There have been quite a few players over the years who found a niche in the ODI format but couldn’t quite carve a place for themselves in the Test arena.
Here, we pick an XI featuring cricketers who are currently among the best in ODI cricket from Test-playing nations (most are thriving in T20 too) but haven’t been able to deliver in the longest form, featuring in fewer than 20 Tests over the course of their career.
One of the most destructive openers in world cricket, Aaron Finch has featured in only five Tests, all of which came in 2018, when he mustered up 278 runs and a high score of 62. In ODIs, however, Finch is an altogether different beast, having hit 4,983 runs at 40.84 in 129 ODIs. He is currently ranked seventh in the ICC men’s ODI batting rankings, the highest among Australian batsmen.
Jason Roy has formed one of the most explosive opening pairs in the history of one-day cricket with Jonny Bairstow, but while his partner has featured in 70 Tests, Roy has played in only five, all coming in a space of two months, right after his 2019 World Cup heroics. His returns – 187 runs at 18.7 – from those five Tests are nowhere near his ODI level, where he has slammed 3,483 runs in 93 matches at 40.03 and a strike-rate of 106.67.
Four years ago today, Jason Roy made 162 off 118 balls against Sri Lanka… and was furious after falling five runs short of England's highest ODI score.
Less than two years later, he righted that wrong, smashing 180 against Australia at the MCG.pic.twitter.com/NRdxNtRgE3
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 29, 2020
Stoinis, who is yet to play a Test for Australia, has been a regular sight in coloured clothing since his barnstorming 146 not out against New Zealand in 2017. Having recently been promoted up to No.3 in Australia’s batting line-up, he can stay there in this XI.
Eoin Morgan (c)
A shoo-in for the XI with 7,598 runs in 242 ODIs at 39.57, a World Cup title-winning campaign – and just 16 Test caps. All of Morgan’s Test appearances came between 2010 and 2012, but an average of 30 wasn’t deemed good enough, and he was dropped after a disappointing series against Pakistan. Morgan remained a key figure in England’s white-ball setup, however, and was handed the England ODI captaincy prior to the 2015 World Cup.
Miller’s credentials in white-ball cricket are well known but the South Africa middle-order batsman hasn’t featured in a single Test. His ODI game went up a notch after his first century in the format in 2015, five years after his debut, and he has scored his runs at just under 49 since.
Maxwell has seven Test appeareances, and a subcontinental century, to his name, but it’s in white-ball cricket where his all-action batting has been more prevalent. In 113 ODIs, Maxwell has scored 3,063 runs at 33.29 and a strike-rate of 123.06. His off-spin has helped him to 50 ODI wickets.
100 for Alex Carey!
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 16, 2020
Alex Carey (wk)
Yet to play a Test, Alex Carey’s last ODI knock, a 114-ball-106, his first hundred in the format, helped Australia to an improbable win over England in the decider of their three-match ODI series last month. Carey’s ability as a batsman came to fore during the 2019 World Cup, where he was one of the few positives in a failed title defence for Australia, scoring 375 runs at 62.50.
The second-highest wicket-taker of the 2019 World Cup, Lockie Ferguson has 69 wickets in 37 ODIs and is one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He has played just the one Test, however, bowling 11 overs and going wicketless against Australia at Perth in December 2019.
The leg-spinner is clearly one of the most clever white-ball tweakers but hasn’t been able to find a spot in the India Test side. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja leading the line in Tests and Kuldeep Yadav in the mix as well, Chahal has yet to land a debut.
The Bangladesh quick announced himself in style, taking 11 wickets from his first two ODIs, both against India. In the 2019 World Cup, he bagged back-to-back five-wicket hauls against India and Pakistan, ultimately finishing with 20 wickets in just eight matches. Still, he only has 13 Test appeareances to his name and is still making his way in the longest form.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 8, 2020
Adil Rashid has established himself as England’s greatest white-ball spinner but has failed to replicate his form in Test cricket. He has 60 wickets at an average of 39.83 from 19 Tests so far, but in ODIs his numbers improve to 155 wickets at 31.67 from 106 matches.