Hyderabad: In what was an eventful year for Indian cricket, the team achieved almost everything it had set out to do. All players made sure their effort did not go in vain as one of the world’s best teams won nearly every series they played.
On the other hand, few players had to face the heat for their form and other external things that affected their position in the team. Here we give a list of them.
The hard-hitting Indian all-rounder made headlines back in January as he and his colleague KL Rahul appeared on the popular talk show Koffee with Karan. The show turned out to be more of a bad press, as netizens slammed the duo for their sexist and racist comments on women. Hardik was suspended for a few games and had to return home from Australia.
The year has been full of ups and downs for Pandya as injuries have also been a cause of worry. He went through a surgery for an acute lower back injury in October and has been out of the game since then. The year did not go as expected for him, but he is part of India A squad, taking on New Zealand A early next year.
As mentioned earlier, KL Rahul had a notoriety for a while, thanks to his appearance in Koffee with Karan with his friend Hardik Pandya. The stylish Indian opener faced a suspension following his comments on the talk show.
Although he had a good IPL season and a decent World Cup, he failed to deliver in the must-win World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. He was also dropped from the Indian Test side following his poor form against West Indies. Although he has made a comeback in the limited-over formats, 2019 has not been quite the year he wanted it to be.
Scoring a magnificent century against Australia in Sydney in the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy turned out to be a fantastic affair for Pant. With that century, he became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a hundred in Australia in Test matches.
In what was supposed to be his year, his form went from bad to worse. After a decent IPL season, he couldn’t do much in the World Cup as he got out for 32 playing an unnecessary shot. He was then dropped from the Test side with the return of India’s primary keeper in tests — Wriddhiman Saha. Pant was still a part of the limited-overs format but couldn’t leave his mark as he always kept getting out due to bad timing. He had scored his maiden ODI 50 and a quickfire 39 but has struggled throughout the year except for occasional big innings.
Making his mark for his last-ball six against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy, he became a national hero by the end of 2018. It was not quite the same in 2019 for Karthik as he was clearly out of form. After a decent IPL season, he was selected over Rishabh Pant to India’s World Cup squad following the former’s experience. He was given a chance in India’s semi-final against New Zealand but failed miserably to score in the crucial match of the tournament. His six for 25 balls eventually created pressure on other batters with which India’s World Cup journey ended. Following the World Cup, he was dropped from the team, and Vijay Shankar replaced him as the captain of the Tamil Nadu cricket team.
The explosive Mumbai batsman made a statement when he scored a century on his Test debut against the West Indies. He was then injured for the Australia series and was on the road to recovery. He was then handed a backdated suspension of eight months as he inadvertently consumed a prohibited substance generally found in cough syrups. He had provided his urine sample as a part of BCCI’s anti-doping testing programme at Indore, while he was playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Mumbai. The organisation found a substance called Terbutaline, which is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, in the sample. He then served a ban until November 15, due to which he missed most matches played this year.
Prithvi then made an impressive comeback in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. However, his fans slammed him for his arrogant celebration style after scoring a 50 in his comeback match. He is now ready to play two four-day games and three one-day games for India’s A squad against New Zealand A in the latter’s home turf early next year.