Whereas, some have to take the tough road ahead. The one which has countless hours of toil in the domestic arena to hone their skills, so that they can be on par with their far more talented counterparts.
Let’s take a look at some of them, who grinded it out in the domestic circuit for years to get a crack at the international stage and were successful at it.
Mr. Cricket showing off his forward defence
‘Mr. Cricket’, as he is fondly known, is one such story. He won his baggy green at the age of 30. At an age at which most players start planning their retirement. He had more First-Class runs in his collection than any uncapped modern day batsman.
It was a tough task getting into that all-conquering Australian side. He accumulated loads and loads of run in the Sheffield Shield and when he finally got his opportunity in the Australian summer of 2005, he was a finished product with no chink in his armour.
In the 79 Test matches he played, he finished with the fifth best Australian batting average of 51.52. The Western Australian had that appetite for spending time at the crease. It felt that he can do it for weeks without getting flustered ,doing something he loved doing the most.
This Northamptonshire born lad had to wait for ten years to make his test debut. And, what a debut it was.
Playing against India, he made an immediate impact getting Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid on his third and sixth delivery in test cricket. In doing so, he became only the second player in Test history after Richard Johnson to take two wickets in his first Test over.
He upstaged his County teammate, Monty Panesar to become England’s premier spin bowler. He was an old school finger spinner with no fancy tricks up his sleeves. He was attacking in his approach. This helped him garner a gargantuan 739 domestic wickets which included 255 Test wickets as well.
The former Australian head coach held the record for the most first-class runs scored and first-class games played before selection to the Australian Test team prior to Michael Hussey‘s Test debut in 2005.
‘Boof’ was only selected for 27 Test matches which does not do justice to his 25,795 First-class runs. He was very unlucky as a lot of factors such as his body shape, relative lack of fitness and physical condition went against him.
His run-scoring ability, which should be the chief criteria for the selection never dulled. He continued on his merry way and clawed his way back onto the international scene again and again. He announced his retirement in 2007, stating that “Physically and mentally I’ve had enough”.
This former Pakistan captain was a late bloomer. Although he made his international debut way back in 2001, his breakthrough came when was selected for 2007 ICC World T20 and will forever will be remembered for his infamous paddle scoop which handed India the trophy. He later redeemed himself and went on to win the 2009 World Cup.
Misbah was his team’s best performer and this paved his way in the international arena and he never looked back. He went on to play 75 Test matches for his country and have held plenty of records.
The Pakistan’s coach holds the world record of the fastest fifty in Test cricket of all time and then fastest (now second fastest hundred) of all time. He is also, Test cricket’s oldest centurion in 82 years.
Jaffer is the grand old man of Indian domestic circuit. He has been around for ages now. The Mumbaikar has the most runs, most centuries and has made the most appearances in Ranji Trophy history.
A batsman of Azharuddin mould, he temperament and technique was well suited for international cricket. He was given his chance fairly early on against South Africa but was found out against the pace and guile of Pollocks and Donalds.
He got his chances sporadically and thus could never cement his place in the side. Jaffer played just 31 times for his country, which is a lot lesser than what his record and talent deserved. He accumulated 19,079 runs in his domestic career and inspite of playing his last international game in 2008, he is still active and is busy helping his new team, Vidarbha win a couple of Ranji Trophy.
Honourable mention: Mark Ramprakash and Adam Voges.