Cricket has produced some of the greatest allrounders of all time. Garry Sobers of West Indies probably the best of all blokes. There was a time when international cricket has observed plenty of world class allrounder playing against each other. Imran Khan of Pakistan, Ian Botham of England, Kapil Dev of India and Richard Hadlee of New Zealand.
But, there were a few bowlers who could excel in international cricket with their batting, but never reached the level they promised. Jacques Kallis was the last man to flourish while classy Bangladesh cricketer Shakib-al-Hasan is the current top ranking all-rounder. But, there were some retired cricketers who never flourished in international cricket with the bat, though they have everything to triumph.
Here are those five cricketers
The Australian speed star hung his boots during the Commonwealth Bank series with New Zealand at W.A.C.A, Perth. Mitchell retired as the third highest Test wicket-taker for Australia. His fast and ferocious bowling was a nightmare to batsmen around the world. But, his handy batting never flourished in international cricket.
He has one hundred in Test and 11 half centuries. He also scored two half-centuries in ODI cricket. His first Test half-century came against India in 2008 at Perth. His best batting display came against South Africa at Capetown in 2009. Australia lost the match by 20 runs. But, Johnson built a resistance when the top order of Australia struggled against South African bowling side. Johnson played only 103 balls to score 123. He was unbeaten when the other side collapsed.
Johnson finished his Test career among the top 10 cricketers who has taken 300 wickets and scored more than 2000 runs.
He is not a retired cricketer. But it seems his career is over. The Indian pacer, 31, who was considered to be the next Kapil Dev of India. But, the dream never materialized. He got off a dream start in international cricket. He started as a swing bowler, whose inswing and cutters were venomous for batsmen. He has become the first Indian pacer to register to a hat trick and the first man to take a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. He scored 1105 runs at an average of 31.07.
He has taken 100 wickets in 29 matches. He was playing his role well – a bowler who can help India with the bat if needed. But, his career has changed when Greg Chappell has become the Indian team coach. Irfan was elevated through the batting order. He played some lusty knock against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies. But, His bowling was affected because of batting. He was dropped from the Test team in 2008 and from limited over cricket in 2012.
The Australian fast bowler was the integral part of invincible Australia team from 2002 to 2005. His new ball partnership with Glenn McGrath was one of the most effective fast bowling pairs in the history of world cricket. Johnson in 71 Tests took 259 wickets and in ODI he has taken 142 wickets in 97 ODIs.
Gillespie has a good temperament to bat in Test cricket. He showed his ability to bat for a couple of times. He has the temperament to make any bowlers in futile on his day. He was rewarded when his last day of Test career came in Bangladesh at Chittagong Divisional Stadium in 2006. Gillespie was elevated in the batting order. He came to bat at no. 3. At slow Bangladesh pitch, he scored a double hundred playing 574 balls. His innings has taken everybody by surprise. But, it was the end of his career.
He was known as the “Sultan of Swing” bowling. He was the spearhead of Pakistan world cup winning bowling department in 1992. Akram has taken 414 Test wickets and 502 ODI wickets. But, the best ever left arm pacer of cricket history have the ability to bat as well, but, which never flourished. Akram scored three Test hundred and seven half century in his career.
But, He never replaced the vacuum left by Imran Khan. Akram’s cameo innings down in the batting order contributed Pakistan immensely. In 2002, three-match bilateral series against Australia Down Under. Akram has played 32 balls 49 run innings which was instrumental in Pakistan’s 91 run victory.
But, his best ever batting display came against Zimbabwe at Sheikhpura in 1996. Akram scored unbeaten 257. He broke a six-decade-old record of eleven sixes in an innings held by Wally Hammond. He first achieved the feat by hitting eleventh six of his innings then added one more to break the Hammond’s record. In the end, a resilient Zimbabwe forced a hard fought draw. But, even in the age of T20 cricket nobody could, as of yet, manage to break his record.
The most successful New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori has taken 362 Test and 305 ODIs wickets. Alongside his spin, his batting was also effective, especially in Test cricket.
He belongs to a country where the flow of cricket talents is slow, but those come to play are talented and creative. Vettori is one of them. His spin was not as effective as New Zealand’s best ever all-rounder Richard Hadlee’s fast bowling. But, his batting in Test cricket was technically equipped than Hadlee but not batter than Chris Cairns. Vettori, to a large extent, was a foundation of New Zealand’ lower middle order for a while. It has happened when New Zealand was going through a bad patch in the last decade as batsman like Nathan Astle, Stephen Fleming, Chris Cairns, Craig McMilan, Jacob Oram and later Scot Styris were retired. The Trans Tasman country has taken a few years to build up a fresh team filled with creative cricketers.
Vettori scored 6 Test centuries and 23 half centuries. He scored 4531 Test runs at an average of 30. He was among those ten cricketers who have 300 wickets and 2000 Test runs. In ODI cricket, he played some cameo innings, but, never reached to the level of his Test batting.