Cricket is a funny game. Players with limited skill-set often punch above their weights while there are some who are naturally gifted and yet fail to make the most of their talent.
Over the years, there have been some players who have frustrated the fans consistently by not playing to their potential. Some of these players have been in and out of their sides while others are still being persisted with.
On that note, let us take a look at eight internationa cricketers who haven't lived up to expectations:
Eight cricketers who haven't lived up to expectations
#1 Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies)
Remember the Name? If Carlos Brathwaite's career is analysed, two innings stand out. The first is his cameo that helped West Indies lift the T20 World Cup in 2016 in Kolkata. The second is his near match-winning century against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. But, there has been very little in between and either side of those two knocks.
In 43 ODI games , Brathwaite averages 16.44 with the bat, while in T20Is he averages 14.76. His bowling too has largely been ineffective. The all-rounder has picked up 75 wickets in 87 international matches.
#2 Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Kusal Mendis' international career got off to a flying start when he scored a memorable 176 in the third innings of a Test match,against Australia in 2016 in Palekelle. Many believed that Mendis is the heir apparent to Mahela Jayawardene.
In his 44 game Test career, Mendis has scored 2995 runs at an average of 36.98. It is in ODIs where Mendis' inconsistency has come more to the fore. In 76 matches, he has recorded 2167 runs at an average of 30.52, with just two hundreds to his name.
The right- handed batsman has just turned 25. Sri Lanka would hope that he can find the right sort of consistency sooner rather than later.
#3 Sanju Samson (India)
It has been seven years since Sanju Samson burst on to the scene in the colors of Rajasthan Royals. Many believed that he would be the wicket-keeper for the national team in the post MS Dhoni era.
Over the years, Samson has played some stunning knocks in the IPL. But unfortunately for him, he has followed those innings with a string of low scores. In fact, that has been the story of his 7-year IPL career. Samson has gone past 400 runs in a single season just once, back in 2018, when he scored 441 runs.
Although his opportunities for India have been limited, he hasn't made the most of them. In the four T20Is he has played in, he has scored a paltry 35 runs at an average of 8.75.
#4 Darren Bravo (West Indies)
In the early days of his career, Darren Bravo was compared with the legend Brian Lara. Indeed, Bravo is Lara's cousin, and his stance is very similar to that of Lara, making people draw comparisons between the two.
Adding on to that, Bravo had the same number of runs as Lara had after his first twelve Tests. But since then Bravo's career hasn't exactly gone the way Lara's did.
The southpaw has amassed 2902 runs in 112 ODIs at an average of 29.92. His Test career has gone better than the fifty-over format. But that only serves as a consolation, given his largely underwhelming international career.
#5 Temba Bavuma (South Africa)
Temba Bavuma made his mark in the international stage in the the Test series against England in 2015-16. He scored a stunning century in Cape Town, which also happens to be his only century in Test cricket.
Bavuma is often categorised as a gritty batsman with the right technique to cope up with the challenges of home conditions. However, he has become the sort of player who often gets out in his thirties or forties. To put his stats in numbers, Bavuma has an underwhelming average of 30.75 in 40 Test matches.
The right-hander was made the vice-captain of the Test side in 2019. He infamously came up to the toss as 'proxy captain' in the third Test of a 3-match series against India in October 2019. However, Bavuma was soon dropped from the squad following a string of low scores.
While his Test career has largely been disappointing, the 31-year old has begun his limited-overs career with flying colours. South Africa would hope that Bavuma can establish himself in the Proteas top order for years to come.
#6 James Neesham (New Zealand)
James Neesham scored a century on his Test debut against India in 2014 in Wellington. His 137* also became the highest score by a number 8 batsman in Tests. Since then, Neesham has been in and out of the New Zealand side.
The all-rounder was controversially left out of New Zealand's 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup squad, which sparked his career as an entertaining 'twitterati'.
In his 63 game ODI career, Neesham has scored 1286 runs at an average of 29.23. He has picked up 61 wickets at an economy rate of 6.14. Neesham is still trying to establish himself in the limited overs setup, while it has been over three years since he last played a Test match for the Kiwis.
#7 Shardul Thakur (India)
Shardul Thakur is arguably one of the most naturally gifted bowlers India has ever produced. His ability to bowl the perfect short-ball at pace is second to none in Indian cricket. He also has the out-swinger in his arsenal. Having said that, a lack of consistency has derailed his progress as a front-line bowler for India.
In 11 One-Day internationals, Thakur has picked up 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.0. He was recently tipped to become a useful lower order batsman but that hasn't been vindicated either. Thakur's numbers in T20Is are better than in ODIs, but his habit of leaking runs aplenty is a worry for Team India.
Thakur has been fortunate that the likes of Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been absent through injury. However, it is only a matter of time before they return. So it does seem as though Thakur is running out of time to make the most of his obvious talent.
#8 Mitchell Marsh (Australia)
Mitchell Marsh is probably the only player on this list to have frustrated the team management more than the fans. The Australian cricket team is often known to be ruthless when it comes to selections. However, despite his inconsistent displays, Marsh is one of the few players to have been given chances aplenty by Australia despite regular failures.
During his career Marsh has neither proved his worth as a batsman, nor as a bowler. In 32 Tests, he has scored 1260 runs at an average of 25.2 while he has picked up 42 wickets at an average of 38.64.
Marsh was touted to be one of the best all-rounders in the world but he has become another cricketer who has only flattered to deceive. Australia would hope that Marsh will vindicate the faith shown by the team management in him.Published 07 May 2020, 14:06 IST