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5 cricketers whose late entry cost them legendary status

Krish Sripada
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 08:58 IST
Australia v South Africa - Second Test: Day 1 : News Photo
Hussey was an integral part of the Australian middle over

Great careers - what are they made of? Some would say steely determination; some would say priceless skill; some would call it luck. While all those factors do matter to a great extent, one often-ignored aspect is the external intervention – the selectors’ confidence and risk-taking ability, the form of the national team and whether it needs new entrants and the opportunities available.

Many a great career never managed to take off or bloom because it was impossible to find space for players, like in the famous Indian middle order of the 2000s or Australia’s XI around the same time. Here, we take a look at five players who started late and despite that hurdle, made it big in the cricketing world. It is also unlucky that some of these players had much shorter careers which meant that their accomplishments were limited and weren’t really proportional to their talents.

Mind you, players like Stuart MacGill, Chris Rogers, will also be able to walk into this list any day, but for now, we have featured the most prominent and well-known cricketers.

#1 Michael Hussey

Hussey was almost Bradman-esque in his first international year, almost mocking Australian selectors for taking so long to get him in. Hussey lost valuable years on both ends – he debuted in November 2005, at the age of 30 and retired from international cricket in 2013 at the age of 37, with a few years of cricket still left in him.

In fact, Australia really needed his presence to shepherd the younger generation batsmen, but he was adamant about walking away. Despite a seemingly short career of just 7 years, Hussey played 79 Tests where he scored 6235 runs at 51.52 with 19 centuries and 29 half-centuries. Add to that, another 185 ODIs with 5442 runs at 48.15 and you have a really good career. But, for Mr. Dependable that was only half of what he could have achieved.

The Western Australia player had a quiet debut against West Indies, following which he slammed three centuries in the next four matches. Hussey went out with a bang too, with three centuries in his last six Tests, going out on his own terms. The only regret he would have probably nursed is the fact that he narrowly missed a double ton, scoring 195 in an Ashes Test in Brisbane.

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Published 10 Dec 2016, 22:48 IST
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