While the year 2020 in itself has been one of the worst in recent human history, sporting activities have been impacted by the coronavirus. But before the arrival of the virus, certain players in international cricket rose up to the challenge and performed brilliantly. Here is the list of the performers.
Marnus Labuschagne has become a revelation since the last Ashes. In the three Tests that he played between December last year and January this year, he scored 549 runs with the highest being 215 at an unbelievable average of 91.50.
But it wasn’t only Tests this year as Labuschagne showed his ODI batting skills to the world as well. In the 7 matches that he played, the right-handed batsman scored 305 runs at an average of 50.83 and a strike rate of 94.43, which also broke the myth that he is only a Test specialist.
His one hundred and two fifties also showcased the range of shots he has in his batting arsenal. With his display, Marnus has cemented his place in the limited-overs squads.
The next in the list is India’s, KL Rahul. Much like Labuschagne, Rahul too was a revelation before the lockdown. He not only scored runs but also took the place of the makeshift wicket-keeper. In 2020, Rahul wasn’t able to play a Test match, but in the limited-overs cricket, he showed his true class.
While his performances in the T20 took him to the second position in ICC rankings for batsmen, he was solid as a rock one-day internationals as well. In 8 T20Is, Rahul scored 323 runs at an outstanding average of 53.83 and a brilliant strike rate of 144.84. In ODIs, he accumulated 350 runs at an average of 70.
Quinton de Kock
What was otherwise a dull start to the year for South Africa, their limited-overs captain, Quinton de Kock turned out to be a bright spot for the team. His display across the formats was impressive. In the four-match Test series against England, he scored 380 runs at an average of 47.50.
He went berserk after he was asked to lead South Africa in ODIs. While his team drew the ODI series against England, they defeated Australia. In those six matches, one of which was washed away, de Kock scored 228 runs. In the six T20Is, de Kock was again on fire as he scored 208 runs.
The former skipper is another Australian in the last. Although the limelight in the Test series against the Kiwis was taken away by Marnus Labuschagne, Smith made sure that he doesn’t get complacent and scored runs at a brisk pace.
In the test series, where Marnus scored more than 500 runs, Smith was perturbed by the short ball ploy of Neil Wagner and therefore, could only score 214 runs at an average of 42.80.
He made up for the Test form by scoring 352 runs in ODIs at an average of 58.67, with two half-centuries and a century. In T20Is he amassed 104 runs in three matches at an average of 52 and a strike rate of 142.47.
Ben Stokes was in sensational touch before cricket was stopped due to virus. He made useful contributions in Tests and T20Is. While he scored 318 runs at an amazing average of 45.42 in the four Tests against South Africa, the Durham man also picked up 10 wickets at a brilliant average of 22.00 with.
Having missed the ODI series against the Proteas due to personal reasons, Stokes made a comeback in the T20Is and scored quick runs. His best score of the season has been 47 not out. Stokes contribution with the ball also came handy as the New Zealand born took four wickets in three matches at an average of 18.75.
Tim Southee swung the red cherry left, right and centre as he had a dream four-match run in this season. He took 26 wickets in those four matches at an amazing average of 18.96. He was rightly chosen as the Man of the Series against India.
He made his performance count in the purest format of the game.
Ngidi returned to the folds early this year after recovering from muscle injury. The South African picked up 13 wickets in six T20I games at an outstanding average of 18.77.
In ODIs too, the man from Natal showed his power and picked up 12 wickets in four games with career-best figures of 6/58 being a part of those scalps. His economy this time around was 5.68 and his average also looked sublime at 16.08.