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5 batsmen who disappointed in 2018


Flops_2018_CricketIn 2018 Kohli made tons of runs as usual, Pujara successfully got rid of a dry patch by scoring watchful year-ending hundreds, Williamson struck patient runs everywhere, Latham struck the longest format’s best individual score, and Kusal Mendis provided a barrage of runs.

Who were the batsmen who failed to impress?

2018 was a year where cricket was played nearly endlessly wherever you looked and whichever side you saw. But while the big gains belonged to usual forces – most noticeably India, followed by New Zealand and England – the sport gained, once again, thanks to a streak of individual consistency.

Having said that, there were a number of talents that didn’t quite make it count.

Interestingly, while there was a dry patch for many renowned talents, it didn’t always present itself in every format of the game.

The disappointment was especially acute in batsmen who failed to contribute to their team’s fortunes in one format even as they amassed runs, vital ones on occasion, in another.

Faf Du Plessis

Faf’s journey as the leader of the batting core of the Proteas is only going to get more challenging in the times ahead, particularly since he’s leading a side lacking AB de Villiers.

There’s little doubting his capabilities as a batsman, having been around for close to a decade and having handled world’s leading bowlers: from Johnson to Lyon, Sharma to Bumrah, Ajmal to Amir. But Faf’s recent form in Tests has been worrying.

Never before has this beautiful timer of the ball fared so poorly, scoring only 463 runs from 20 innings, having played 10 Tests.

While Faf did strike a solitary Test hundred, he averaged only 24, with 4 ducks. His ODI form, however, compelled one not to rule him out.

From just 8 games this year, the crafty middle-order batsman made 434 runs. These runs were hammered instead of being amassed, as he scored these at a strike rate of 96, with 2 centuries. Still, Faf couldn’t save his side from a total capitulation at the hands of Sri Lanka during the Tests in Sri Lanka.

Marlon Samuels

To be fair to Marlon Samuels, if one were to witness what possibly might have been the most under-appreciated fifty by a West Indian batsman this year – a fluid 86 against Graeme Cremer’s Zimbabwe at a crucial stage of the World Cup qualifiers – one may have hope that the Jamaican was going to do something special this year.

Alas, nothing came about of that.

The batsman, after showcasing some elegantly timed strokes, went back to his usual ways, collecting a mere 365 runs from 15 innings.

He only managed to score another fifty from the remaining 14 innings, and he never quite seemed the dangerous exponent of the bat he has been known to be, which turned out to be a real dampener for a frequently fledgling West Indies.

Shaun Marsh

It is not incorrect to state that, at this point in time, the elder of the Marsh Brothers might be the punching bag of an entire country Down Under.

Shaun Marsh’s situation is a bit strange, to be honest.

He can be seen trying desperately to revive a career that’s effectively over, having collected modestly impressive but hard fought scores of 44, 45, 60.

Yet, there’s been an absolute failure to strike a big hundred; if not that, then even fifties in succession. Considering the state Australia are in, it seems the fizz is lacking in Marsh to score a really big one.

Ajinkya Rahane

To say that Rahane had a disappointing year by his usual standards is an understatement.

Rahane, the vice-captain of a Virat Kohli-led India team, wasn’t able to score a Test ton, collecting only 644 runs from 21 Test innings, with a duck. This highlighted his Test woes.

For a side that already has services of the youth, the flair of Rishabh Pant, slowly coming into its own in Tests with Rohit alongside, the lower middle order, which is where Rahane bats, needs the Mumbai batsman to step up.

Kraigg Brathwaite

Watchful, technically sound, and usually capable of absorbing all pressure, but nowhere near to his usual excellent standards in 2018. Kraigg Brathwaite endured a poor Test year.

While Brathwaite, also the vice-captain of the West Indian side, was able to notch up two vital hundreds, his usually stoic batting lacked both the urgency to score and the caution to stick around for longer periods of time.

His woes were exacerbated by the fact that the Barbadian was only able to collect 391 runs from 9 Tests, at a lowly 24.

When you compare this with what Brathwaite managed last year in Tests, 706 runs at a respectable 37, you will be left with a few complaints regarding the right hander, especially if you are a Bajan.

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