After a weird 2020, the world aims to get back to normal life in 2021. The entire universe welcomed the New Year a few days ago. As always, some positive people started off their 2021 with a resolution. A resolution is nothing but the pledge that they take on the first day of the year to do some significant things that could bring a positive change in their life.
A majority of individuals take the resolution to achieve something that they have never accomplished in life. Cricketers are also no different. Although none of the cricketers have publicized their resolutions for 2021 so far, every cricketer would have planned something big for the New Year.
Some players, who are in the best form of their life, will try to continue in the same vein. Some have been excellent individually but their team has not performed at the big tournament. So, every cricketer would have a different resolution, and here’s a list of top 10 cricketers and what could be their New Year Resolutions.
1. Steve Smith – Ending Test century drought
Steve Smith started his career as a right-arm leg-spinner. There was a time when Smith batted at the number nine position for the Australian cricket team. However, he has worked on his batting over the last few years. Now, he is a part of the Fab 4 group of the modern era along with Virat Kohli, Joe Root, and Kane Williamson.
Smith won the award for the ICC Test Cricketer of the Decade recently. He batted with unmatched consistency from 2013 to 2019. But after Ashes 2019, Smith has not touched the 100-run mark even once. His last century came against the England cricket team at Old Trafford in September 2019.
After that match, Steve has featured in eight Test matches. Notably, a majority of them have happened in Australia. Still, Smith has struggled to register a century. He ended 2020 without a Test century to his name. Thus, the former Australian cricket team captain will be keen to end his Test century drought in 2021.
2. Mushfiqur Rahim – Keeping cool on the field
The Bangladesh cricket team has the potential to become the next big thing in world cricket. They have emerged as giant-killers at the multi-national tournaments. The fact that the Bangladesh cricket team has made it to the final of the last three Asia Cup events shows how much they have improved as a team.
Wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has been instrumental in Bangladesh’s success at the international level. He has kept the wickets brilliantly and also played some vital knocks for his side in the middle order. However, Rahim has not been able to keep cool in tense situations.
During the 2016 T20 World Cup match against India, he almost took Bangladesh over the line. However, he tried to play an aggressive shot and lost his wicket at a crucial moment. In the domestic T20 competition of Bangladesh, Rahim almost slapped his teammate Nasum Ahmed after he tried to catch a ball. Thus, keeping cool on the field is something that Mushfiqur Rahim would love to do in 2021.
3. Babar Azam – Taking Pakistan to the number 1 position in T20Is
The Pakistan cricket team once held the number one position on the ICC T20I Rankings. It was challenging to down the Pakistan cricket team in a T20I series during their prime. Unfortunately, the Men in Green could not perform up to the mark in T20Is last year as they lost the series against New Zealand.
Even the England cricket team managed to tie the three-match series against them. Babar Azam recently took over the reins of the team. The International Cricket Council did not include a single Pakistani player in the ICC T20I XI of the decade despite some top-quality performances from their players.
Many Pakistan cricket experts criticized ICC for that decision. Babar Azam has an opportunity now to make a statement by leading the Pakistan cricket team to the number one position on the T20I Team Rankings once again. Since it is a T20 World Cup year, Pakistan will play many T20I matches in 2021.
4. Jasprit Bumrah – Highest wicket-taker in T20 World Cup 2021
The ICC T20 World Cup will happen in India this year. The ICC had planned a T20 World Cup in Australia last year. However, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cricket Australia and ICC had no other option but to delay the competition. Now, Australia will play host to this global event in 2022.
As far as 2021 is concerned, all eyes will be on the Indian cricket team as they will host the second consecutive T20 World Cup. In the previous edition of the tournament, the hosts lost to eventual champions West Indies in the semifinals at the Wankhede Stadium. Jasprit Bumrah had made his T20I debut just a few months back then.
In the last five years, Bumrah has become one of the top all-format bowlers in world cricket. Bumrah finished at the second position on the Purple Cap leaderboard of IPL 2020. He will aim to guide the Indian cricket team to their second T20 World Cup by taking the most wickets in the competition.
5. Virat Kohli – Winning ICC Trophy as a Captain
The Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has broken many records in the batting department. Many fans already consider him as the greatest batsman of the modern era. The Indian team has done a splendid job in Test cricket under Virat Kohli’s leadership. However, the same cannot be said about ODIs and T20Is.
The Indian cricket team reached the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final under Kohli’s captaincy. Unfortunately, Pakistan defeated them to win the trophy. Next, in 2019, the Indian team made it to the ICC Cricket World Cup semifinal, where New Zealand handed them a heart-breaking defeat.
Virat had won the ICC U19 World Cup as a captain. After breaking into the senior team, he won the 2011 Cricket World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy playing under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. However, he is yet to win his first ICC Trophy as a captain at the senior level. Kohli could end that drought with a T20 World Cup triumph at home later this year.
6. Kane Williamson – Retaining his number 1 Test Ranking throughout the year
New Zealand cricket team skipper Kane Williamson attained the number one spot on the ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen in the final week of 2020. Williamson had been in sensational form during the last phase of 2020. He recorded his highest score in Test cricket against West Indies.
Soon, he registered a century against the Pakistan cricket team as well. His consistent performances took the New Zealand team very close to the number one position on the ICC Test Rankings. A victory in the second Test against Pakistan will guarantee the Blackcaps the top position on the charts.
Kane Williamson will have the challenge of ensuring that he maintains his top form with the bat. Retaining the number one position on the ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen will be a considerable task because India and England will play 10 Tests against each other this year. The other players will also play a lot of Test cricket. Still, the fans can back Williamson to remain World No. 1.
7. Shakib Al Hasan – Regaining number 1 position on all-rounders Rankings
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will make his much-awaited return to the cricket field in 2021. The southpaw had received a one-year suspension for not reporting the details of a corruption approach to the ICC. Nevertheless, Shakib has stated that he has learned his lesson.
The Bangladesh cricket team will compete in two multi-national tournaments this year. They will visit Sri Lanka to participate in the Asia Cup. Next, they will travel to India and play in the ICC T20 World Cup. Shakib Al Hasan will be the key to Bangladesh’s success in the two competitions.
While Shakib would prefer his team’s success over his individual ranking, somewhere in his mind, he would also have the goal of regaining the number one position on the all-rounders’ rankings. Ben Stokes is the number one Test all-rounder right now, while Mohammad Nabi is above the second-placed Shakib in the T20I charts.
8. Rashid Khan – Help Afghanistan win Tests outside Asia
Rashid Khan had helped the Afghanistan cricket team register their first Test win at home and first Test win away from home in 2019. Afghanistan beat Ireland at their adopted home venue. Soon, they defeated Bangladesh by 224 runs in a Test match at Chittagong. Unfortunately, Afghanistan could not play a single Test match in 2020.
The Afghan team will don the whites again in 2021 as they will face Australia in a one-off Test match. The possibility that ICC gives more Tests to Afghanistan this year is very high. Rashid Khan had played a massive role in Afghanistan’s first overseas Test match win. The fans will have the same expectations from him this year.
Although defeating Australia in Australia is a daunting task, Afghanistan could open their account outside Asia with a win against Ireland or Zimbabwe if the cricket boards plan a series. Also, Rashid Khan will try to his global cricket experience to ensure that Afghanistan betters its overall record outside the subcontinent.
9. Ben Stokes – Turn the tables in T20 World Cup 2021 in India
No cricket fan could forget the final match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. West Indies had reached the final after some magnificent performances in the earlier rounds. On the other side, England made it to the final, ousting favorites New Zealand in the semifinal round of the competition.
England almost had the T20 World Cup in their hands. The equation had come down to 19 runs off six deliveries. Ben Stokes got the responsibility to defend 19 runs against Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels in the final over. Unfortunately, Stokes could not defend the target.
Brathwaite hit him for four sixes off the first four deliveries as West Indies won the game with two balls to spare. Every cricket fan felt sorry for Ben Stokes that night. Now, in 2021, he has the chance to turn the tables by leading England to the title in the same tournament in the same country. The all-rounder has been exceptional in all formats. Thus, he could help England win their second T20 World Cup title.
10. Quinton de Kock – Leading South Africa to their first-ever ICC Trophy win
Despite having some of the greatest players in international cricket history, South Africa has never won an ICC Trophy. New captain Quinton de Kock has won the last two IPL seasons with the Mumbai Indians. The team seems to be on a rise under his captaincy as they crushed Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test match.
South Africa could even bring AB de Villiers back for the ICC T20 World Cup in India. Quinton de Kock will have the opportunity to create history by becoming the first South African skipper to win the ICC T20 World Cup. As mentioned ahead, de Kock has been a part of champion sides.
Also, South Africa has much more experience in their squad now. The South African team had visited India for a T20I series in 2019. Also, they are scheduled to battle India before the T20 World Cup. Hence, De Kock’s resolution would be to bring all his experience to the fore and lead South Africa to a historic championship victory.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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