Robin Singh played 136 one-day internationals but just one Test for India © Getty Images

As little as five years ago several ice-cool finishers, ruthless hitters, and death-bowling experts - read Michael Bevan, Ricardo Powell and Ian Harvey among others - had carved a niche for themselves in one-day cricket but couldn't cement their place in the Test sides. However, as the tempo of Test cricket and the importance of being multi-faceted increased, allrounders like, Shahid Afridi, Paul Collingwood and Andrew Symonds became part of their country's Test plans. This week's list is on one-day specialists who didn't make the transition to Test cricket and those who did.

Symonds played the most ODIs - 94 - before making his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2004, six years after he played his first one-dayer. However, Robin Singh's career was the most skewed in favour of one-day cricket. While he performed the role of a middle-order batsman who could bowl medium-pace in 136 ODIs, Robin's first Test was also his last. He went wicketless in that solitary game against Zimbabwe- ten years after his one-day debut - scored only 27 runs but took five catches.

Most ODIs played before Test debut
Player ODI debut Test debut ODIs Career Tests ODIs
A Symonds (Aust) 10 Nov 1998 8 Mar 2004 94 10 146
AC Gilchrist (Aust) 25 Oct 1996 5 Nov 1999 76 85 242
Yuvraj Singh (India) 3 Oct 2000 16 Oct 2003 73 19 155
Shahid Afridi (Pak) 2 Oct 1996 22 Oct 1998 66 26 227
RR Singh (India) 11 Mar 1989 7 Oct 1998 60 1 136
GR Larsen (NZ) 1 Mar 1990 2 Jun 1994 55 8 121
BB McCullum (NZ) 17 Jan 2002 10 Mar 2004 48 23 84
UDU Chandana (SL) 14 Apr 1994 12 Mar 1999 47 16 146
SB Styris (NZ) 5 Nov 1999 28 Jun 2002 45 27 116
PD Collingwood (Eng) 7 Jun 2001 2 Dec 2003 42 15 97

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  • Among the current players in the table above - Adam Gilchrist, Yuvraj Singh, Brendon McCullum, Scott Styris - have secured Test berths while Collingwood, Afridi and Symonds have, despite tasting varying degrees of success, not yet sealed their spots in the longer format. The trend indicates that there are fewer one-day specialists around these days.

    The best examples of current ODI specialists are Vikram Solanki and Dinesh Mongia who have played 51 one-dayers but not a single Test. However, both are far from being permanent names in their squads. Mongia's recall to the Indian squad for the tri-series in Malaysia and the Champions Trophy after more than a year's hiatus gives him an opportunity to break Ian Harvey's somewhat unwanted record of playing 73 ODIs and no Tests.

    Most ODIs played without playing a Test (qualification: excluding non-Test countries)
    Player ODI debut Last ODI ODIs
    IJ Harvey (Aust) 4 Dec 1997 29 May 2004 73
    VS Solanki (Eng) 23 Jan 2000 1 Jul 2006 51
    D Mongia (India) 28 Mar 2001 17 Apr 2005 51
    S Lee (Aust) 17 Dec 1995 3 Apr 2001 45
    CJ Nevin (NZ) 1 Mar 2000 15 Nov 2003 37
    R Telemachus (SAf) 3 Apr 1998 12 Mar 2006 36
    DN Crookes (SAf) 16 Oct 1994 31 Mar 2000 32
    DJ Callaghan (SAf) 7 Dec 1992 14 Apr 2000 29
    Minhajul Abedin (Bang) 31 Mar 1986 31 May 1999 27
    JP Maher (Aust) 14 Jan 1998 9 Nov 2003 26

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  • Bevan's illustrious one-day career lasted ten years while his stop-start Test career spanned just four years. In his debut series, in Pakistan in 1994-95, Bevan topped Australia's Test averages (Justin Langer played one innings and scored 69) and scored one less than Michael Slater who was their highest run-scorer. After that promising start Bevan passed fifty just twice in his next 26 innings and it was his apparent weakness against the short ball that resulted in him being confined to ODIs after 1998, where the playing conditions make this less of a problem.

    Biggest difference between ODIs played and Tests played (qualification: Maximum 30 Tests)
    Player Test span ODI span Tests ODIs Diff
    CZ Harris (NZ) 1992-2002 1990-2004 23 250 227
    MG Bevan (Aust) 1994-1998 1994-2004 18 232 214
    Shahid Afridi (Asia/ICC/Pak) 1998-2006 1996-2006 26 227 201
    A Jadeja (India) 1992-2000 1992-2000 15 196 181
    Aaqib Javed (Pak) 1989-1998 1988-1998 22 163 141
    AB Agarkar (India) 1998-2006 1998-2006 26 165 139
    A Symonds (Aust) 2004-2006 1998-2006 10 146 136
    Yuvraj Singh (India) 2003-2006 2000-2006 19 155 136
    RR Singh (India) 1998-1998 1989-2001 1 136 135
    UDU Chandana (SL) 1999-2005 1994-2005 16 146 130

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  • Incidentally Harvey's 73 ODIs without playing a Test ia nearly matched by Mark Butcher who's played 71 Tests without playing a one-dayer. Among players since 1971 when the age of ODIs began, Australia's Jim Higgs and Colin Miller are a distant second and third with 22 and 18 Tests,. For current players Wasim Jaffer is closest with 14 Tests, and Monty Panesar has already clocked up 10 Tests and is likely to remain a fixture in this table as long as his batting and fielding remain at their current standard.

    Most Tests played without playing a ODI (qualification: Test debut after ODIs began in 1971)
    Player Test debut Last Test Tests
    MA Butcher (Eng) 5 Jun 1997 30 Dec 2004 71
    JD Higgs (Aust) 3 Mar 1978 11 Feb 1981 22
    CR Miller (Aust) 1 Oct 1998 22 Mar 2001 18
    BA Pocock (NZ) 12 Nov 1993 23 Nov 1997 15
    PR Sleep (Aust) 10 Mar 1979 16 Jan 1990 14
    W Jaffer (India) 24 Feb 2000 2 Jul 2006 14
    Inshan Ali (WI) 1 Apr 1971 6 Apr 1977 12
    RR Jumadeen (WI) 20 Apr 1972 8 Feb 1979 12
    Asim Kamal (Pak) 17 Oct 2003 3 Dec 2005 12
    PM Such (Eng) 3 Jun 1993 9 Aug 1999 11
    A Sanford (WI) 11 Apr 2002 23 Mar 2004 11
    Talat Ali (Pak)22 Dec 1972 28 Feb 1979 10
    A Chopra (India) 8 Oct 200329 Oct 2004 10
    MS Panesar (Eng) 1 Mar 2006 20 Aug 200610

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    Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo