Picking the Best Test XI with Fewer Than 10 Caps Each

Richard Morgan@Richiereds1976Contributor IFebruary 8, 2014

Picking the Best Test XI with Fewer Than 10 Caps Each

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    Smiles better: Brad Hodge played in just six Tests for Australia
    Smiles better: Brad Hodge played in just six Tests for AustraliaJON SUPER/Associated Press

    Everyone will have heard of the phrase one-cap wonders, especially those of you out there who are England fans, but what about those players who featured in 10 Tests or fewer before being jettisoned by their nations?

    Well, over the course of the long history of the game, there have been more than a few examples of such unlucky players, including these outstanding 11 Test stars who make up this eye-catching team...

No. 1: Jimmy Cook (1992-93)

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Tests: 3

    The brilliant Proteas opening batsman was unlucky to be playing his best cricket during the majority of the apartheid era in South Africa.

    However, despite South Africa's ban from international cricket finally coming to an end in November 1992 following Nelson Mandela's release from prison, by that stage Cook was already almost 39 years old.

    That meant the Somerset star featured in just three Tests, the last of which came against Sri Lanka in August 1993.

No. 2: Martin Van Jaarsveld (2002-04)

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    GEMUNU AMARASINGHE/Associated Press

    Tests: 9

    Will perhaps be better remembered for his feats in the one-day arena, where the gritty right-hander would often open the batting for South Africa and with great success, too.

    However, van Jaarsveld struggled at times to transform that form into the Test game, while he also faced stiff competition for a middle-order berth in the strong Proteas batting lineup at that time.

    Either way, three half centuries in his fledging Test career was no disgrace.

No. 3: Brad Hodge (2005-08)

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    Andres Leighton/Associated Press

    Tests: 6

    Just astonishing that a batsman of Hodge's supreme abilities could only feature in six Tests for the all-conquering Australian team of that era.

    And not only that, but the classy right-hander averaged a hugely impressive 55 in those six matches, during which time the Victorian also managed to record an unbeaten 203.

    In fact, there is no doubting that Hodge would have played 100 Tests for any other nation during that time.

No. 4: Owais Shah (2006-09)

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    TOM HEVEZI/Associated Press

    Tests: 6

    The Pakistan-born batsman arrived on the international scene with a huge reputation from his time in county cricket, where Shah had scored a mountain of runs for both Essex and Middlesex.

    However, despite making an ice-cool 88 on a real turner in Mumbai on his Test debut, it was pretty much downhill after that for the right-hander, whose last appearance came in 2009 against West Indies.

    And every way you look at it, Shah had a gift that ultimately was wasted.

No. 5: Stuart Law (1995)

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Test: 1

    Similar to Hodge, the middle-order batsman was also unlucky to be playing at the same time that Australia's domination of the world game really started to take hold, and especially with their all-powerful batting lineup that was harder to get out of than into.

    As a result, the right-hander was given just one opportunity to stake his claim, against Sri Lanka in Perth in 1995, and even then an unbeaten 54 was not enough to keep the former Derbyshire, Essex and Lancashire star in the team for the next Test.

No. 6: James Foster (2001-02)

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Tests: 7

    Generally considered by most experts to have been the best wicketkeeper of his generation at that time in England, although that translated into just seven Test appearances for the Essex stumper.

    And that is because teams around the world then tended to place a far greater importance on their wicketkeepers being able to contribute runs with the bat than their actual skills with the glove.

    Consequently, Foster missed out to the likes of batsman-keepers Alec Stewart and Geraint Jones when it came to England picking their best XI.

No. 7: Andre Adams (2002)

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    Michael Bradley/Getty Images

    Test: 1

    A hugely underrated all-rounder, it's still a mystery as to why he won just one Test cap for New Zealand during his international career, especially as the medium pacer performed so well for his country in that solitary appearance against England in Auckland 12 years ago.

    In that Test, Adams recorded impressive bowling figures of six for 105, only surprisingly never again to be called upon by the Kiwi selectors in the longer form of the game.

    However, New Zealand's loss has been Nottinghamshire's gain, with Adams consistently shining for the county side in recent times.

No. 8: Brad Hogg (1996-08)

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    Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

    Tests: 7

    The always smiling Western Australian's seven Tests were spread across a 12-year period, while on England's tour of Australia in 2010/11, there were calls for the all-rounder to be recalled to the Aussie side.

    That is because, even in the brief number of appearances for his country—and during his state career as well—the player never let anyone down with his quirky lower-order batting and cunning left-arm tweakers.

No. 9: Ottis Gibson (1995-99)

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Tests: 2

    Gibson was just one of a number of skilful paceman to have missed out on what surely would have been glittering and lengthy Test careers due to the plethora of word-class fast bowlers at the West Indies' disposal during the time he was playing.

    As a consequence, the Bajan won only two Test caps over a four-year gap, although anyone who watched Gibson capture 659 wickets at just 27 in an outstanding first-class career knows this was someone who most definitely could bowl fast.

No. 10: Joe Angel (1993-95)

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    Tony McDonough/Getty Images

    Tests: 4

    The tall Western Australian paceman's career took off at the wrong time really, given that the Aussies were extremely well stocked with a number of quality fast bowlers at that time.

    However, when Angel did finally get his chance, he hardly disgraced himself and can count himself very unfortunate not to have played more Test matches for his country than the four he was selected for.

No. 11: Graham Onions (2009-12)

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    Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

    Tests: 7

    It is still a total mystery to many just how the ever-consistent fast bowler failed to get selected on England's recent tour of Australia.

    In fact, it is equally perplexing as to why the Durham paceman has only appeared in seven Test matches for his country since making his bow against West Indies back in 2009.

    For one thing, it cannot be his record in those seven Tests, where Onions captured 32 wickets at 29, including one five-wicket haul on debut.