There are few international cricketers who did their best for their country during their playing days. These cricketers selflessly served the nation toiling hard day after day. They might not have been the star-quality players who attracted attention. But these cricketers are the ones who are the reason behind a team’s success. They are not always gifted with the spotlight but one can’t undermine their contribution. International cricket has seen many such underappreciated cricketers. Let us look at Less Appreciated Cricketers in detail.
We look at 5 such less appreciated cricketers:
#5 Matt Prior
He was part of England’s golden generation in Tests. Matt Prior was an integral part of England’s Test team. He was their designated wicketkeeper batter who walked in at number 7. Prior unassumingly went about his business around other star batters of the side. He played a total of 79 Tests scoring 4099 runs at an impressive average of 40.2. Prior scored 7 centuries and 28 fifties striking at 61.7 in Tests. He was a key member of the side that helped England reach the numero uno position in Tests in 2011.
#4 Pragyan Ojha
He was the conventional left-arm orthodox spinner. Pragyan Ojha was one of the earliest all-format spin bowlers. He made his ODI Debut in 2008 playing a total of 18 games picking 21 wickets and conceding runs at just 4.46 per over. Ojha represented India in the 2009 T20 World Cup as well. But it was in the longest format where he was the most effective. Ojha played 24 Tests in a span of 4 years between 2009-13. He was India’s leading spinner during their spin transition phase. Ojha picked 113 wickets at an average of 30.3 picking seven 5-wicket hauls.
#3 Ryan Harris
He admirably led the Australian attack post the retirements of a couple of greats. Ryan Harris was discipline personified with the ball. He was the quintessential fast bowler who always aspired to hit the top of the off stump. Harris’ ball to dismiss Alastair Cook remains one of the deliveries of the 21st century. If the 2013 Ashes down under is primarily remembered for Mitchell Johnson’s burst then it was Harris who supported him ably. Harris made his Test debut in 2010 and picked up 113 wickets at a stupendous average of 23.5.
#2 Morne Morkel
He was part of a legendary pace attack. Morne Morkel made his debut in 2006. Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, and Dale Steyn were leading the bowling charts for the Proteas. Once Pollock and Ntini retired, Dale Steyn was spearheading the attack. Morkel always played the supporting role to perfection.
Batters always had their sights set on Steyn’s skills but it was Morkel at times which surprised batsmen. His unrelenting length and solid pace made him a difficult prospect to face. He picked up 309 Test wickets in 86 Tests at an average of 27.7 picking eight 5-wicket hauls.
He is arguably one of the finest cricketers that New Zealand has ever produced. Daniel Vettori wasn’t as gifted as other spinners who played the game. But he was undoubtedly amongst the most disciplined. He was a veteran of 113 Tests wherein he picked up 362 wickets and scored 4531 runs. Vettori was always a thorn in the flesh of opponents. It was his tenacity that made him stand out. Despite such a decorated profile, Vettori remained one of the lesser-appreciated cricketers of his times.