New Delhi. The first round of the World Test Championship (WTC) was concluded in 2021, in which New Zealand was the winner. In June 2021, New Zealand and India played the final match in Southampton, in which New Zealand emerged victorious on Reserve Day. Thanks to the brilliant efforts of the entire team, especially the captain Kane Williamson, the Kiwis won their first ICC title. The second round of the World Test Championship has begun. Currently, Sri Lanka and Australia are leading the table charts in the second round. In Test cricket, this year has been very spectacular for some players, while for some players, it has been nothing less than a nightmare.
Marcus Harris: Marcus Harris had a normal year in 2021. In 2021, Australia played only five Tests against India and England. Marcus Harris appeared in most games, but had mediocre figures for a player of his stature. When India toured Australia in 2021, Marcus was called a ‘walking wicket’. Despite the absence of most of their regular players due to injuries, India won a big series. Harris scored just 43 runs in his only innings. The 28-year-old batsman never looked in great form in the Ashes series against England. He scored just 38 runs in two test matches.
In the Boxing Day Test, however, he scored an impressive 76 to help his team take an early lead in the first innings. Marcus Harris could only manage 157 runs in 7 innings this year. During this, his average of 26.2 was very poor. In this season, he was able to score only one half-century. Marcus Harris scored less runs than Mitchell Starc. Starc has scored 162 runs in 7 innings at an average of 40.50.
Ross Taylor: Despite winning the inaugural World Test Championship, New Zealand’s legendary batsman Ross Taylor was badly out of form. His poor game was largely hidden by the excellent efforts of his teammates. He was never in form and his technical flaws were exposed during New Zealand’s tour of India. His best innings came against India in the World Test Championship final, when he scored a crucial 47 in the second innings to help New Zealand win their first ICC title. Apart from that innings, he could never make a big score. He scored only 127 runs in the two Test matches against England in the series.
His technical shortcomings against left-arm spinners were easily exposed during his disastrous tour of India. He could only score 20 runs in two test matches. He scored only 213 runs in 10 innings in 2021, averaging less than 23.7. He had a lone half-century to his name with the highest score of 80. The team expected a lot from him as a senior batsman, and he clearly could not live up to the expectations.
Ajinkya Rahane: In the year 2021, former India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had a major decline in form. After a famous century in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, he appeared in utterly poor form in the subsequent two Tests. He scored just 87 runs in two test matches. His poor form continued in the home series against England, with only one half-century in Chennai. He did not appear in form even during the World Test Championship final. After that his tour of England was no less than a nightmare. Here he managed to score only 107 runs in 9 innings at a very poor average of 15.5.
His poor form continued in the home series against New Zealand and he was dropped for the second Test. However, the reason for this was said to be injury. He was in the worst form of his career this year. Till the Centurion Test in 2021, he scored only 470 runs at an average of 20.82. With his poor form, he was dropped from India’s Test vice-captaincy duties. There was not much improvement in his performance in the first Test against South Africa as well. He scored 48 runs in the first innings of the Centurion Test and 20 runs in the second innings.
Yasir Shah: Pakistan’s experienced leg-spinner has barely faced 2021 in Test cricket. He was dropped from the Pakistan Test team due to his poor performance with the ball. Their performance in the last three years has been poor, forcing Pakistan to look for alternatives. Also his age does not guarantee much confidence in his bowling.
Yasir has been quite ordinary in all his games this year. An average of 37.8 is never good for any Test bowler. The batsmen were able to take advantage of his diversity and also scored runs on his bowling. His wicket-taking ability did not work and he is no longer able to represent Pakistan. This year he took eight wickets in six innings. 35-year-old Yasir Shah was also known to score easy runs down the order with the bat. However, he has scored only 73 runs in five innings of this season with a batting average of 18.7. After this performance of his, he may find it difficult to return to this Pakistani team.
Stuart Broad: Stuart Broad, a tall fast bowler who is a Test legend… this year has been happening in and out of the England team. Despite taking a lot of wickets in the past, his form has declined recently. He has also been a victim of the rotation policy of the England management, which also put brakes on his form. The 35-year-old bowler has a lot of experience in the international format. He has 526 wickets in his name. He has the ability to become a match-winning player even in adverse conditions. However, he was not on England’s radar as he was rotated to manage his workload.
In 13 innings, he took only 12 wickets at an average of 39.5. He has the brilliance of talent, but last year it never seemed like he was going to bowl a match-winning spell. With age not in their favor, they need to perform well in whatever limited opportunities they get.