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5 most underappreciated batsmen in the sport

Akshay Sharma
Top 5 / Top 10
223.15K   //    13 Mar 2018, 14:01 IST

Australia v Pakistan - 1st Test: Day 4

The universe of cricket isn’t a very big one with just ten Test-playing nations. As a result, you would expect players who have consistently performed well at the international level to get recognized all over the world. Sadly, that’s not the case due to the great inequality among cricket playing nations.

This is especially true among batsmen as players from the ‘big three’ – India, Australia and England – along with some from South Africa get instant recognition the world over, whereas many cricketers from other nations with great records and impressive achievements are hardly known by fans outside their home countries.

Furthermore, the emergence of big T20 leagues has made big-hitters in the shortest format of the game overnight superstars, while those who play in a more orthodox style and have successfully plied their trade in Tests get completely sidelined.

Here is a list of five batsmen who have been very successful in international cricket but haven’t got the coverage and attention they deserve.

Kraigg Braithwaite

England v West Indies - 2nd Investec Test: Day Five
Braithwaite has scored runs in different parts of the world

Being a West Indian batsman is a tough thing in Test cricket. With your team constantly losing and suffering batting collapses, it’s hard to be able to have respectable career stats. But there is one doughty batsman with an unassuming technique who has been scoring runs consistently for the Caribbean side but is not given his fair share of credit – Kraigg Braithwaite.

The cricketing world is dazzled by the big-hitters from the West Indies who shine in T20 cricket but Braithwaite, with qualities of dogged determination and patience, has emerged as the most consistent and reliable West Indian batsmen in Tests in the last few years.

An average of 37.43 from 44 matches with six hundreds may seem a very modest record in the bat-dominated modern era but it has to be remembered that any batsmen’s average is bound to be adversely affected by playing in a team which doesn’t usually provide much support to its batsmen.

Braithwaite’s ability to score runs in different conditions adds to his stature. With centuries in South Africa, UAE and England and many good scores in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia, he has proven how capable he is.

Braithwaite has grown from being a purely defensive batsman to one who can play big shots as well. This shows his improvement and with age being on his side, there is no reason to not expect him to get even better in the future.

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Akshay Sharma
Former Sports Correspondent with The Pioneer newspaper, Cricket chauvinist but with a great deal of interest and love for hockey, badminton and handball
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