Test cricket is not granted for everyone, even the best of the cricketing talents fail to live up to their calibre when it comes to the five-day format. Some have struggled while many others have quit the format in order to stick to the other versions of Cricket.
With the advent T20 cricket and some entertaining unorthodox hitting, only a few of the modern day cricketing fans across the globe are paying some attention to the toughest format of the game.
But over the years we heard many players saying “it is a dream come true to play test cricket for your nation.”
In that aspect let us see some of the modern day players who are regarded as star players in the white ball format but unable taste some success while playing the longer form of the game:
1) MARTIN GUPTILL (NEW ZEALAND)
The 30 year old dashing opener is one of the players who has the capability to turn a match on its head single-handedly with his explosive batting.
He became a vital member of the New Zealand top-order in the last 5 years or so. Till date Guptill has played 47 tests, 146 ODIs and 61 T20Is for his nation.
In the ODI format he averages around 43 with the bat but his average while playing in all-whites is below 30, which is very poor for a top order batsman.
A technically gifted stroke-maker, Guptill struggled for consistency in the longer format of the game and his weakness of playing a ball nipping away bowled from the off stump over the years has become a gift to the opposition while bowling to him.
He is ranked number one as a player with respect to the difference between the ODI and test batting averages which is around 14.
With the youngsters playing better than him, Guptill should find out a way to make some big runs in the coming years to be in the side for the Test format.
2) SURESH RAINA (INDIA)
The explosive left hander is mainly known for his decent contributions at the back end of the innings.
His career was a roller-coaster ride- Raina burst onto the international scene as a talented youngster during the Greg Chappell regime in 2005 and impressed everyone with his clean hitting, but due to his lack of consistency he was dropped from the team in 2006.
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Later on he found himself an opportunity to play for CSK in the IPL 2008, since then there is no turning back for Suresh Raina as he slowly emerged as the poster boy for the World’s biggest T20 league. He further achieved success playing for India in the white ball format.
Being consistent in the ODIs, the lower middle order batsman earned him a spot in the test format.
He started his test career with a bang, by smashing a century on debut against Sri Lanka and became the first Indian player to score a century in all three formats of the game.
But the 2011 test series against England exposed Raina’s weakness against pace and swing and also his inability to play short pitch deliveries, which ultimately resulted in dropping him from the test side.
In his short career of 18 test matches he averages only around 26. It looks impossible for him to make a test comeback. Whatsoever no one can deny the fact that he is one of the finest left handers India have ever produced in the modern game of cricket.
3) ALEX HALES (ENGLAND)
Being the grandson of the talented tennis player Dennis Hales, Alex hales is known as a clever and aggressive top-order batsman in the modern game. He made his debut into the International arena with a duck in a T20I against India in 2011.
Later in 2012 he smashed 99 against Windies in a T20I and further added a match winning innings against Sri Lanka (in World T20) to his tally which brought him to spotlight.
With the temperament he has shown, while playing in the T20 format earned him a spot in the ODI side against India in 2014. Hales played a major role in England’s reformation as a limited-overs team post the 2015 World Cup debacle.
The right handed batsman was handed his test cap in December of 2015 in a match against South Africa at Kingsmead. Since then the Nottinghamshire opener played in 11 tests and scored a paltry 573 runs in the 21 innings he batted with an average of 27.29.
Later his poor performance in the home test series against Pakistan showed him a way out of the test side.
Being just 28 years old and along with the fact that England didn’t find a perfect partner for Cook, Hales can hope for a comeback into the test side if he performs well in the domestic circuit.
4) IMRAN TAHIR (SOUTH AFRICA)
The 37-year old leggie is at the peak of his career as he has become one of the finest limited over specialist over the last couple of years. Being a Pakistani, Tahir travelled across the world to play in the higher version of the game and at last found some success in South Africa.
He made his arrival into the international scene felt by bagging a four-for against the Windies in the WC 2011 at Delhi. Soon after his heroics in the ODI format, the leggie got his test cap in a match against Australia later that year.
Since then he played 20 test matches in which he bagged 57 wickets at a terrible average of over 40, whereas in ODIs he picked up 132 wickets at a decent average of under 24.
It is proved that Tahir is good only when the batsmen have a go after him and on the other hand in tests they just like to play him off with ease.
With Keshav Maharaj proving to be better in attacking the batsman, Tahir was left out of the test side. It is believed that the leggie has played his last test for South Africa.
5) ROHIT SHARMA (INDIA)
One thing is for sure is that he is one of the most talented batsmen in the modern game. Coming from Maharashtra, he played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. At the earlier stages of his career he was compared to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
He made his debut in an ODI against Ireland in 2007, but came into limelight after his decent contributions for India in the inaugural World T20 held in South Africa.
However, being unable to live to the expectation Rohit was dropped from the 2011 world cup squad. But his consistent IPL performances made selectors think about his re-entry.
Despite the confidence and faith put on him, the right hander had a horrible run in a couple of series. None the less selectors backed him up and made him open an innings against England at Mohali and it paid off as Rohit responded with a score of 83.
Since then a different Rohit Sharma has been seen by the cricketing world, he added on the big shots to his lazy elegance and became a big asset for the Indian team. He now has two double centuries in ODI cricket to his name, while reaching 200 was a dream in earlier days
He earned his test cap against Windies, which was the last series for the great Tendulkar. He scored a century and put his name in contention to make up the test side.
Rohit was put under scrutiny as he failed to score runs in the overseas tours, he averages 37 till now in his 21 match career.
In spite of his batting ability in the test cricket, the team management put lots of faith on his class and selected him for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
Whatsoever, the Hit-man should perform well to hold onto his spot in the test side, as there are many young talented batsmen lurking on the side lines.