5 great cricketers who should not have played T20 cricket

Tejas V
ICC T20 Mens World Cup Final
ICC T20 Mens World Cup Final

Well, the game loved by billions set foot into a daunting phase in the year 2005 when the first ever T20I was played. How does it affect the technique? Are the players capable of adapting? Will this mark the end of Test cricket? These were the questions that were pondered over in the eventuality of T20 cricket's inception.

However, today the game is highly popular amongst the cricketing fraternity and credit must be given to the ICC and the cricketers as well- Test cricket has survived and it has also evaded the "endangered" tag with ease.

Till date, many great cricketers have had a shot at adapting to the challenging format and many have even quit the longest format for T20s. Perhaps, quite a few of them should have never played the T20 format of the game, simply because they weren't really exceptional as they were in the other formats of the game.

Let's look at the 5 great players who should have never played T20 Cricket.

#5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul

New Zealand v West Indies - First Test: Day 3
Chanderpaul failed to meet the formidable requirements of T20s

Infamous for his crab-like batting stance, the unconventional Shivnarine Chanderpaul has had his fair share of glory across two decades of his cricketing career.

With over 20,000 runs in ODI and Test matches combined, despite his unorthodox technique, Chanderpaul was a colossal presence and averaged 51.37 in Tests with 30 Test hundreds to his name.

Come to the T20 format, he represented Windies for 22 Internationals but possessed a hapless average of 20.17 with 41 being his highest score. He last played T20I in 2010 but plied his trade in many domestic camps since then, but only to managed a T20 career average of 23.

Strictly, Chanderpaul should have distanced himself from the shortest format to take more pride in the immense success he garnered in the other two formats of the game.

#4 Sourav Ganguly

Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders - IPL T20
Ganguly played five seasons of the IPL but was sporadically impactful

A man of aggression; a leader with passion; a shot through the covers with perfection. This sums up the 'Bengal Tiger' who is one of the greatest left-handed batsmen to have graced Indian cricket.

From attacking the spinners to playing over the in-field to cleverly pacing an innings, Sourav Ganguly was a master with averages of 42.17 and 41.02 in Tests and ODIs, respectively. With age being a dominant factor in the shortest format of the game and with the inception of T20 cricket in Ganguly's final phase of his career, he played only in the IPL but struggled to make an impact and cement his position in the line-up.

He represented KKR and Pune Warriors India in the IPL but showcased a poor strike rate of just 107. The bottom line is that 'Dada' could not repeat his heroics in the shortest format of the game.

#3 VVS Laxman

Australia v India - Fourth Test: Day 4
The quest to play aggressive knocks hampered Laxman's progress in the T20 format

When you talk about Australia, you talk about VVS Laxman. When you talk about victorious chases, you talk about 'Very Very Special' Laxman.

One of the most proficient right-handers to have represented India, Laxman was the calm and composed head that solidified the middle order in Test matches.

He did a decent job in the ODIs but in the Test arena, he secured a name as one of the batting greats, with an average close to 46, which was combined with adroit wrists and delightful stroke play.

In the shortest format of the game, he played for Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers Kerala but failed to leave any footprint as his average slumped to just 22.31 with a strike rate of 114.71. Simply, the game was too demanding for the crafty player.

#2 Ricky Ponting

WA Festival of Cricket Legends Match
Iconic in the ODI and Tests; sluggish in T20s

In the history of Australian cricket, Ricky Ponting is second to only one and that is Sir Donald Bradman. From three World Cups to 71 career hundreds, Ricky Ponting was the protagonist and the face of Australian cricket in the 21st century.

Ponting boasts of a staggering Test average of 51.85 with 13,378 runs and along with an ODI average of 42.03, that comprises thirty centuries, he is certainly a modern day great.

Ponting was gifted with the ability to adapt and thrive at will in any format of the game. But the greatest ever Australian skipper struggled to consolidate the same in the T20 format as he averaged just over 25 in the T20 format with a strike rate close to 121.

The 'Punter' registered only 2 international fifties, with his career-best score being 98. Apart from these figures, Ponting had a daunting task adjusting to the emphatic requirements of the T20 format.

#1 James Anderson

Australia v England - Fourth Test: Day 4
Anderson last played his T20I in 2009.

Simply a genius in the Test arena, Jimmy Anderson is England's highest wicket-taker in the Tests and ODIs. No current English bowler is close to surpassing Anderson's degree of achievement.

He has 269 wickets in the ODIs with an impressive economy of 4.92 and in the longest format, he has 523 scalps at a strike-rate of 56.5. Overwhelmingly, Anderson couldn't manufacture anything similar in the shortest format of the game.

He was punished at hemorrhaging rate in the T20, which is highlighted by his economy of 8.16. He had to toil hard for wickets as well. He has an unhealthy average of 31.40, which emphasizes that he probably should have never played the T20 format.

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Edited by Sarah Waris
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