5 Cricketers who have still not cemented their place for their Respective Teams

Cricket is one of the toughest sports not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Every international cricketer has to perform consistently to keep his place in the side or else there is always someone breathing down their throat. A drop in the intensity or intent shown on the field and a series of failures will either see the player being dropped from the squad failing to cement place or warm the benches witnessing someone else perform better in his place.

In that sense, the game is too harsh on the players, who might be going through a horrible time in their personal life or facing some other gripping issue that has taken their focus and concentration away from the game. It is always suggested that one should not mix his personal and professional life but in reality, the situation is not the same as both have some sort of bearing on each other. It all boils down to the mental strength and the attitude of the player in dealing with the problem and finding a way to succeed keeping it all aside. There can be a variety of reasons for a player’s inability to feature in the side or cement his place for longer durations of time. In the below piece, we look at 5 current cricketers who have still not secured their place in the respective teams.

1. Rishabh Pant

Whatever we have seen of Pant at the 2016 U-19 World Cup and IPL playing for then Delhi Daredevils, it is clear that the southpaw still hasn’t showcased his full strength playing for India at the international circuit, who carries a strike rate of just above 100 in T20I.

Reasons can be any, but it is unfortunate that India has to miss out on his services, who can single-handedly blow away the opposition and get the team closer to a victory. Pant has smashed 1256 runs from 18 Tests at an average of 44.86, and 374 runs from 16 ODIs at an average of 26.71.

In Test cricket, Pant has hit a purple patch, having won the historic series against Australia, smashing a fluent 89 in the fourth innings at Brisbane. While the situation in the white-ball formats is in stark contrast to the red-ball one where he has been kept away due to lack of consistency.

2. Sarfaraz Ahmed

The captain of the successful Pakistan side which won the 2017 Champions Trophy, is now struggling for his place in the playing XI. Nobody saw this coming, but that’s what international cricket is all about where nothing is served on the platter and the players have to work hard every day for maintaining their place in the side.

With the meteoric rise of fellow wicketkeeper-batsman, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz lost his place as the first-choice keeper and is being drafted into the squad as a reserved gloveman if any unfortunate injury turns up.

Ahmed has struck 2657 runs from 49 Tests at an average of 36.5, and 2302 runs from 116 ODIs at an average of 33.85

3. Sam Curran

The Surrey all-rounder is indeed a handy prospect featuring for England across the three formats. Him being a left-hander adds variety to the bowling attack and provides the requisite balance to the batting line-up dominated by righties.

Curran, unfortunately, hasn’t cemented his place in the English line-up as yet, who misses out due to presence of one of the world’s best all-rounder, Stokes and also due to competition for other spots.

Curran is still very young in his career and comes later in the pecking order. It is unlikely he will get a consistent go until his seniors finally hang their boots.

In 21 Tests, Curran has amassed 741 runs at an average of 25.55 and picked 44 wickets. While in 8 T20Is, he has scored 43 runs at an impressive strike rate of 138.71 and scalped 9 wickets.

4. David Miller

Another cricketer, who started his international career with a bang and scaled remarkable heights during his playing period. At the moment, he finds himself limited to the bench and waiting for an opportunity to turn heads with his explosive batsmanship.

Miller had never been in the thick of things as far as Test cricket is concerned and in that sense, it should have been easier for him to concentrate on just the white-ball formats and sustain his place till the end of his career.

Hapless, things haven’t been that simple for the fierce striker, who inspite of possessing some rare and unique talent has found it difficult to cement his place.

Miller has slaughtered 3231 runs from 132 ODIs at an average of 40.39 and a strike rate of 100.62, and 1525 runs from 81 T20Is at an average of 31.12 and strike rate of 139.65.

5. Ashton Agar

A tall, left-arm orthodox bowler from Australia, Agar managed to break through into the Aussie line-up with his wicket-taking off-spin and ability to contribute crucial runs coming lower down the order. He formed a potent spin-bowling pair with leg-spinner, Zampa, who operated in tandem while bowling in the middle overs.

While Zampa always keeps his place, being the no. 1 limited-overs spinner in the country, Agar, on the other hand, has found it difficult to cement place as the impeccable bowling all-rounder, who could turn things around while fulfilling both the responsibilities.

If not for a ranked turner, Agar will enjoy the same fate at the international arena, waiting for his deserving opportunity at the expense of someone best.

Agar has picked 12 wickets from 14 ODIs at an average of 55.25, and 30 wickets from 27 T20Is at an average of 20.87 and best figures of 5-24.

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