It’s time to take a look at some cricketers whose reputations may have been higher than their ability. Who are the most overrated players in the history of the game?
Who is the Most Overrated Cricketer?
There will obviously be a huge amount of debate over this question. Umar Akmal is at the top of this list and he generates a lot of votes from cricket fans around the world.
After scoring a century on test debut against New Zealand, he was hailed as a player with star potential but he failed to live up to that promise.
Top 10 Overrated Cricketers in Cricket History
That hundred in his first game was the only time that Umar Akmal passed three figures in tests. He only played 16 games in this format and his average dipped to 35.82.
Akmal also played in over 200 international limited overs games, but made just two more centuries. It wasn’t the worst record in international cricket, but so much was expected of him that he is considered as overrated.
West Indies used Denesh Ramdin for many years as their first choice wicket keeper. He was competent behind the stumps, but the Windies liked their keepers to add some runs and this is where he struggled.
Ramdin’s batting average improved over time and he made six international tons, but an overall average at just over 25 was disappointing.
This was a difficult one to include. How can you call a batsman who scored over 100 first class centuries overrated? Graeme Hick was supreme at county level for Worcestershire, but he just couldn’t convert those numbers when he played for England.
If we look at his overall first class statistics, Hick scored over 41,000 runs with 136 centuries, an average of 52.23 and a highest score of 405. In tests, the average drops to 31.32 over 65 matches.
In test matches, the faster bowlers found he was susceptible to the fast yorker. As a result, opposing fans would certainly say that Hick was overrated. Here in England, we would claim that he underachieved.
Sree Sreesanth made his debut for India in 2005 and he seemed to have all the attributes needed for a fast bowler. There was definite pace and aggression, but his temperament could be an issue. He would get too involved in sledging battles with opponents before his career was halted by a much publicised spot fixing scandal.
He had his moments at international level, but Sreesanth’s overall returns were disappointing after he promised more.
Another player who has made some fine contributions at moments in his career, Angelo Mathews promised more as an all rounder. His big frame may have just contributed to the injuries that have plagued much of his playing days.
Those injuries have meant that Mathews has rarely bowled in recent years and that’s reduced his value to the team. He still has over 12,000 international runs, so maybe it’s a little harsh to include him, but he’s still looked on as Sri Lanka’s saviour at times and that’s just asking too much.
Another all rounder who didn’t quite live up to his billing was Yusuf Pathan. He was capable of some seriously big hitting and useful spin, but he rarely did enough to get his side home.
He played for three IPL franchises whilst appearing in 57 ODIs for India. Yusuf made a T20 ton and two hundreds in those ODIs, but lacked consistency and rarely performed up to expectations.
Was New Zealand’s Corey Anderson overrated or could he have achieved so much more had it not been for a series of unfortunate injuries? He came to prominence in 2014 after hitting the fastest hundred in ODIs, from just 36 balls against the West Indies.
That innings alone was enough to earn a lucrative IPL contract and the Kiwi subsequently played a memorable knock for Mumbai Indians in a brilliant run chase. Anderson was also a genuine all rounder with left arm seam and swing that would earn him 90 international wickets.
Unfortunately, injuries were never far away and they continued to play a major part in his career. They would restrict him to just 93 international appearances and, in 2020, Anderson confirmed that he had retired from playing for New Zealand.
His intention, moving forward, is to represent the USA.
There may be more to come from Hasan Ali or maybe he has already peaked. The paceman became the fastest to 50 ODI wickets for Pakistan, but a lack of consistency over the years has restricted his appearances.
Ali has an elaborate wicket celebration, and perhaps this is another case of a player whose aggression isn’t in keeping with his effectiveness. Hasan Ali has, however, delivered some fine performances: As 2022 comes to an end, he’s played 130 international matches, collecting 228 wickets with a best of 5/27. Those are respectable figures, but that fast start to his ODI career suggested that there should have been more.
Like a number of players on this list, Kedar Jadhav made a fast start to his international career, but he largely failed to live up to his early promise. He was originally called up to the Indian ODI squad in 2014 and was seen as a finisher with the bat who could bowl some useful off spin.
His career peaked in 2017 when he scored back to back centuries against England. Those were, however, his last tons in international colours. He was also one of the shortest cricketers around so did he have a weakness to the short pitched ball?
His overall ODI batting average was a healthy one at 42.09, but he was never as effective after those efforts in England in 2017. Kedar Jadhav’s bowling was less impressive, taking 27 wickets in 73 One Day Internationals. It’s another one that will divide opinion, but Jadhav’s effectiveness dropped off in the second half of his career.
He was classed as an all-rounder and played in 97 limited overs internationals for South Africa, but Farhaan Behardien always had a tendency to underwhelm. A middle order batter who was used as a fifth or sixth bowler, he had little impact in most of those 97 games.
That mix of ODIs and T20is produced 1592 runs across the two formats, along with 17 wickets. He passed 50 on just seven occasions. In first class cricket, Behardien was much better with an average above 40 and 12 centuries, so maybe South Africa should have tried him out in the test team.
Remember, this is just a bit of fun. It’s not meant to be disrespectful to any cricketer on this list. Clearly, to play at international level you have to possess ability and all of the men here went on to represent their country.
Another word for this could be underachievers; those who didn’t play up to their full potential. Towards the end of their careers, they may have even been playing based on their reputations rather than their results. In other cases, injuries took their toll after the players in question made promising starts in international cricket.
It’s always open to debate, but it’s a reasonable list of those who could have achieved more, along with one or two players who were, perhaps, promoted to international level prematurely.