The year 2015 proved to be fruitful for cricket as a lot of new talent came into the scene. We at Essentially Sports bring the top 10 young cricketers to look forward to in 2016
10. David Willey
David Willey is a promising prospect for England, both with the ball and the bat. Widely known as a bowling all rounder, Willey has shown that he has the potential to be a great all rounder in the recent past as he has picked up 18 wickets in the 10 matches that he has played but his ability to score big runs is yet to be seen at the international level.
9. Mark Wood
Mark Wood is another English pacer to feature in the list. He is tall and uses his height to his advantage by hitting the deck hard. He has the ability to bowl consistently at 140 kph and beat the batsman with his sheer pace. Having taken 25 wickets in 8 matches, Wood’s consistent performances has earned him almost a regular place, especially in the Test side. He was also a member of England’s Ashes-winning squad.
8. Rilee Rossouw
In Rilee Rossouw, the South African cricket team has found a reliable top-order batsman who also happens to be stylish in his stroke play. He made his debut last year in August but came in the limelight only this year when he scored two centuries against the hapless West Indies at home, and started off the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with scores of 61 in South Africa’s first two group matches. He has managed to score 681 runs at an average of 48.64 in 17 matches with a highest score of 132.
7. Jermaine Blackwood
Jermaine Blackwood has turned out to be one of the most promising batsmen in recent times for the West Indies. He is one of those rare players produced by West Indies in recent times that applies himself on the crease and tries to hold one end and stay on the crease as long as possible. Blackwood began the year with a patient 113-ball 56 against the might of South Africa and also played a brilliant 112 not out vs England. At Bridgetown he scored 85 and 47 not out, helping the Caribbean team to win the match by 5 wickets. He scored 92 at Galle against Sri Lanka, but Cricket is a team game and until the whole team contributes, winning is not possible.
6. Jason Roy
The 25-year-old joins the likes of Kevin Pietersen as a South African born cricketer who represented England. Roy has improved himself gradually and has begun getting runs consistently for England. Off the 15 matches he has played, he has scored 462 runs at a strike rate of 98.29.
5. Adam Voges
Okay, now Adam Voges is really not young by actual definition, but his international experience is really young. There is an old saying, “old is gold”, and this fits perfectly with Adam Voges of Australia who made his Test debut this year at the age of 35 which is very unusual for a batsman. Voges scored a century on debut against West Indies, becoming the oldestest cricketer to achieve this feat in Test cricket. Despite going through a rough patch during the ashes, he bounced back strongly at home and slammed centuries against New Zealand and West Indies, and proved that there is still a lot of cricket left in him. He scored 922 runs in 11 test matches at an average of 76.83 with a highest score of 269.
4. Soumya Sarkar
It proved to be a good year for Bangladeshi cricket as on one hand Mustafizur shone with the ball, while on the other hand Soumya Sarkar stepped up in the batting department. The young Soumya Sarkar played some memorable knocks in 50-over cricket this year. He scored a fighting half-century against the rampant New Zealand under tough conditions in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, scored 127 versus Pakistan in a series that Bangladesh won and played 2 well paced knocks of 88 and 90 not out versus South Africa, once again playing a key role in Bangladesh’s series win. In 2015 he has scored 497 in 9 matches at an impressive average of 71.
3. Mustafizur Rahman
The 19-year-old youngster began with a bang against the mighty Indians, and played an impressive part in the Tigers’ historic series win at home in the ODI format. He was indeed a surprise package, and the Indians were taken by surprise by him. Mentored by skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur bowled some well disguised off-cutters and that too at a decent pace against the likes of Virat Kohli and co. In the 9 matches that he has played he has picked up 26 wickets with an average of 12.34 with best figures of 6/43. Mustafizur impressed against the South Africans as well
2. Josh Hazlewood
Though Josh Hazlewood made his international debut way back in 2010, he came into limelight only this year. Picked up for the Australian side in the Test series against India, he got off with a five wicket haul against India at Brisbane and cemented his place as the third pacer in the Australian team after Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc across all formats of the game picking up 51 wickets in 11 tests at an average of 21.6. He impressed one and all in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. With Australian pace spearhead Johnson retiring this year, Hazlewood will now form the back of Australia’s pace attack with Starc.
1. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada has risen as the most promising fast bowler of the year for the South African cricket team. Rabada bowls regularly at 140 kmph, and is fiery with his bouncers. He made his international debut last year against Australia in a Twenty20 match but has left an indelible imprint on the minds of his fans this year. On the tour to India, Rabada put in a lot of effort and took a lot of wickets against the Indians in their home ground even getting the wickets of big boys such as MS Dhoni in key situations. He has picked up 21 wickets in 10 ODIs at an average of 20.23 with a best of 6/16. Rabada’s success has provided a lot of assurance regarding the future of the South African pace bowling. He played a very important role in South Africa’s ODI series win in India for the first time this year by picking up 10 wickets in five matches.