The 14th season of IPL 2021 has come to an end. Run-making hasn’t always been easy in the UAE. Batsmen have struggled to score freely and express themselves. The pitches there have challenged many batting legends too. They have failed to come up to terms with pacing their innings especially in a venue like Sharjah. The challenge that lies ahead of batsmen is that the upcoming World Cup will also be played in the UAE. There will be a lot of cynics who will be keenly watching their strike rates in the WC T20.
We look at 5 batsmen who need to improve their strike rates in the upcoming World Cup:
#5 Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan is regarded as one of the finest limited-overs batsmen. His finishing skills are right up there with the very best. But Morgan has had a very disappointing 2021. His returns were absolutely meagre in the IPL where he aggregated just 133 runs in 17 games at a low average of 11.08. But what was more shocking was that the fact that he struck at just 95.68. It was way below his career strike rate of 138.2. There will be many an eye on Morgan’s strike rate in the World Cup.
#4 Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle has arguably been the T20 format’s most destructive batsman. His firework starts have helped many a franchise. But Gayle was far from his natural self this season. He looked clueless in most of the games he featured in. Gayle wasn’t able to kick on even after getting good starts. He struck at just 125.32 across 10 games while Gayle’s overall IPL strike rate is a fantastic 148.96. The universe boss needs to pull up his socks in the big tournament.
#3 Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is undoubtedly India’s biggest match-winner across formats in the last couple of years. He is the only batsman to score 4 T20I centuries. But Sharma’s IPL numbers are far from impressive. His strike rate in particular has been plain average. Sharma has never crossed the strike rate mark of 140 since 2015. He clearly looked in discomfort pacing his innings in the UAE. His strike rate of 127.42 in IPL 2021 doesn’t do justice to his incredible talent. He needs to up the ante in the WC T20.
#2 Steve Smith
The Delhi Capitals were a happy bunch when they bagged Steve Smith in the auctions. But Smith failed to come to the party this season. He scored just 152 runs the entire season across 8 games. Smith is considered one of the finest players of spin. But his inability to rotate the strike in the desert raised many eyebrows. His strike rate of 112.59 was way below his career IPL strike rate of 128.09. Smith’s strike rate will be on everyone’s radar.
#1 Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli tried his best this season to accelerate in the powerplay. To his credit, Kohli did try setting the pace early into the innings. But where Kohli failed miserably was in the middle-overs. His strike rate dropped several points post the powerplay.
Kohli’s inability to cash in eventually cost RCB a potential chance at the title. He struck at 119.46 throughout the season. These numbers affected his overall IPL strike rate too bringing it down to 129.94. Kohli is a 2-time player of the series winner in the last two successive World Cups (2014 & 2016). His strike rate will be on everyone’s watch in this WC T20.