As we all stuttered into the New Year 2021, we will always remember the lights and trail of an infamous and extremely vindictive year that we left behind. A year that left behind a trail of carnage with the raging virus and its corollaries wreaking havoc, cricketers were suspended by a thread of indefinite uncertainty as a lockdown disseminated its vice across the entire planet in order to contain the virus.
When cricket started after a long five months, players were left bamboozled with the new norms, however, they had to comply with bubble-bound cricket in order for the sport to survive the virus scare. Barring attuning oneself to the new norms of cricket, a cricketer also had to go through the mental challenge of suiting oneself to the empty stands clad in gargantuan banners and the desolate pathways where no arms of adulation were extended to the ones walking out.
With a metaphorical winter setting in cricket, a few stalwarts of the sport managed to wring themselves out of the quagmire while there were others who failed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This story will be about five ODI cricketers in 2020 who really couldn’t get out of their cocoon.
After a rippling performance in the IPL, it was expected that Yuzvendra Chahal’s performances which were pretty pedestrian in the New Zealand tour will improve. However, it didn’t really show signs of improvement and his ODI numbers remain almost stagnant throughout the cursed year. In the ODI’s that he played, he averaged 37.86 with the ball which is considered to be woeful and his economy rate ranged close to 7 (6.79). These numbers were definitely a blemish in an otherwise cheeky spinner’s diary.
Being touted as a soaring all-rounder at the beginning of the year, Mitchell Marsh couldn’t live up to the billing that was strapped on to him. He bowled 41.3 overs in the calendar year and conceded 241 runs, wringing out only 5 wickets, which were below par for a bowler of the international standard. His best figures were 3 for 29 and his average was 47.80 which is probably a nightmare for any bowler. With the new year coming in, it is expected that he will be improving his figures by leaps and bounds.
A player of his standard is expected to unleash hell upon his counterparts, but Moeen Ali was not just a disappointment in this year but proved himself to be England’s weakest link. Being an all-rounder, from the five games that he played he managed to bat in 4 innings and all he could manage was 24 runs with a pedestrian average of 8.00. His best score was an unbeaten 17 in ODIs in 2020. Going by his bowling numbers, Ali chronicled one of the most catastrophic bowling performances in the calendar year as he bowled 45 overs, conceded 216 runs and scalped just a solitary wicket throughout. Other part-time spinners have bragged about a better bowling average than him as his reads an astronomical 216.
The Australian wicket-keeper was below par and the standard that he has previously belted out was nowhere to be seen in the recently concluded year. He did manage to flash a brilliant 106 but the rest of the year was nothing but a show of mediocrity from the big man. He garnered 287 runs at an average of 28.70. From the 13 ODIs in 2020, he managed to pick up 15 catches, which still is a decent number, however, his stumping count was zero, zip, nada.
This youngster was highly spoken of in the recent year but barring a solitary half-century, Banton really couldn’t live up to the hopes that he had previously surged in others. A big stroke-player for sure but him feeling discombobulated against pace and the short balls were a major worry for the English wicket-keeper. He managed to garner 134 runs from the 5 innings that he batted in at an average of 26.80 in ODIs 2020. However, the hope that he will be taking for himself is his flair to strike the ball at a breezy rate. Just being 22, Banton still has a lot of time in his folds, and it is expected that he will be able to turn the tide around.