The upcoming 12 months will be a roller-coaster ride for the cricketing community as a lot of T20 games will be played around the world. Most of the bilateral series will be the dress rehearsal for the next year’s gala event. All participants will be eager to build a balanced squad and will be laying out different strategies to improve their performances. So the fans will get to see several fresh faces representing their teams.
Along with them, some established stars will also be fighting for their place in the side. Although they have been making regular appearances they have unable to get their act together in the last year or so. Their below-par performances have also affected the team’s fortunes in this format. So those players will be on their toes as their consistency will determine the fate of their T20 career.
Here is the list of 5 cricketers who might face long-term axe after their repeated failures in T20Is
1) Shimron Hetmyer
Seeing West Indies at the bottom of the ICC T20 rankings doesn’t serve well for the world cricket. Though they are the current title holders in this format they have struggled to keep up with the pace of other teams. Moreover, it can be noted that they have lacked discipline in their trade and it is mostly because of the inconsistent performers of the side.
On top of that list is Shimron Hetmyer as he is facing a tough time early in his career. A year ago the youngster announced his arrival on the international stage with a sparkling century against India. At the end of that tour, the Caribbean land was going gaga over the rise of their new superstar. His belligerent striking and fearless mindset excited the cricketing fraternity.
In a turn of events, his journey is at crossroads in a span of 12 months. He is woefully out of form and mainly his T20I stats are mind-numbing. His run-tally of 116 runs in 14 games seems like a horror story of the island nation. The southpaw has the talent to sail through this bad patch but he needs to come around quickly. If he doesn’t then the selectors can put his T20 World Cup dreams to rest.
2) Hasan Ali
The Men in Green is sitting comfortably at the top of the mountain in the slam-bang version of the game. They have won 8 out of their last 10 bilateral series. More importantly, the team is full of youngsters who have quickly adjusted to their roles in the senior team. Still, they are some flaws that need to be ironed out before the T20 championship in Down Under.
Although the team has enjoyed the services of quality fast-bowlers in the side most of them are new to the international scene. So they might want someone like Hasan Ali to regain his touch. With his wicket-taking abilities, the speedster showed his class in the 2017 Champions trophy. Then he took his game to the next level and became the leader of the pack.
Suddenly his form dipped after the 2018 Asia Cup and since then he has blown hot and cold in the national colors. He was even dropped from the playing XI in the recent 50 overs World Cup. He will suffer the same fate in the T20Is if he doesn’t produce game-changing spells very soon. In his last 3 series, Ali has conceded runs at an economy rate of 10.5. For a strike-bowler, even his wicket column is uninspiring with 12 scalps in his last 12 outings.
3) Rishabh Pant
Right now the Indian cricket team is considered one of the top contenders to lift the next year’s T20 World Cup. The reason being the presence of out and out match-winners in their white-ball squad. Along with a strong playing XI the team is also blessed with some engrossing back-up options. However, with the growing uncertainty over MS Dhoni’s career, the Virat Kohli-led side will have to find a suitable replacement for the legend.
Some special players can fill in Dhoni’s boots with their eccentric skillset and one of them is Rishabh Pant. His free-flowing strokeplay and unconventional shots make him one of the most exciting prospects in the country’s cricket. That’s why the youngster has been a regular in the side in the last 12 months. He has already shown glimpses of his superlative talents.
Surprisingly the southpaw has found success in the format, Test cricket where he was supposed to be vulnerable. What’s more intriguing is that he has failed to live up to the billing in T20Is. He has not been able to repeat his IPL heroics while donning the Blue jersey. He is averaging 20 after playing 20 games and each time he throws away his wicket by committing the same mistakes. The team management is backing him but there have been uproars regarding his frequent failures.
4) Carlos Brathwaite
A lot has changed since the last T20 championship and the most disheartening is the downfall of West Indies cricket. Even after producing the best commodities of the shortest format they have not got the desired results in the international arena. The team has looked toothless against good opposition. Sadly they have also lost games to weaker opponents owing to the poor returns of their stars.
It is to be noted that the team has fared poorly under the leadership of Carlos Brathwaite who led the team for the last 3 years. The all-rounder took the charge after his last over pyrotechnics against England in 2016 final. On his day he can punish best of the bowling attacks with his brute power. Besides he can be a useful bowler in middle-overs and can generate decent pace with all his muscle.
Unfortunately, Brathwaite, the proven match-winner seemed in deep slumber after taking the captaincy role. His batting average dropped to 16 and in his last 10 games, he has reached double digits on only two occasions. It can be clearly stated that the responsibilities bogged him down. Very rightly he has been replaced with Keiron Pollard as the skipper and it might prove to be a good step as he needs to rediscover his mojo.
5) Ish Sodhi
The Black Caps are known for punching above their weight and recently they did it again when they beat Sri Lanka in their den. They may be placed at No.6 in the ICC rankings but the team has the potential to win the upcoming T20 championship in Australia. They have a well-rounded side with gifted youngsters. Still the side is in search of a wicket-taking option in the middle-overs.
At the moment the pair of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi are controlling the spin department of Kiwis in the limited-overs format. Especially the latter can be effective irrespective of the nature of the surface. With his height, he can generate good bounce and he also has good control over his art. A year ago the leg-spinner topped the charts of T20I bowler rankings.
Then his career graph traversed a downward curve as Sodhi has failed to produce enough wickets in his spells. In his last 10 games, he has fished only 9 victims and has remained wicketless in 4 outings. The tweaker has been inconsistent with his trade but he has kept his place in the squad. He will have to be careful as other players are waiting in the wings and might replace him if his lean patch continues.
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