The Financial Express

Players who need solution to off form

Photo: ESPNcricinfo Photo: ESPNcricinfo

The stage is set, the preparation is done, the World Cup is here. 

In this action-packed cricket carnival, there are a few big names that carry high expectations but have been suffering from lack of form lately. 

Eyes will be on them to see whether they can unleash themselves under pressure or get crushed into memes on the social media platforms.

Eoin Morgan

The skipper of England national team has had a terrible 2021 so far in T20 format. Both in national colours and for KKR in IPL, he has been finding it difficult to get going. 

In 2021, Morgan has batted in 7 international matches scoring only 82 runs at an average of 11.71. In IPL too, the numbers have not gotten any better as he has scored only 133 runs in 17 innings at an average of 11.08 and strike rate bellow 100. 

So, Morgan has an uphill task to lead his national side from the front in the upcoming World Cup. 

Hardik Pandya 

Bombarded with injuries and rehabs, Hardik Pandya is also having a tough time returning into his own. In this year’s IPL, he has played for Mumbai Indians as a pure batter. He has batted in 11 appearances and only managed to accumulate 127 runs at an average of 14.11. 

There is not much to show at the international level either since he has featured in only once this year. 

Team India desperately needs him to regain his fitness to be able to bowl whenever needed, which will be instrumental for the balance of the side.  

Ravichandran Ashwin

One of the most surprising picks across the squads has been this off-spinner. Despite having no international appearances since 2017 and a poor run at IPL 2021, he has somehow managed to seal a spot for himself, courtesy of his experience. 

During IPL 2021, Ashwin has bowled in 13 occasions only to pick up 7 wickets at the expense of 331 runs, averaging 47.28. Should he get a chance in the playing XI, he must do something special to keep the sarcastic social media pages away from him. 

Nicholas Pooran

The vice-captain of West Indies has had his fair share of bad luck in this edition of IPL. Even though his international numbers are somewhat satisfactory (273 runs in 13 innings averaging 24.81), he has managed to score just 85 runs in 12 appearances at an average of 7.72 in the IPL. 

Surely, West Indies want their vice-captain to pull up his socks and belt the ball all round the park. 

Kyle Jamieson

Although he has been a revolution for the Kiwis in red-ball cricket, his performance in the shortest format of the game has not lived up to the expectations. 

Since his debut in November last year, he has played 8 international matches to pick up 4 scalps with an average of 70.25, costing 9.80 runs per over. In the latest edition of IPL, although he has had a decent average (29.88 with 9 wickets in 9 games), he has been pretty expensive leaking 9.60 runs each over. 

While playing with the likes of Boult, Southee, and Ferguson, he has to curb the flow of runs in order to maintain his position in the side. 

Haris Rauf

He has been another bowler who has been guilty of leaking too many runs. Even though he has decent average this year in both international level (27.50 with 12 wickets in 10 games) and PSL (34.20 with 10 wickets in 9 games), he has very high economy rates of 9.29 and 9.67 respectively. He too needs to control the run-flow to help his Babar-Rizwan dependent batting lineup to chase the total.  

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Well, these two sides are going through such bad form that they will definitely be at the center of attention for several meme pages. While the former had to rely on rank turners to get over the line against weakened Australia and New Zealand, the latter could not survive a whitewash even after dishing out rank turners. 

While it's tough to choose a player or two from these squads regarding off form, their performance is going to be fascinating to look out for. 

The writer is currently studying at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (IBA-DU).

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