5 Batsmen who are likely to reach new heights in 2019
2018 was a great year for fans with some brilliant performances by batsmen lighting up the arena of international cricket. Among the batsmen, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson continued to prove their greatness while Joe Root was eventually able to get over his inability to convert the 50s into hundreds and play, arguably, the best innings of his career. However, Steve Smith’s ignominious act deprived him the opportunity to match the success of his three competitors.
Apart from the big-4, there were other monumental efforts as well: Cook’s magnificent farewell, Pujara’s defiance, AB de Villiers’ last hurrah in international cricket being the highlights.
So, what can we expect from batsmen in the new year? Which men are likely to take the lead in run-scoring?
With so many good players around and so much cricket to be played, it is hard to say with certainty. But, going by their performances this year and the stage of career they are in, we can draw a list of 5 batsmen who are most likely to plunder runs in international cricket in 2019. Let us look at those five batsmen.
#1 Shai Hope
West Indian cricket, in recent years, has had more than its fair share of wasted talent – players who were brimming with ability but not able to transform it into consistent performances. When Shai Hope scored hundreds in each innings of the Headingley Test in August 2017 and led his team to a historic win, most people saw it as the beginning of a great career.
However, Shai failed to live up to the hope he aroused in the remainder of 2017 and the better part of 2018. It is hard to say what was holding him back. Every time he came to the crease, he gave the impression of being completely at ease. But somehow, he couldn’t convert good starts into big scores.
Was it the pressure of expectations, load of responsibility or lack of concentration that made him unsuccessful? We probably won’t know. But things turned around for Hope in the ODI format towards the end of the year in 2018.
In the 5-match series in India, he scored a brilliant hundred and came close to scoring another one. In Bangladesh, after missing out on a big score in the first game, he registered brilliant back-to-back centuries to suggest that things are finally falling in place.
If Hope has finally found his groove, there is a lot we can expect from him. With the large amount of talent at his disposal, he could well turn 2019 into the year where he breaks through as a top batsman in both Test and ODI cricket.