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5 batsmen who struggled in formats they were expected to excel in

A look at why these players haven't succeeded in formats that could have been tailor-made for them.

Top 5 / Top 10 27 Feb 2017, 15:32 IST

When one-day cricket originated, people weren't aware of how the gameplay needs to change from Test cricket. With just 60 overs per side, teams still scored below 300 consistently, sticking to the tried and tested approach of batting time.

Then came along the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Shahid Afridi and Adam Gilchrist, and one-day cricket became a whole new ball game. The trend changed even more when T20 cricket became hot news. 

A plethora of hard hitters, previously confined to their domestic teams and sometimes not even in them, were suddenly in high demand. A score of 160-180 was considered match winning in the early days of T20 cricket. 

That, however, changed when Brendon McCullum, that flamboyant Kiwi opener slammed a 158 in the inaugural T20 match of the Indian Premier League in 2008. The whole perspective of T20 cricket changed on that day, as 200+ scores became more commonplace.

Most of these transformations came due to players who had a thing for particular formats of the game. We usually tend to associate Rahul Dravid with Test cricket, Shahid Afridi with ODI cricket and Chris Gayle with T20 cricket. This is because we know that their style of playing is suited to the particular format.

But aren't there many players who we feel would have been a huge success in a particular format, but who could never come to terms with that format? 

Here we take a look at five prominent would-be stars of each format who did not play up to their own level of expectations in a format that supposedly made for them.

#5 Graham Thorpe (England) – ODIs

15 Nov 2000:  Graham Thorpe of England strikes the ball on his way to 118 during the first Test Match against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. \ Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths /Allsport
Thorpe could never flourish in ODIs as he did in Tests

The sturdy England middle order batsman was a player who would thrive on rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking. He scored a brilliant hundred in just his second innings in Test cricket and went on to become a stalwart in Tests for England.

With his stroke-play and ability to rotate the strike constantly, Thorpe was expected to be a huge success in ODIs. However, the middle order batsman had a below par ODI career, where he made 2380 runs in 82 ODIs at an average of 37.18 with zero hundreds. His inability to carry forward after going past a half-century, which he made 21 times, frustrated England fans. 

But was his failure in ODIs really a surprise? Probably not.

Thorpe had made more than 10,000 runs in List A cricket with 80 half-centuries. But the England batsman had just 9 List A hundreds despite playing in more than 350 games. His tendency to get out after his half-century merely continued in ODIs.

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