International cricket is a bed of thorns that keeps throwing up challenges to cricketers and expects them to excel in each one of them. An unfortunate failure will either keep them away from the selection from the main squad or in the worst scenario might find themselves being dropped from the squad. Once that happens, it is very difficult for a player to make his way through and replace the one deemed to be better for that job.
There have been many such stories in international cricket where the players have managed to make their anticipated debut but found it difficult to maintain their place either due to inconsistency or keeping in view the balance of the side. The aspect, though, unfair from the player’s perspective, cannot be challenged or asked a question for, given the competition and importance of an opportunity. Every international game is a do-or-die situation for the player which will indeed decide his future and give us a fair idea of the landmark he might scale ahead in his career. While some players have managed to stand the test of time, others haven’t exactly done it and lost their place. In the below piece, we look at 5 such cricketers who went off the boil in ODI cricket:
1. Dinesh Karthik
Karthik has to be that one cricketer, who has been part of three different eras in Indian cricket. Having made his debut in 2004 as a keeper-batsman, he soon lost his place due to untidy keeping behind the stumps. The rise of MS Dhoni in Indian cricket further delayed his appearance, and then he had no other option but to play as a pure batsman.
The Tamil Nadu batsman could never quite secure his place in the Indian team in either of the three formats. The sequence of going out and then coming back into the squad continued for Karthik, who had accepted this fate at the international arena.
Inspite of so many setbacks and rejection, Karthik never failed to put his best foot forward and churned out plenty of runs at the domestic circuit to force his comeback. His story is an inspiration for those who gave up after failing in the first attempt and never gave it a shot again.
A dismal show at the 2019 World Cup saw his exit from the side, and now it looks highly unlikely that he may ever feature in the limited-overs side again. The batsman has mustered 1752 runs from 94 ODIs at an average of 30.4 and strike rate of 73.24.
2. Colin Ingram
Ingram began his international career at the highest note scoring a century on his debut against Zimbabwe in 2010. The enviable beginning saw his presence in the side for quite some time before he was finally dropped for his inconsistency and loss of faith with the selectors.
During his three years of stay at the international circuit, Ingram was lucky enough to share the dressing room with South African greats like Kallis, de Villiers, Amla, Smith and Steyn. He got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pick their brains and inculcate some of their wisdom into his budding career.
The unforeseen situation, however, saw him sign a Kolpak deal and bid adieu to the country forever. Since then, he has featured in English County cricket and piled up plenty of runs for the domestic side Glamorgan.
He is currently plying his trade for Hurricanes at the BBL and is a hot property when it comes to playing in different T20 leagues around the world. Ingram has struck 843 runs featuring in 31 ODIs for South Africa, at an average of 32.42 and strike rate of 82.4.
3. Jesse Ryder
Ryder was one of the few bright talents, who got an opportunity to play cricket for his country at the highest level. Inspite of being unusually overweight and surrounded by plenty of off-field controversies, Ryder managed to maintain his place in the New Zealand side purely on the basis of performances and the vast abilities that he possessed as a cricketer.
Opening the innings for the Kiwis, Ryder smashed the ball to all sides of the ground and tormented opposition bowlers to the core. A ferocious striker of the cricket ball, whatever left his bat either disappeared for a boundary or got lost somewhere in the crowd.
His medium-pace bowling was an added benefit, who ran his fingers over the ball and picked vital wickets at various junctures of a game. Unfortunately, being frustrated by his recurrent injuries and never-ending troubles off the field, Ryder decided to take a break from international cricket in 2014 and has never featured in the side thereafter.
The heavily built swashbuckler pummelled 1362 runs from 48 ODIs at an average of 33.22 and a strike rate of 95.31.
4. Peter Forrest
Having garnered a gargantuan amount of runs at the domestic circuit, Cricket Australia made their mind to give Forrest a go and see what he does for the country at the biggest stage. The top-order batsman made his ODI debut for Australia against India in the Tri-Nation series of 2011-12.
Batting in the middle order, Forrest contributed a crucial 66 to help the Oz post a competitive total of 269 on the board. Unfortunately, the valiant effort went in vain as India won the contest by 4 wickets on the back of a Gambhir 92 and finishing touches provided by Dhoni and Jadeja.
It turned out to be a breakthrough series for Forrest, who got more opportunities for Australia batting in the star-studded middle order. He wasn’t the most stylish or flamboyant going around but contributed runs at a fair clip and was more of a busy bee when it came to churning out runs.
Owing to lack of runs and the rise of other impeccable options in the middle order, Forrest lost his place to never gain it again. In 15 games, he has scored 368 runs at an average of 26.29 and a strike rate of 65.6.
5. Sabbir Rahman
Coming out as a stark contrast to Bangladeshi cricketers of yesteryears, Rahman became the new poster boy for Bangladesh. He was known for his aggressive and fearless batting in the lower middle order, who played a huge role in accelerating the scoring rate for the perennial slow-starters.
His clean striking with the bat helped the team in procuring much-needed momentum and even put the team in winning positions on plenty of occasions. He belonged to the group of next-gen batsmen, who loved taking the attack to the opposition and putting the first positive step in the direction of a victory.
He along with Shakib, Mahmudullah, Rahim and Sarkar were instrumental in lifting the team from the sludge of being called an ‘underdog’ and propelling it in the right direction. It is their continuous efforts which has helped Bangladesh defeat some of the top-ranked teams and give them a run for their money.
At the moment, he isn’t in the thick of things, and it remains to be seen if he can make an elusive comeback. The elegant right-hander has slammed 1333 runs from 66 ODIs at an average of 25.63 and strike rate of 91.24.