Saturday, 31 December 2011

Heroes and Zeroes of Cricket in 2011

Year 2011 has come to an end and with it ends an year of grueling cricket schedules. A year which saw India lift the ODI world cup after 28 years, an year in which Australia's dominance in test cricket completely ended and an year in which England surprisingly marched up to the top. All in all it was an year that probably showed us a glimpse about the future of cricket in the decade to come. The year saw many highs and as many lows in cricket. Lets look at the heroes and zeroes of they year 2011.

Hero No. 1- The hero no. 1 this year was undoubtedly Ian Bell. He was the player whose talent was always undoubted but he was someone who always failed to perform on the big occasions. But in 2011, he was phenomenal. His exceptional batting this year was one of the reasons why England marched to the top so quickly. Ian bell played 8 tests this year and scored 950 runs at a phenomenal average of 118.75 with 5 hundreds. What more can you say. Numbers speak themselves. He is now being counted as one of world's top batsmen.

Zero No. 1- Ricky Ponting emerged as the no. 1 disappointment this year. The man whom everybody believed was catching up fast with Tendulkar until 2010 was suddenly being asked to retire by the cricketing world. Bad form hit him very badly indeed. Ponting played 7 tests in 2011 scoring 415 runs at an average of 31.92 with no hundred but 4 fifties. His high score during this period was 78 against New Zealand. And these 4 fifties have come in his last 3 tests with 2 coming in the recent test against India. Otherwise it was a very dismal year for Ponting.

Hero No. 2- 38 year old veteran Rahul Dravid is the hero no. 2 this year. Dravid was going through the same phase Ponting is going through recently. But boy what a comeback he made in 2011. Dravid played 12 tests this year scoring 1145 runs at an average of 57.25 with 5 hundreds. He was the lone ranger in India's humiliating loss in England while he was the man who took India to victory in the Jamaica test this year. Dravid defied age and proved a point to everybody who said his time was over. Lets see what the next year has in store for him.

Zero No. 2- Gautam Gambhir emerged as one of the biggest flops of 2011. Many would argue that he was the one who took India to WC victory in the final or that he scored match saving innings in South Africa. But apart from that he was a failure. This year Gambhir played 8 tests scoring 470 runs at an average of 31.33 with no hundred. Barring performances in the beginning of the year, Gambhir looks very far from the batsman he was in 2008-09.

Hero no.-3- Another hero from England. This time it is England's bowler or shall I say all-rounder, Stuart Broad. Stuart Broad played 7 tests in 2011 taking 33 wickets at an average of 22.3 with one 5 wicket haul. Even on batting front he impressed scoring 239 runs at an average of 39.83 with a best of 74. This average is better than those of the Zeroes mentioned above. He was probably the man behind India's 4-0 loss.

Zero no. 3- Sri Lanka's skipper was another flop of 2011. Dilshan played 10 tests this year scoring 589 runs at an average of 32.72 with just 1 hundred. His captaincy stint too was disappointing as Sri Lanka won only 1 test under him. That was the recent historic first time victory in South Africa in the boxing day test. Otherwise it was a bad year for the 2011 world cup finalists in tests.

Hero no. 4-  Shahid Afridi emerged as the top all-rounder this year and someone who almost single handedly brought Pakistan cricket on track. This year Afridi played 27 ODI's taking 45 wickets at an average of 20.82 with 4 five wicket hauls. In this period he scored 462 runs at an average of 22 with 75 being the best score. Afridi truly was Pakistan cricket's hero of 2011.

Zero no. 4-  Surprisingly the good bowler Morne Morkel too emerged as a zero in 2011. He bowls fast, has lethal bouncers but somehow is not able to pick wickets. Morkel played 5 tests this year taking just 16 wickets at an average of 32.43 with no 5 wicket haul to show. South Africa continued their inconsistent form this year and it looked like only Steyn was the one who took wickets in plenty. Morkel was just reduce to a supporter or rather a spectator.

2012 looks to be an interesting year starting with the India-Australia second test. Lets see what cricket has in store for us next year. Neverthless, happy new year folks.


  1. no mention of Zaheer khan here! :(

  2. though he was very good at the beginning of the year especially in the World cup! but he did not play much cricket after that in 2011 to be mentioned in this list.