Six deserving, but underrated international cricketers of the past 20 years

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Six deserving, but underrated international cricketers of the past 20 years

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Nawang Chugh

08/23/2016

Cricket is known as a team game. A game of 11 against 11. But, individual performances eclipse the efforts put in by the team more often than not. Cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni etc. are the idols of almost every cricket fan. On the other hand, there are some cricketers who gave their best every time but did not get the same limelight as others. Let’s look at some of the underrated cricketers from the past 20 years.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

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There is no doubt that this legend from West Indies gave everything to his national side. Chanderpaul has an average of 51.37 in Test cricket, while he has scored 11867 runs from 164 Tests. Chanderpaul was a constant presence in the Windies middle order for the last 20 years, before he called it a day in January this year. Over 20 years in the game is an unbelievable achievement not only in cricket but also for the world sports. But the harsh truth is that, he was never considered as a superstar in spite of his consistency and magical knocks.

Rangana Herath

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It’s difficult to get recognition when you are playing with Muttiah Muralitharan. Rangana Herath made his debut in 1999 when the Sri Lankan legend was at his best. The brilliance of Murali did not allow Herath to showcase his talent. This is not the only case, same has happened with Stuart MacGill of Australia.

After Muralitharan’s retirement, Herath has become the mainstay in the spin department of the Sri Lankan team. Even at the age of 38, Herath is the biggest weapon for Sri Lanka, and as he showed in the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka by taking 28 wickets in three Tests, he could have been one of the greats of the game if Muralitharan was not around.

Rahul Dravid

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Rahul Dravid, widely regarded as one of the greatest test batsmen of all time, has played 164 tests and 344 ODIs. His terrific performance with the bat in both the formats made him one of the best number three batsmen of his time. He single-handedly won many crucial tests matches for Team India and is remembered as the ‘Wall of Indian cricket’. Still, the story in the minds of many is not the same. It would not be wrong if we say that Sachin Tendulkar got all the respect and appreciation, of which some percentage should be deserved by ‘The Wall.’ Even Rahul Dravid once said in a funny way, “Fans wanted me to get out so that they can watch Sachin bat as he came at number 4.” He may not be compared to the God of Indian cricket, but his contribution towards Indian cricket is unforgettable.

Ajinkya Rahane

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The current Indian star may be giving his best in every match, yet he is considered as an underrated batsman in the team. With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan in the side, this Mumbaikar, always stays beneath them. His batting position in ODIs as well as in Tests is not fixed yet, but he has shown his value to the teams many a times. Although he can be a perfect match winner for Team India, his name in the final eleven is still a matter of debate. Rahane has risen through and has become India’s Test vice-captain, but just like Dravid, this middle-order batsman has also remained in the underrated category.

Steven Finn

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Finn has been in the England side from 2010, impressing one and all with his bowling performances. In 35 Test matches that he played so far, he has taken 125 wickets with an economy of 3.54. Even after taking wickets at crucial stages, the England pacer, sometimes remain unnoticed because of the presence of Stuart Broad and James Anderson in the side. There is no doubt in his ability to become the frontline bowler of the side, but with Board and Anderson in the side, Finn is likely to remain on the sidelines in the near future.

VVS Laxman

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We all know that he is very very special because of the god-gifted wrist. His innings of 281 against Australia in the epic match at Eden Gardens would remain as one of the best Test knocks ever played by an Indian batsman. Even the Australians, themselves, admitted that he was the tough one to get, if he batted for a few overs. His 8781 runs in Test cricket in 134 matches are enough to explain what kind of player he was. But, he remained under the shadows of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar through his cricketing career.

There are lot of other cricketers who did well for their respective countries but these were some of the names who remained under the shadows of their teammates.

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