Read on to find out some of the most underrated cricketers of all time who did their job well but were hardly appreciated by the masses.
We have seen many greats in cricket that have enriched the ambience of this elite game of cricket.
From Don Bradman to Sachin Tendulkar, James Anderson to Dale Steyn, all have made an enormous impact. They are hence, deservedly, remembered for their deeds.
But there have been some solitary players who haven’t got the much-needed acknowledgement for their excellence. Some of them have been underappreciated throughout their career.
These players are like tints of salt in cooked food. You never notice them unless they are missing from your flavour. But they, silently, do their work with zeal.
In this blog post, we are going to talk about such underrated cricketers of all time who did their job well but were hardly appreciated by the masses.
The 30 Most Underrated Cricketers of All Time
Here are our picks for the 30 most underrated cricketers of all time.
30. James Taylor
With a height of 5’5″, James Taylor was one of the shortest cricketers to play at the time. But he was the face of the phrase “never judge anyone by their appearance”.
He was a classy right-handed English opener who emerged when England needed him the most.
He made his international debut in 2011. His ODI stint was short but effective. In 27 ODIs, Taylor maintained an average of 42.24.
Sadly, he had to announce his retirement from cricket due to a heart illness. England would surely miss him because they haven’t yet got an established opener.
29. Kyle Mills
Kyle Mills was a typical underrated New Zealand bowler who held the transformation era of the team brilliantly.
He was a bridge between the Shane Bond era and the new generation bowlers like Trent Boult. Besides his bowling, he was a useful lower-order batsman who gave a better balance to the team.
Mills made his international debut in 2001. His Test career was short, but he gave it all in white-ball cricket.
He took 240 wickets in 170 ODIs at an average of 27.02. Mills retired in 2015 after the World Cup with over 300 wickets against his name.
28. Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge was one of those unluckiest Australian cricketers born in the wrong era of 2005 when Australia had an abundance of brilliant cricketers like Hayden and Gilchrist.
He was a fine player who never got the game time to make a name for himself.
Hodge made his international debut in 2005. He played only 6 Tests in which his average soared to 55.89. He played 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is.
He almost got the surface to establish him, but eventually, other better players knocked him down. Hodge decided to retire in 2018 from all forms of cricket.
27. Tom Latham
Tom Latham is the most underrated cricketer players in the 21st century. Apart from his calm batting presence, he is a perfect team man too.
Tom has inherited gentleness from his fellow teammates. Over the years, he has become a crucial part of New Zealand in Tests and ODIs.
He made his international debut in 2012. Since then, he has played over 180 international matches with more than 7000 runs across formats.
Latham is consistent but doesn’t get big scores often, due to which he has become underrated. It will be interesting to see how far he will go in the future.
26. Daniel Vettori
The guy with the spectacles, Daniel Vettori is next on our list of underrated cricketers. His cricketing abilities were nothing short of a high-class professional player.
His focus and consistency made him one of the best yet underrated cricket players in the World. His bowling was a simple one yet deceiving.
Vettori made his international debut for New Zealand in 1997 at 18. Apart from his spin web, he used to bat well for the team whenever in trouble.
He made close to 8000 international runs and took over 600 international wickets with decent bowling averages across formats.
25. Kevin O’Brien
Kevin O’Brien was a superstar of that one hell of a chase against England in the 2011 World Cup that caused the biggest upset of all World Cups.
He made it to the bottom of the hearts of fans with his innings of 113 off 63 balls, coming into a situation that demanded an unprecedented magical knock.
Kevin made his international debut for Ireland in 1997. He played 3 Tests, 152 ODIs and 109 T20Is with over 5500 international runs.
Kevin’s stats might not give a clear picture of how beneficial he was for his team. He hung up his boots in 2021 after playing for 15 years.
24. Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan, arguably, was one the best swing bowlers in his early days. His ability to swing both ways with the new ball made him a crucial player, while his batting skills were at par with any other all-rounder.
He made his international debut in 2003. No one can forget his brilliant hat-trick against Pakistan in the 2006 Test match. He took over 200 wickets in 173 international matches.
Pathan took a five-wicket haul in his last ODI in 2012 but was dropped after that match and never got an international call again. He decided to retire in 2020.
23. Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma made his way to hearts right after getting into the skin of Ricky Ponting in the 2008 WACA test. It was a remarkable feat to counter one of the greatest at such a young age.
He seemed to have lost his way after that match. But he regained his capability under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
Ishant made his international debut in 2007. He consistently played in Tests though he didn’t impress in white-ball games.
In his 105 Test matches, Ishant has taken 311 wickets which is second to Kapil Dev among Indian fast bowlers.
22. Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood was the first captain to lead England to their first-ever World trophy when they won the 2019 T20 World Championship.
He was a perfect team man having all-around skills. He batted as a finisher and used to bowl medium pace.
Collingwood made his international debut for England in 2001. He played over 300 matches for the national team and made close to 10,000 runs.
He also took 144 international wickets. Paul was seen as a potential captain who could lead them in the 50-over World Cup though he couldn’t. He retired in 2011 from Tests and in 2018, retired from all forms of cricket.
21. Brendan Taylor
Brendon Taylor was unlucky to play for a relatively weaker team which let down his capabilities and achievements. But he ended up as one of the greatest Zimbabwe cricketers. He was also famous for his accurate signature ‘ramp shot’.
Taylor made his international debut in 2004. He played 34 Tests, 205 ODIs and 44 T20Is and made close to 10000 international runs with averages of above 35 in both Tests and ODIs.
Taylor retired from international cricket in 2021. It will be nothing short of magic if Zimbabwe gets another player like him in the coming years.
20. Jonathan Trott
Jonathan Trott was on his way to becoming the generational player that England needed. He was a classy middle-order right-handed batsman who flourished well in his initial phase.
He made his international debut in a T20I in 2007. He played 52 Tests and 68 ODI in which he made over 5000 runs with averages of 44.08 in Tests and 51.25 in ODIs.
He had 9 Test centuries and 4 ODI tons. He was uncomfortable against short balls due to which his performance suffered badly.
Eventually, he declared himself unfit to play in international matches as he hung up his boots in 2015.
19. Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews has been a successful cricketer from Sri Lanka so far. His ability to bat out a tense situation and bowl under pressure makes him a dependable candidate in the team. But his team has let him down.
He made his international debut in 2008. Mathews has played nearly 400 international matches in which he has made over 13,000 runs with averages of above 40 in longer formats and has taken almost 200 wickets.
He has also captained the national team. The Sri Lankan team could have done better with a player of his calibre if other players would play around him.
18. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan made his badass entry in Tests against Australia in 2013, where he made 187 runs in the first innings. He won the golden bat in the Champions Trophy in the same year.
Dhawan has been a stand out player in ICC tournaments for India. He is averaging above 65 in ICC events.
He has played 34 Tests, 145 ODIs, and 68 T20Is so far, in which he has made 2315, 6105 and 1759 runs, respectively, with averages of above 40 in Tests and ODIs. He has 17 ODI tons to his name.
Dhawan has been one of the best openers that India has ever produced in limited-overs cricket, earning him a spot on our list of underrated cricketers of all time.
17. Dean Elgar
No one can equal the impact of Graeme Smith with the bat, but Dean Elgar has shown glimpses of doing just that. He didn’t look as good when he debuted but has improved a lot over the years.
He made his international debut in 2012. Since then, Elgar has played 70 Tests in which he has made 4347 runs with an average of 39.16. In tests, he has also taken over Faf du Plessis as the South Africa captain.
Considering his consistency, Dean is pretty underrated among current players. He is yet to make his mark in ODIs.
16. Ryan Harris
Ryan Harris was a typical Aussie fast bowler with an open chest bowling action. His fiery pace and accurate line and length could deceive even the best batsman on earth.
In his home conditions, he was simply unplayable. With Mitchell Johnson at the other end, he formed a deadly bowling partnership in Tests.
Harris played 27 Tests and 21 ODIs in which he took 113 and 44 wickets, respectively at an average of 23.52 in Tests and 18.91 in ODIs.
He played cricket for a very short period but was able to make an everlasting impact. Harris retired from all forms of cricket in 2017.
15. Marcus Trescothick
Next up on our list of the most underrated cricketers of all time is Marcus Trescothick. Trescothick was a batsman who had several limitations in his batting, yet was able to rise to an impactful height in his career. Other than the batting, he was a successful captain too.
He made his international debut for England in 2000. He played 76 Tests and 123 ODIs in which he made 5825 and 4335 runs at the averages of 43.8 and 37.37, respectively.
In 2006, Trescothick was wrapped up in stress-related issues that forced him to end his international career prematurely. But he continued playing county cricket.
14. Ashwell Prince
Ashwell Prince was a South African middle-order batsman known for holding one end in troublesome situations. He was a stout-hearted left-hander whose primary battle was to fight with his injuries.
He made his international debut for South Africa in 2002. He played 66 Test and bagged 3665 runs at a decent average of 41.65.
His white-ball career was short as he played only 52 ODIs and 1 T20I. Prince was mostly seen as a Tests specialist. He was dropped after his poor show in 2007. Later, he moved to England to play county cricket.
13. Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh is the younger one of the famous Marsh brothers who played for Australia in several matches. Mitchell is a gritty cricketer having excellent skills with both bat and ball.
He made his international debut in 2011. His initials weren’t as impressive, but he has improved a lot over the years. Marsh batted as a finisher in many matches and bowls consistently.
Currently, he is a regular middle-order batsman for Australia in limited-overs cricket and bowls full over quota of a match. Recently, he played a crucial role in the Australian victory in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
12. George Bailey
George Bailey was one of the most unlucky cricketers ever to play this game. Right from his debut in 2012, he was impressive with the bat. He even captained Australia in ODIs in 2013 against India, where he was the second-highest scorer of the five-match ODI series.
Despite all his efforts, he had to sit out most of the time to make way for Michael Clarke. In the 2015 World Cup final, he carried the water bottles and sat out on the bench.
But he did it selflessly for the team with a smile on his face. He is easily one of the most underrated and underappreciated batsmen of the past decade.
11. S. Chanderpaul
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was one of the greatest Test batsmen that West Indies cricket has ever produced. He was a wall as well as the armour for the Caribbean team in red-ball cricket.
Chanderpaul was famous for his weird open leg stance, which made him immensely successful. He was a fine fielder too.
He played 164 Tests, most by a Caribbean player, in which he made a record 11867 runs at an average of 51.37. Chanderpaul also played 268 ODIs and made 8778 runs at an average of 41.41.
He retired in 2016 from all forms of cricket. West Indies cricket will be forever grateful for his excellent services.
10. Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener was one the most intense batsmen hailing from South Africa who served the team as a finisher and butcher at the death overs. He was a handy medium pace bowler who provided much-needed balance to the team.
He made his international debut in 1996. He was mostly seen as an exciting force for South Africa in ODIs. He played 171 ODIs and made 3576 runs at an average of 41.1.
Klusener also played 49 Tests and contributed significantly. He announced his retirement after the 2004 Sri Lankan tour. Klusener would have been a successful cricketer in the T20 format if he were to play in today’s times.
9. JP Duminy
Jean-Paul Duminy is, undoubtedly, the most underrated cricketer of his time. He was perfect middle order and finishing batsman. Duminy’s off-spin bowling has contributed to several wins. With a calm nature, he won several hearts too.
He made his international debut in 2004. Duminy played over 300 international matches and completed around 9000 runs with averages of above 30 across formats.
He took 132 wickets and has a hat-trick in the World Cup Against his name. Duminy announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2020. He remained an underrated asset for his team throughout his career.
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
On 30th December 2012, a young, lean bowler bowled a huge inswinger as the first ball of his debut ODI match that crashed into the stumps of Mohammed Hafeez, who had no clue of what happened.
The bowler was none other than Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who already impressed everyone on his debut T20I match as he took 3 wickets for 9 runs.
He has played over 150 international matches, and his impact has already made a way to the bottom of everyone’s heart.
His career has been severely marred by serious injuries that never let him play regularly, but he keeps coming back. Bhuvneshwar’s calm and humble attitude makes him very much likeable.
Read More: The 20 Worst Cricketers of All Time
7. Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan was one of the most classy and elegant right-handed opening batsmen for Sri Lanka. He was the inventor of the famous ‘Dil scoop’, which is played while kneeling and guiding the bowl over the head of both batsman and wicket-keeper.
In 2016, he bid farewell to all forms of cricket with a highly successful career that lasted 17 years. He played 87 Tests, 330 ODIs and 80 T20Is and made over 1700 international runs at a decent average.
Dilshan was the highest run-scorer of the 2011 World Cup, in which Sri Lanka was the runners-up of the tournament.
6. Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina was one of the most exciting and energetic individuals ever to play this game. He was a cheerful cricketer who could bat swiftly at any position of the game.
He was a genuine match-winner who could turn the match in his favour in the matter of some overs.
Due to his selfless nature, he remained an underrated player throughout his career. He made his international debut in 2005 and was the first Indian batsman to hit a ton in the T20 format. Raina also made a century in his Test debut.
His most significant contributions came in the 2011 World Cup when he played rapid knocks in death overs against Australia in Quarterfinal and Pakistan in Semifinal that helped India enter the final. He retired on the same day as Dhoni in 2020.
5. Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes is a valuable all-rounder who has contributed a lot for England with both bat and ball in longer formats of the game.
His ability to bat with the tailenders makes him a genuine match saver. Woakes has a lot of variations in his bowling, making him a great bowler in all three formats of the game.
He has played over 150 international matches, made around 2500 runs, and took nearly 200 wickets across formats.
However, he has to sit out most of the time due to a better balance to the team, which is quite incomprehensible.
4. Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor was the God of the leg side. He had a versatile batting technique that could sustain all three formats of the game.
He is famous for moving towards the off stump and slogging the bowl over the ropes on the leg side.
Taylor has played more than 400 matches across formats and made over 18,000 international runs with averages of 44.36 in Tests and 48.18 in ODIs.
He held the middle order for New Zealand for years. In 2021, he announced to retire from all forms of cricket. A legend of the game, Taylor is one of the most underrated middle-order batsmen of this generation.
3. Damien Martyn
Damien Martyn was the God of cover drives. His class and elegance while playing glorious drives off the side was unmatchable.
He played 67 Test and 208 ODIs for Australia and made 4406 and 5346 runs at the averages of 46.38 and 40.81, respectively. A player of such class would have reached immense heights ad he played for some other country.
Unfortunately, he played under the shadow of other great Australian players and forever remained underrated.
2. Herschelle Gibbs
Herschelle Gibbs was the first batsman ever to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket, followed by Yuvraj Singh. He was an enforcer with the bat at the opening slot for South Africa. Other than that, he was a jubilant fielder who used to grab the ball like a lion.
Gibbs played around 350 matches across formats and made over 14,000 international runs with praiseworthy averages.
But he always remained underrated other than the fact that people remember him for only his six sixes feat. He announced his retirement from the game in 2010.
1. Mike Hussey
Despite making his debut in the era when Aussies had no shortage of great players, he made it to the team and established himself like no other. Though he was late to do so, his impact on the game was immense.
Hussey was one of the most outstanding finishers and lower middle-order batsmen. His ability to thrash the bowlers like a butcher made him invincible in the death overs.
Hussey played over 300 international matches and made over 12000 runs across formats with averages of 51.53 and 48.16 in Tests and ODIs, respectively.
He might be underrated, but one cannot deny his greatness in such a span of his career.
These were the players who have gotten much less praise for what they have done. Some players are underrated today but can become great in the future and get the deserved place in history.
We hope that you enjoyed our list of the most underrated cricketers of all time. Did we miss out on your favourite underrated cricketers? Do let us know by tweeting us @weknowcricket. Cheers!
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