5 one-hit wonders in cricket
Throughout the history of cricket, there have been players whose careers have been like the journey of a meteor– rising in one single flash of brilliance before completely fading away. These cricketers produced performances that secured their place in the history books but couldn't establish a successful international career and were discarded not much later when the selectors realised that the special effort from them was a one-off and not going to be replicated
This is a list of 5 such players who came up with one memorable, even historic, performance but failed to produce anything else that was noteworthy. These efforts are memorable due to both the numbers generated and the context in which they were produced. Test cricket has been usually the stage of these kind of displays but occasionally the shorter formats have also witnessed them.
#1 Jasu Patel
This little-known off-spinner from Gujarat holds a special place in the history of Indian cricket because of his exploits in one single, but historically very important, match. This was the Kanpur Test against Richie Benaud’s touring Australian team in December 1959.
Patel made his debut in 1955 but didn’t have any success in making a mark. Then in 1959, during the home series against Australia, the gut instinct of chief selector Lala Amarnath brought him back into the Indian team for the second Test after the hosts suffered a heavy defeat in the first.
It proved to be one of the greatest selectorial decisions of all time as Patel picked up an astonishing 9 wickets in Australia’s first innings and followed it up with 5 in the second innings to give India its first-ever Test win over Australia. His 9/69 were the best figures for an Indian bowler until Anil Kumble took all 10 in an innings against Pakistan.
In his four Tests before this game and two afterwards, there was nothing to remember, but this one single performance made him a superstar. He was even compared to actor Raj Kapoor for his looks. But it will be his bowling in that match that remains one of the great surprises that cricket has ever thrown up.