Every team has a player who bails out the team from crisis through his brilliant batting and bowling. Over the years, these cricketers have gained the reputation of being their team’s go-to man. Cricwizz looks into five batsmen who were their team’s go-to man in crisis.
VVS Laxman: The former Indian batsman came onto his own during his maiden Test ton against Australia at Sydney in 2000. VVS Laxman scored 167 in the fourth innings in a losing cause. It was one of the best knocks under pressure. Over the years, Laxman started enjoying batting when the chips were down. Laxman used to bring out his best under pressure or when the team needed him most to fire. He used to combine with tail-enders to stitch up valuable partnerships which used to make the difference between victory and defeat. His 281 at Eden Gardens against Australia in 2001 is still cherished as it turned the game around and helped India win a memorable match.
Jacques Kallis: The South African all-rounder also liked to bat under pressure and bailed out the team on numerous occasions. He played many a match-saving knocks that helped his team save face. The most memorable one is the 109 not out which an injured Kallis struck against India at Cape Town in 2011 helping South Africa to a draw when at one stage MS Dhoni and Co. were right ahead and looking good for a series win. His bowling too has the knack of breaking partnerships and giving the advantage back to his team.
Steve Waugh: Determination, commitment, passion are not enough to describe what Steve Waugh brought to the table. If the top-order fails to deliver, count on Steve Waugh to stand like a wall and take his team to safety. He proved this even in his last Test at Sydney in 2004 when he staved off India’s bid for a series win playing a match-saving knock of 80 in the fourth innings.
Adam Gilchrist: The former Australian keeper-batsman could walk into any team on either of his two skills. He always kept team ahead of self. He would not mind having a crack at the bowling if quick runs were the need of the hour. And if the team needed him to stay there at the wicket and build a partnership, Gilchrist was the man for it. His keeping was excellent too. Gilchrist maintained quite high standards for himself. And he called it time when he realised he has lost his competitiveness rather than just dragging it over.
Misbah-ul-Haq: The Pakistani cricketer was the lone man standing for his team on so many occasions that even Misbah would have probably lost count of it. He nearly won Pakistan the 2007 World T20 single-handedly until a false stroke did him in the final against India. In Tests, he has been doughty and unmovable, inspiring his team members to rally around him and save the match or take the team to a win.