Representing one’s own country in Tests is what every budding cricketer dreams of. Attaining that glorious white jersey requires tremendous will power, confidence and commitment.
First-class cricket is the main platform where players have to prove themselves in order to gain the big ticket to the international stage. They make mistakes, they learn and they gain experience to finally be picked to represent their nation in Tests after selectors believe they have become seasoned campaigners.
However, there are still some players who are unable to replicate their first-class form in Test cricket either due to their inability to cope with the pressure of international cricket or simply due to bad luck and misfortune.
In this article, we will have a look at five Pakistani players who were absolute gems for their teams in the domestic arena but failed to replicate the same form and record for their national sides in Test cricket.
#1 Mohammad Sami
A fast bowler who was a pivotal part of the Pakistani limited-overs side a decade ago couldn’t do much when it came to Test cricket. On his day, Sami was one of those Pakistani fast bowlers who could be a nightmare for even the best of batsmen.
His first-class figures – 569 wickets in 169 matches at an average of 28.11 – certainly speak a lot of his ability as a fast bowler.
Both his attributes of pace and swing were lethal. 85 wickets in 36 Tests may sound like a decent figure but a bowling average of 52.74 certainly is not pleasing to the eye. He had a dream start to his Test career taking a 5-wicket haul against New Zealand in his first Test and subsequently taking a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in what was only his third Test.
However, his form gradually faded away and he began leaking runs in Tests without taking a sufficient number of wickets. The Pakistani team management tried their best to stick with him, though. They tested him with the new ball; when that failed, they asked him to bowl as a third seamer for a few matches.
But nothing solved the problem and he was ultimately dropped from the squad after the 2006 series against India. Since then, he continued to make sporadic appearances in the squad on the back of strong domestic performances but something always went wrong when it came to playing international Test cricket.