Top 5 late bloomers in Test cricket
Not every player makes it big in the early stages of their career. There have been players who made their debut quite late or simply flourished at the latter stages of their career. They performed exceedingly well for their respective teams and in hindsight, one may be forgiven for thinking that had these players started early or peaked earlier, they could’ve achieved a lot more.
Here’s a look at 5 players who bloomed quite late in Test cricket.
Notable Mentions – Chris Rogers, Stuart MacGill
#5 Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann is probably one of the best spinners to have played for England. Swann first played for his country in 2000 in an ODI against South Africa. But his laid-back and infantile nature didn’t impress coach Duncan Fletcher and hence he didn’t play for almost 8 years. He made a comeback in late 2007, playing 4 ODIs in Sri Lanka and doing well with both bat and ball.
Some consistent performances in One-Day cricket helped him earn a spot in the Test side. Swann made his debut in the famous Chennai Test in December 2008. He picked up the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in his very first over in Test cricket. He took 8 wickets (in 2 Tests) in his debut series.
He continued to perform superbly as he took 54 and 64 wickets in 2009 and 2010 respectively. He took 14 (in 2009) and 15 wickets (in 2010/11) in two series against Australia to help England win back-to-back Ashes series. His exploits in India in 2012 helped England win the series (he took 20 wickets in 4 Tests). He then took 26 wickets in the 2013 Ashes at home to help England retain the urn.
After a few successful years in international cricket, Swann endured a tough and disappointing Ashes series down under in 2013/14 which resulted in him calling it quits mid-way through the series. Swann ended his career with 255 wickets in 60 Tests. He was also a handy lower-order batsman and a very good slip fielder.