The game of cricket has undergone a sea change from the 90’s to the current times. However, there have been a handful of cricketers who have played in the two eras, and, like greats do, have adapted their game according to the situation, and have succeeded like few others have. In the 90’s, when the game was picking up speed, they raised their game to match the changing tempo and, in the 2000’s, where innovation has become the name of the game, they haven’t hesitated from making the desired adjustments and are carrying on gamely even today. Here’s a look
Sachin Tendulkar: The most capped international cricket in history, Tendulkar made his Test debut in Pakistan in 1989. He is in fact the only surviving cricketer from the 80’s to be still playing international cricket. Although Tendulkar has been going through a lean phase lately, his career stats remain unmatchable. In 190 Tests, the Mumbai maestro has amassed 15333 runs, averaging 55.08 with 51 hundreds. In addition, he has also featured in 463 ODIs, scoring 18426 runs at an average of 44.83. Tendulkar recently completed 23 years in international cricket, and has showed no intentions of retiring as yet.
Ricky Ponting: Punter made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Perth in 1995. Since then, he has featured in 166 Tests, scoring 13346 runs at a great average of 52.54. Ponting has scored as many as 41 hundreds in Test cricket, a number of them being big scores, with a highest of 257. He has an equally good average in ODIs, with 13704 runs in 375 games at an average of 42.03. The former Aussie skipper has 30 ODI hundreds to his credit. But for a brief phase in the late 90’s when he was reprimanded for disciplinary reasons, Ponting has been a solid number three for Australia.
Jacques Kallis: The Gary Sobers of the modern era, Kallis made his Test debut in 1995 against England. Since, he has featured in 156 Tests, scoring 12837 runs at an amazing average of 57.30. Kallis has 44 hundreds to his name in the longer version of the game. With the ball, he has picked up 280 Test scalps at an average of 32.73. these have included five five-wicket hauls. Looking at his ODI stats, Kallis has featured in 321 games, scoring 11498 runs while averaging 45.26 with 17 hundreds. In the bowling department, he has picked up 270 wickets at an average of 31.69 with two five-wicket hauls. But for injuries, he has rarely been out of the side.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: The gentle West Indian’s name is not often equated with greatness, but looking at his longevity and consistency there is no reason why it shouldn’t be. Since making his Test debut against England in 1994, Chanderpaul has played 145 Tests and has scored 10546 runs at an average of 50.94. The left-hander has 26 Test hundreds to his credit. In ODIs, he has featured in 268 games, scoring 8778 runs at a healthy average of 41.60 with 11 tons.
--By A Cricket Analyst