2020 was not really a very benign year to everyone as a lot of lives were lost and many others were pushed to the brink before coming back to life. Similarly, cricket could not find its way to glory and many cricketers were equally suppressed due to the residence of various reasons in place. Firstly, cricket underwent a complete change as the new normal had to be incorporated. Secondly, with the hiatus of almost five to six months, cricketers were left reeling about getting themselves at home.
With the limited number of games which were played in 2020, there were a few stars who proved themselves to be unsung heroes while fabled stars of the sport fell hard on their face. This exactly won’t be a team of eleven players who flopped in 2020 but a compilation of eleven players who failed to live up to their expectations in this cursed year.
Blundell started the year with initial signs of promise against India as he was successful in notching up a half-century. Unfortunately, barring those two half-centuries, Blundell had an extremely mediocre year as he could not cross a mere 35 in the remaining innings. He got starts but got carried away with complacency and threw his wicket away. All he could manage in this infamous year was an average of 27.78 and 250 runs from 16 innings that he participated in.
Agarwal had a lot of expectations strapped on to his shoulder. Haplessly, e failed to fulfil any one of them. His poor shot selection and his slow movement on the foot made him an easy target for the bowlers, especially the pacers. From the eight innings that he played in, all he could manage 133 runs at a woeful average of 16.63. He did manage a decent half-century against New Zealand but once again failed to fast bowling.
Despite being touted as an exceptional talent in the making with some exceptional stroke play under his belt, Shaw exhibited woeful figures in this infamous year. He did manage to string a fine 58 against New Zealand, but his jugular was exposed time and time again against pace bowling. To make matters worse, Starc and Cummins underlined his fragility in the corridor of uncertainty and his inability to plug the gap between bat and pads. From the 6 innings that he played in 2020, he could manage 102 runs at a disastrous average of 17.00.
Burns had a slightly better year than his counterparts as he was successful in garnering 254 runs from the 9 innings that he went on to play, however, a player of his calibre would definitely not like these undercooked statistics next to his name. His best foray in the year came against West Indies as he smashed a brilliant 57 and 90 in two innings. Unfortunately, that was the last time that he could get some substantial figures next to his moniker till the end of this cursed year.
Pakistan’s Abid Ali was also placed a significant good deal higher up the rungs of the ladder in the context of expectations. However, Abid was an arrant fiasco throughout the year. From the 5 matches and the 8 innings that he was a part of, all he could manage was 164 runs at an average of 20.50. His 60 was a fine touch of batting craftsmanship but that wasn’t enough to buoy him through the remaining year.
There wasn’t much hope for the Caribbean middle-order batsman as his highest in the year was 31 and all he could manage from the 6 innings that he batted in was 105 runs at an extremely poor average of 17.50. If there is one glaring weakness that Hope showed in his armour was his vulnerability against fast bowlers. He failed to successfully shuffle himself between those nasty bouncers and yorkers those were hurled at him and that bogged him down by a good deal.
Vihari’s solitary stand of bravado in this entire year was a brazen 55 against New Zealand. From the 7 innings that he played in, he could only manage 131 runs at an average of 18.71. His continuous failure to make himself at home in the number-five position of the innings has already intensified the frowns on the Indian visages. With KL Rahul slowly recuperating from his injury, there are high chances that if Vihari continues with this nightmarish form, he will shortly be finding himself out of the national team in no time.
Chase started the year on a booming note with three solid performances, one of which penned a fabled victory over the might of England. His first three innings of the year saw him garnering 47, 37, and 51 runs respectively. However, that was the final ray of hope from Chase. From 10 innings in the year, he could only manage 174 runs at a pedestrian average of 17.40. He really couldn’t do much with cherry either as his figures read only 12 wickets from the 5 matches that he played. Given the standard of performance that Chase has managed to post in his early days, the expectations are a lot higher.
One of the most promising all-rounders of New Zealand, Mitchell Santner didn’t have much to celebrate in this infamous year. In the only Test that he played all he could manage with the ball in the hand were a couple of wickets against Pakistan at an economy rate of 2.31. However, he did manage to string a painstaking stand of 19 runs to help the Black Caps gather some steam at the tail.
Vernon Philander could only get himself three opportunities in the entire year, and he failed to conjure up something magical in those three Test matches. Despite being touted as an all-rounder, Philander was always a bowler with some fine batting skills. He did manage to rake up 79 runs from the 6 innings that he played that include a best of 27. An average of 15.80 will rather be decent for a bowler, especially in the tail. Haplessly, all he could manage with the ball in the hand were four wickets. With such limited numbers, Cricket South Africa decided to opt for others to fill in that important position in the team.
This is a surprise addition to this list of eleven players as Bumrah was definitely not himself in the year that left everyone rattled. From the 71 overs that he bowled in the last year, all he could manage were 8 wickets. Despite chronicling a best of 4 for 56, Bumrah is known for being a lot more threatening with the amount of pace that he generates. Unfortunately, for 2020, he will have to be sated with the sad statistics that he could manage against Australia.