5 Legendary Batters Who Made Successful Comebacks After Horrible Dip In Form: Test cricket is a bloody hard game. Especially for a batsman to attain consistency in the longest format is difficult.
So all the greats of the game have at some point faced a drought, some short dips in forms while for some a pronounced out-of-form duration. But, there are greats because they managed to bounce back.
Here are 5 of the finest Test batsman of the last 30 years who suffered a dip in numbers for a period of time in their careers but were successful in bouncing back from it and stamping their greatness again.
AB de Villiers (2006/07)
Arguably the greatest all-format batsman, AB de Villiers’ wasn’t the most consistent batters in the initial years of his career. He started off in a blockbuster fashion, averaging 50 in his first two years in Test cricket in 2004 and 2005.
However, those numbers shunned down shockingly in the next two years – in 2006 and 2007, the right-hander averaged an ordinary 27 across 20 Tests.
But, twin fifties in the last Test of 2007 vs West Indies sparked off a spectacular upsurge for de Villiers: since 2008 to the end of his career in 2018, De Villiers’ annual Test average never fell below 45 barring in one year in 2016 where he played only three Tests.
Sachin Tendulkar (2005/06)
What do we say about the great man: Sachin Tendulkar? The records speak for itself – the leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs and a combined tally of 100 centuries is just the tip of the iceberg.
But, just like all the legendary batsmen, even Tendulkar faced questions in the second half of his career. In 2004, he averaged an astronomical 94 in Test cricket, however, that dipped shockingly – in 2005 he averaged 44 and that further went down to only 24 in 2006, as he dealt with his elbow injury and also there was internal conflict between the Indian team with the whole Greg Chappell saga.
But, Tendulkar, who had seen it all in the game, knew how to bounce back – in 2007, his average shot back up to 55 and rose to 67 and 78 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Virat Kohli (2014)
Former India skipper Virat Kohli has enjoyed amongst the most lengthiest purple patches a batsman could dream of as he dominated the entire 2010s decade – and was also voted the same by the ICC. His most torrid time in that decade came on the 2014 England tour. And boy that was some tour – as Kohli found himself nicking at almost everything and was tormented by James Anderson’s swing and seam movement.
But, that was that. Kohli’s didn’t sink down and recovered in a stunning fashion. He went to Australia and hammered centuries for fun, finishing with 692 runs and then was just unbreachable in the 2016/17 home season, before going to the 2018 England tour where he amassed 593 runs to complete his redemption.
Ricky Ponting (2001)
Coming to bat in India is the most difficult task for a non-Asian batsman as it’s incredibly difficult and challenging to come to terms with the pitches. Even one of the greatest ever batsmen, Ricky Ponting, had a horrific tour of India in 2001 – in 5 innings Ponting managed only 17 runs, out of which three were ducks!! Ponting had never faced, and after that never did, such a disastrous tour in his career.
Then, three dismal Tests in the Ashes in England, and there were doubts over his place in the eleven, which he, though, duly banished by returning to form via a terrific 144 at Headingley; another century in New Zealand capped off his year with great salvation, and he didn’t look back after that.
Alastair Cook (2010)
Arguably England’s greatest Test opener, Alastair Cook, though, suffered a short but concerning slump in 2010, when he averaged only 19 and 23 in the home series against Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively right before the away Ashes in Australia.
However, the then captain Andrew Strauss kept faith in his opening partner and Cook repaid that in a memorable manner: in the first Test of the 2010/11 Ashes at Gabba, Cook notched up a double century and followed it up with two more tons in that series as England conquered Australia.
Cook then averaged 97 in three Tests at home vs Sri Lanka before helping England thrash India both home and away, he averaged 58 and 80 in those two series against India as England rose to the number 1 ICC Test ranking.