2021 has seen several batters perform to the best of their potential, come through the ranks, have patchy performances and some below-par ones as well. Regardless of which category batters fall into and the nature of the statement that needs to be made in the coming year, the following batters are certainly ones to look out for for one reason or another.
The following seven batters are the ones to look out for in 2022.
Regarded now as probably one of the most exciting prospects in Test cricket, Marnus Labuschagne must prove that he can perform consistently over long periods to be considered as one of the game’s greats. The young Australian has proven his worth in the last couple of years or so and has had a dominant Ashes so far behind David Warner.
Australia will be looking to bring Marnus into the white-ball game this year. A Test series against Pakistan in unfamiliar conditions will be the perfect scenario to assess Marnus’s performances away from home.
The part-time wicketkeeper has been in sublime form in both red-ball and white-ball cricket of late. After piling on runs in the IPL, Rahul has managed to dominate in red-ball cricket as well with stellar performances in South Africa. Although his name has been around Indian cricket for a while now, his place in the team has not been an absolute certainty.
Rahul has started making his Test spot a certain one and was also handed the responsibility of captaincy in the second Test against South Africa. The move indicates the management’s intention and confirms Rahul as a long-term option in Test cricket.
Former South Africa captain Aiden Markram has been around for a few years now without really stamping his authority as a global phenomenon. In the absence of players such as Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock (who recently retired from Test cricket) and AB de Villiers, Markram now must take over the reins and establish himself in all three formats of the game.
Markram had a good IPL last year as well as a good T20I World Cup. Although he is an automatic selection in South Africa’s red-ball side, he still has quite a bit to prove in the longest format of the game.
Ollie Pope came into the English Test side with many expectations from the fans but has failed so far to meet those expectations for one reason or the other. Pope has missed out on games given his inability to score the big runs or due to England’s not-so-popular rotation policy in Test cricket.
Pope made his debut back in 2018 against India but is yet to improve on the solitary hundred that he has scored. A string of games and a good run in the Test side could see this technically-sound player announce himself to the world, and if he does keep his place in the side, Pope is one to look out for in 2022.
Devon Conway is the next on the list. The New Zealand opener had his breakthrough year in 2021 and has taken both his Test cricket and white-ball cricket to the next level. His Test performances, including a double hundred in England, cemented his New Zealand Test squad spot.
Conway has continued on his merry way in 2022 and has started with a ton against Bangladesh at home. His ability to hit the ball well in T20 cricket does his white-ball game a lot of good as well. He is yet another player to look out for in 2022 across all the formats.
In terms of players who need to prove their worth in 2022, it probably does not get any bigger than David Warner. The Aussie veteran had a poor 2021 in white-ball and red-ball cricket. Although some may claim that Warner has turned a corner in The Ashes, there is still a long way to go for the opener to prove his worth in global cricket.
On the back of the sandpaper incident, and having been dropped from the SunRisers Hyderabad squad, Warner will indeed be pumped to get back into international cricket and stake his claim as one of the world’s most extraordinary batters.
The West Indies seem pretty far from where they once were in international cricket. However, new captain Nicholas Pooran will be looking to turn the fortunes of them.
Before receiving the captaincy, Pooran was criticised for his rash ways of batting as he would often throw his wicket away.
The youngster is filled with talent, and people will be looking at him and how he leads this West Indies side not only in the field but by example with the bat. Changes in Pooran’s approach will be much awaited in 2022.