We may be witnessing the most batsmen-dominated era in world cricket presently. Pitches are getting flatter and scores are getting bigger by day. Many batsmen have racked up stats that would have been unimaginable in earlier times.
It’s sometimes hard to make out who is genuinely talented and who an average player benefiting from conditions being skewed in favour of the batsmen. But there also exists another category of them who possessed immense potential, sometimes even displayed it, but could never consistently produce runs to match their ability.
Here is a list of 5 such batsmen who flattered everyone with their talent only to deceive with their performances:
#5 Umar Akmal
It may sound ludicrous now but those who saw Umar Akmal in the early days of his career would testify that in terms of raw talent, he isn't too far behind, perhaps even an equal of, Virat Kohli. He started his career with a splendid hundred on Test debut and was immediately recognized as a potential future great. He then batted very admirably on his team’s otherwise disastrous tour of Australia in 2009-10. Akmal showed skill, temperament and sheer quality to impress everyone with some good scores while the others failed haplessly.
But prognosis of a great future didn’t come true. While Akmal is a match for Kohli when it comes to ability, he is nowhere close to having the application and focus that the latter possesses. His downfall often results from lack of concentration manifesting itself in the form of poor shots. On innumerable occasions he has got well set at the wicket only to give it away through a loose stroke.
There also seems to be an issue of temperament. Akmal has often shown a propensity to see himself as a victim and not identify the mistakes he has been making. The video of him complaining to Imran Khan about his batting position during the 2016 World T20 is a prime example of this.
For years, Pakistani fans, and cricket fans in general, waited for Akmal to produce that breakthrough performance that would set him on course for the type of successful career that he should have. Alas, they have now given up and Pakistan cricket has found other young batsmen to pin their hopes on.