Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Most Under-Rated Cricketers XI

1) Simon Katich = Scores runs almost always, and is a handy, under-utilized bowler in the form of those rare Chinamans.

2) VVS Laxman = Never been in the headlines except for that amazing 281, unfairly. Unceremoniously knocked out of the ODI squad despite a decent track record (especially versus Pakistan and Australia). A team man, so much that he refused to become an icon player for Deccan Chargers so that they had more purchasing power in the first auction in Feb 2008. Instead of earning 15% more than Symond's $ 1.5 million, he is earning only $375,000.

3) Paul Collingwood = Probably the pick of the lot. He does so much for England and yet hardly gets recognized because of KP and his scratchy batting. Obviously, you wouldn't pay to watch him but one of the world's best fielders (outfield and inner field), dodgiest batsman, and handy off-cutters, he is more than a prized possession for English cricket. Probably not the best captain, but not even the worst.

4) Mark Boucher = Does all the hard work without making a fuss about it. If you would ever ask Graeme Smith who is right hand man has been under his captaincy, he would most definitely respond his wicketkeeper, with the most Test dismissals. Excellent cricket brain with solid batting, he can mix aggressiveness with solidity in fine flair.

5) Johan Botha = I hope someone can explain to me why this man was not captain of the previous 3-ODI series in India instead of Jacques Kallis. Having nothing against Kallis, but didn't Botha accomplish the small feat of winning 4-1 Down Under? I know he used to chuck when he used the doosra, but this man should be a permanent fixture in the Saffers' ODI XI with the vice-captaincy role. Very intelligent man, probably Rajasthan Royals and SK Warne missing a trick there this season.

6) Ryan Harris = Don't know how Brett Lee was chosen over Rhino in the T20 World Cup XV! Harris has been the find for Australia this year, along with McKay and Bollinger. Harris tells you a lot about why Australia will always be one of the top 3 cricketing nations because of this amazing system that produces bowlers like these, keeping Clark, Lee, and Bracken on the sidelines, and youngsters like Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, and Phillip Hughes on the fringes.

7) Murali Kartik = Has missed the bus for a long time now, and never even tried long enough to prove that he can partner Harbhajan in Test matches at least. Although Mishra and Ojha are not doing too badly, his success in County Cricket speaks volumes about the Indian Selectors inability to gauge the right talent in the right tournaments.

8) Praghyan Ojha = T20's and ODI's belong to him. His control is amazing, and with the backing of a good captain as Gilly, as prospered in this IPL and should do so under Dhoni as well. It has not helped that he has played musical chairs with Mishra in the last 4 tests India has played versus Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Slight disadvantage compared to Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra is that he doesn't bat, but than his bowling his good enough to dismantle Ravi Jadeja from at least the T20 squad as an aggressive option.

9) Clint McKay = Another wonderful product from Australia's pace barrage that has characterized their dominant performances in ODI's and Tests over the last Oz summer. With the rotation policy of resting players, he should get more playing time, and should be permanent at least in the ODI's.

10) Charl Langeveldt = He should never have become a Kolpak player, but gladly he's back with his reverse-swinging yorkers and smart bouncers. Personally, I can never forget that ODI in Barbados where he took a hat-trick for a thrilling one-run win. Should form a potent pair with Steyn, especially as the latter has not shown his prowess in ODIs.

11) Rangana Herath = Another SLA, tells a lot about how they are perceived in the cricketing world. With his carrom ball, he was recently devastating against India. Should always start ahead of Mendis in Tests, especially now that the latter's mystery has been diffused.

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