It has been a memorable decade for the cricketing fraternity as they witnessed players like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, and Ravichandran Ashwin flourish at the international level. At the dawn of this decade, they were all considered possible future stars of the game. Thereafter, they carved out a glittering career with their hard work and determination. Finally with their unparalleled success in the last 10 years now they have become modern greats of the gentlemen’s game.
Similarly, now the fans are eagerly waiting for the next generation superstars. Currently, there are a bunch of young cricketers who have shown early signs of greatness. Among them, certain individuals have the potential to inscribe their names in the history books. In the process, these budding talents might also end up as cricketing icons of the next decade.
Here is the list of 5 young cricketers who might rule the next decade :
1. Jofra Archer
For the most part of this decade, the England team lacked a genuine pace bowler. Even with the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad in their ranks their bowling unit looked one-dimensional. Apart from the seaming surfaces of England, the team struggled to surprise the opposition with their bowling ammunition but now things have changed for the better.
With the addition of Jofra Archer, the Three Lions have found their voices again. The Barbadian has already awed the cricketing fraternity with his ability to generate pace and bounce with the simplest of bowling actions. Along with his raw pace, his consistency and composure make him a deadly weapon across formats.
He has taken close to 50 international wickets in his debut year which is no mean feat. Be it his white-ball heroics in 2019 World Cup or the red-ball theatrics in the 2019 Ashes Archer looks a complete package for the Brits. In the coming times, the fans are in for a treat as Jofra will be hunting the opposition batsmen with his 150 kmph thunderbolts.
2. Babar Azam
The Pakistan cricket team has experienced some bittersweet moments in this decade. Most of their highs have been toned down with the following lows but in between the spark which has kept their cricketing spirits alive is none other than Babar Azam. Since his debut in 2015, the youngster has been making the right noises with his run-scoring capabilities.
Such has been his rise that now he is standing alongside world-class batsmen like Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Babar has been one of the most prolific run-scorers of the year 2019 and his run-tally of 2100 across formats proves the point. Unlike the other Pakistan youngsters, his hunger for success and positive attitude makes him a long-term prospect for the Men in Green.
That’s why he has also been handed over the captaincy charges in the shortest format of the game. Though he has gained popularity for his white-ball credentials his red-ball game has also taken a leap in the last 6 months. Azam will be a key member of the Asian team if they have to revive their glory days in the next decade.
3. Kuldeep Yadav
In the history of Indian cricket, spinners are always termed as match-winners. Even the recent revelation of Ravi Ashwin as the leading wicket-taker of this decade with 564 scalps is the further testimony to the fact. Even though the Indian spin department has been outclassed by the fast-bowlers in the last couple of years they are still a potent force on their own.
Kuldeep Yadav is one of the important members of that force. With his unique cricketing talent, the chinaman has been a regular in India’s white-ball schemes. He has already bagged close to 100 ODI wickets including 2 hat-tricks. Even in the classic format, he has picked up 2-fifers in 6 games.
Kuldeep has been inconsistent in the last year or so but his wicket-taking abilities are second to none. Besides his attacking mindset has usually fetched positive results. In the coming years, the left-arm leggie will be the best bet with the other two premier spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin reaching the other side of the ’30s. He has the skillset to become the next spin wizard of the country.
4. Marnus Labuschagne
Earlier in the year, the Australian team got back to their winning ways with their memorable Ashes win. At the center of it was their red-ball maverick, Steve Smith who piled on more than 750 runs in his comeback series. However amidst his glory, one forgot the vital contributions of the first concussion substitute in the history of the game.
Yes, I am talking about Marnus Labuschagne who scored than 350 runs in his first Ashes campaign. More than the runs it was his grit against a top-quality bowling unit consisting of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer which caught the eye of the cricketing community. Labuschagne seemed the perfect solution for the country’s long-standing middle-order problems.
From there on the right-hander has gone from strength to strength and now has become one of the regular features of the Australian Test set-up. Recently, he also became the first player to complete 1000 Test runs in the ongoing calendar year. He has already stroked 3 Test centuries in his short career and if he continues like this then the bowlers are assured of tough times ahead.
5. Nicholas Pooran
Sadly the West Indies cricket has been muddled with problems that have stemmed the country’s cricketing growth. Still, there is hope because of the presence of talented youngsters in the squad. One of them is Nicholas Pooran who has been a promising find of the island nation in these turbulent times.
Though the keeper-batsman has not scored a truckload of runs he has showcased his potential in his given opportunities. Notably, in the 2019 World Cup, he ended up as the leading run-scorer for the Caribbean team with 367 runs. His freestyle of batting can be easily associated with the T20 prevalence in the Windies players but his clear thought process separates him from the rest of others.
Unlike some of his team-mates, Pooran plays his shots according to the needs of the team. Also, the southpaw seems equally comfortable against pace and spin which further proves his well-rounded game. In all, he seems an ideal commodity on which the Windies cricket should invest to enjoy long term benefits.
These young cricketers have all the attributes to become the cricketing geniuses of the next decade.
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