From Sachin Tendulkar to Rahul Dravid, cricketers have always climbed the ladder of local, state and domestic cricket to enter in the national team. Very rarely have cricketers got a direct entry into the national side without prior domestic experience. A domestic platform is existent in every country where players show their skills at a tender age in the local leagues, get spotted and are then considered for the national side. Usually, cricketers perform better in the domestic circuit compared to the international stage. But there are cricketers who have done the exact opposite, ie, performed better on the international stage.
In this article, we will reflect on the careers of such international cricketers who performed better in the world arena than they did in their domestic cricket.
Here is the list:
The Australian all-rounder was, till recently, a key member of the Australian side. He has also been an integral part of the Indian Premier League where he played for Rajasthan Royals, Pune Warriors, Kings XI Punjab and Gujarat Lions. He has amassed more runs in List A cricket, with his ODI average of 34.40 trumping his domestic average of 30.25. However, a stark difference can be seen in the strike rates for the national team. Faulkner has hit 104.24 runs per 100 balls in international and 91.45 in domestic ODIs.
Arguably the best Indian captain and limited overs batsman ever, Dhoni could not put his stamp in the domestic arena. In 131 first-class games, he averages 36.84, but in Test cricket, his average is 38.09 in the 90 matches that he has played. In international cricket, he has 9826 runs in ODIs and 4876 runs in Tests. In ODIs, he averages in excess of 50, which is way higher than his domestic stats. This surely makes him a better international cricketer than a domestic one.
The Indian captain is the toast of the nation and is currently number one batsman in ODIs. But he has a better international record than a domestic one. Kohli has a mind-boggling average of 55.74 in ODI cricket in 202 games, as opposed to 54.54 in List A cricket in which he has played 236 games. His strike rate of 91.73 is only marginally lower than his List A strike rate of 92.02. But 32 centuries and the rate at which he gets runs makes him a better international player. This is the case also because he has not played a lot of domestic cricket because of his international assignments.
The Australian captain is considered to be a modern great and rightly so, his records speak for his contributions. In 107 first-class games, Smith averages 56.33 but in Test cricket, he averages 59.66. In the years to come, that gap could well widen if he does not play as much first-class cricket. Interestingly, he started out as a bowler who could contribute with the bat but today the scenario is completely different. He certainly is a better international batsman than a domestic one.
The former Indian opener sent shivers down the bowler’s spine during his heydeys. Sehwag is also the only Indian to score two triple tons. In Test cricket, he averaged 49.34 while the corresponding figure in first-class cricket was 47.36. In 251 ODIs, he recorded an average of 35.05 as opposed to his List A average of 34.44. Also one has to consider the impact he had as an opener was tremendous. Sehwag scoring at a brisk pace meant India had a better chance of winning the match.