.18.
However, in Dravid’s case, it was not surprising because he was always considered a solid batsman who would look to bat the conventional way and wouldn’t look for too many extravagant shots.
VVS Laxman was another batsman who used to play proper cricket shots just like Dravid and his role in the Indian ODI team was also to provide solidity to the top order rather than playing big shots.
However, Laxman didn’t get the opportunity to play as many ODI games for India as Dravid did. Laxman played just 86 ODIs and scored 2338 runs at an average of 30.76 and a strike rate of 71.23.
A lot of people would be surprised to see Kris Srikkanth in this list because he was a dasher at the top of the order; however, his eventual strike rate was only 71.74.
It might be because of the fact that Srikkanth played most of his cricket at a time when the white ball was not even introduced to international cricket and even limited-over games used to be played with the red ball.