The 5 most overrated players in the history of Cricket

"Boom Boom" plays one of his fierce strokes. Source: AFP

In professional sports, there are specific players who are simply overrated. More often it is not a true reflection of their talents as an athlete and this goes for Cricket as well. Overestimated Cricketers are based on one’s opinion, but more often than not, statistics do not lie. It should be well noted that the word ‘overestimated’ or ‘overrated’ does not mean the individual is ‘inferior’ or ‘substandard’. It just means that the player is arguably credited out of proportion in correlation to his escapades as an International Cricketer. The following list of players is in no way meant to bash or undermine their accomplishments on the field of play.

  1. Ravi Bopara

When he made his International debut for England in 2007 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, he looked like a superbly talented all-round Cricketer. He could have turned into one of England’s top batsmen for years to come. Unfortunately, it seemed the all-rounder who bowled medium-pace as well, was too hyped up. The English media peppered him as the next great England batsman. It’s a pity he never quite kicked on to become the batsman that many Cricketing pundits hoped he would.

          He was a stylish batsman and easy on the eye to view. However, he was never really bracketed in the same league as some of his former England team mates such as Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. An average of 30.62 in 120 ODIs, 31.94 in 13 Tests, and 28.44 in 38 T20Is, is proof that he did not build on the chances that he was given.

  1. Graeme Hick

The Zimbabwean-born former England middle-order batsman is as overestimated as it gets. Graeme Hick had a lovely technique and played all the shots in the book. As a matter of fact, he played the text-book cover drive. His variety of strokes drove him to become the highest scorer in first-class Cricket history with over 64,000 runs. When it came to International Cricket however, Graeme Hick did not deliver on his naturally gifted talents.

     The England team had big expectations on him being the next great superstar since David Gower. He never really stood out in the England shirt when compared to his first-class exploits. The selectors never gave up on him and he represented England for 10 years, spanning from 1991 to 2001. In his 65 Test matches, a batting average of 31.30 never really blossomed to something more special. Steve Waugh rated him highly in the 90s nevertheless. 6 Test hundreds and 5 ODI hundreds was achieved internationally.

Often referred to as ‘Boom Boom’, Shahid Afridi was one who had a large following all over the World.

  1. Jean-Paul Duminy

He was regarded as South Africa’s next great batsman. While he looked a classy batsman with an array of strokes, the left-hander became a story of unfulfilled promise. He unfortunately also had a string of poor luck with  injuries. A fine hitter of the ball in all formats internationally, but an average of 32.85 in 46 Tests, 36.81 in 199 ODIs and 38.68 in 81 T20Is is proof that Duminy wasn’t ranked among the modern greats of the game.

     One has to ask if he compensated it with prodigious bowling? The answer is no. He was an average off-spin bowler who varied his pace. Not a spinner of the ball but more of a roller. Nothing mysterious about his bowling. His record as a bowler was not impressive and nothing that stands out as far as anyone is concerned.

  1. Shahid Afridi

Often referred to as ‘Boom Boom’, Shahid Afridi was one who has had a large following all over the World. He played some stunning innings throughout his career, especially in ODIs. He once held the record, scoring the fastest hundred in ODI history in only his 2nd game, against Sri Lanka in 1996. A career tally of 6 centuries in ODI Cricket however is quite modest.

     He opened for Pakistan on a regular basis especially in the shorter formatted games. An excellent strike-rate of 117 is impressive, but, averaging 23.60 in ODIs meant that he got dismissed swiftly too. A Test match batting average of 36.51 in 27 Tests was bog-standard. Over his 20 year International career, he got a lot of hype, yet his batting stats were nothing to boast about. His modes of dismissals were considered brainless more times than not. His bowling however was quite penetrative in limited overs Cricket. Bowling leg-spin, he varied his pace and flight. His variations made him a force to reckon with, especially when bowling at the death of an innings in ODI or T20 Cricket.

  1. Shane Watson

The former Australian all-rounder was indeed a classy Cricketer in his International playing days, but for some reason he was never the top-class Cricketer that many commentators may seem to think he was. His International career was one of unfulfilled talent, as he struggled to make consistent hundreds in Test match Cricket. Shane Watson was an excellent power hitting batsman at the opening slot for Australia in the shorter formats of the game. However, he found it difficult going against the best bowling attacks.

     Many times he would be dismissed lbw playing around his front pad. This was exposed especially in the red ball form of the game. In terms of his medium paced bowling, he was an asset to the bowling attack that Australia possessed in his time. He was a useful Cricketer and still plays for franchises globally in the T20 format. Despite his all-round status, he didn’t quite set the World on fire on a regular enough basis, therefore landing himself the number 1 spot. Overrated.

That’s all I have for you today, do you agree with my picks? These are just my opinions on the 5 most overrated players in the history of Cricket. Who do you think are the top 5 overrated Cricketers? Drop a comment and let me know. Stay tuned for my next article where I will be discussing the 5 most underachieving Cricketers in the history of the game.


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