5 most mismanaged cricketers of recent times in international cricket
There have been certain names in cricket who promised a lot when they burst on to the international stage. But over time, team requirements or more often circumstances have forced them to consider what all they can contribute to their side.
Is it their batting skill or is it their captaincy which will be a better thing for the team? Would it matter more if they score more runs up the order or just hang around with the tail to give a good finish to the innings? Such questions have often led to altering the roles of players who would have initially liked to find themselves playing different ones.
Here are some players who showed great promise during early days of their career playing a specific role, but somehow went on doing something else as time progressed, and have overall performed a tad below their true potential (which was in batting for the names here).
They are all doing a great job for their sides, but one cannot help but wonder if they would have done better had their team managements found a better role for them in the scheme of things.
5. Darren Sammy
He has consistently batted at no. 8 for a better part of his career. He was captained in 2010, and has been great at the job. His forte’ is his bowling, and he has picked up more than 70 wickets in both the Test ad ODI formats. He is an all-rounder, but he is more like a bowler who can bat.
But somehow, there is this feeling that he could have done better things with his batting. He bats way down in the batting order, and may consider coming and batting at positions above the order, maybe at positions where the Sri Lankan or even the Indian captain bat currently.
He can be explosive with the bat, and he can well be a finisher for his side. He has finished games for the Windies on numerous occasions, but one does feel that he comes in very late and sometimes the damage done is beyond repair and he can do nothing with tail-enders at the other end.
He averages just above 20 in both Tests and ODIs, and has no ODI hundreds to his name and just the lone Test hundred. We all know he is better than what these numbers show. He has to go ahead and improve these, not for the sake of the record books, but because he is capable of doing so.
He will, in all probability, lead the Windies’ campaign at the World Cup next year, and it is important that he experiment on a better batting position for himself, before going in for the tournament.
He bats at no. 7 or 8 in Tests, and at 5 or 6 in the ODIs. He can bowl, but is not a specialist bowler, hence his role in the team should primarily be that of a batsman. Considering that, and also the capability he has shown with the bat, he should definitely bat higher up. It is generally a rule of thumb that the best batsmen in a team should bat up the order, and South Africa would do themselves good by not violating that rule.
His career that started in 2011 in ODIs and in 2012 in Tests is far from over. He may be 29 but he has a lot of cricket left in him. It is imperative, therefore, that South Africa groom this gem of a player for the no. 4 batting position. They have had good steady top order batsmen in Smith, Amla and de Villiers, but they have shuffled options for the no. 4 spot.
Somebody like a Duminy who is not in prime form currently and can even contribute with the ball can be moved down the order to make way for Faf. The Proteas batted him at 3 and he responded with 2 good scores in 3 innings recently against Pakistan. They should, thus, observe the obvious fact that he will be better for them up the order.
True that he produced an amazing innings down the order against India, and almost crafted one of the best 4th innings chases ever, still the lower order should remain the monopoly of the sloggers while specialists like him should play up the order. There is still time for South Africa to make amends.