By Brandon Corlette
Assessing players who return to cricket after an extended period is certainly a difficult task. The 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) saw some poor performances recorded by some good players. A quick turnaround between matches and life in a bio-secure bubble may have resulted in these failures.
After a horrific Test tour in England, Shai Hope’s poor run of form continued in the 2020 CPL. It took his countryman, Jason Holder eight matches and three Tests for him to be excluded from a starting XI. For Hope, many would have said he found it difficult to play the red ball in Test cricket, but his fortunes did not change with the white ball in CPL.
Many may argue that Hope is not a T20 player, but his batting style is not far off from his Test team-mate Roston Chase’s and he succeeded in the shorter format. In eight matches, Hope scored 118 runs at a poor batting average of 14.75, with a strike rate of 88.7 and a high score of 36. His One-Day International (ODI) record is supreme, but of recent that has been forgotten.
Over the years, Walton has been a prolific batsman in the CPL. This season is simply his poorest since the inception of his career. A classy right-hander known around the Caribbean, Walton made 24 runs in eight matches at an average of three at a strike rate of 60 with a high score of 10. Walton tried his fortunes at the top of the order, in the middle order but his failures continued across the eight matches he played.
The New Zealand international was dropped from the Barbados Tridents after playing seven matches and scoring only 53 runs at an average of 7.57. With a strike rate of 86, Anderson failed to show his six-hitting prowess and his performances halted Tridents’ title defence. Anderson began the campaign batting at number three, but his tournament continued downhill.
Taylor is regarded as one of the more stable T20 batters in cricket and he came with the intention to stabilise the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ batting in place of Shoaib Malik. By his high standards, scoring 164 runs in 11 matches at 23.4 at a strike rate of 87.2 is poor. Taylor played one impactful innings of 33 when he partnered Nicholas Pooran in a century-run partnership.
The big Australian, Chris Lynn had shown glimpses of Lynsanity, but his overall tournament was below par, for a T20 player of his quality. The 138 runs he scored in nine matches proved insufficient for his St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Lynn had a high score of 34 at a poor strike rate of 107.8. That strike rate is evidence of how he struggled in this edition of the CPL.
On air, Brathwaite usually receives a boost from Ian Bishop. The fluent Bishop always reminds the viewers that Brathwaite has a good Test batting average, he scored a World Cup century and hit four sixes to hand West Indies a T20 World Cup. In this tournament, that batting prowess was nowhere in Brathwaite’s touch.
Playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs, Brathwaite scored 60 runs in 11 matches. Many will argue that his primary role in the Tallawahs team this season was to bowl, but when he was called upon to hit those big sixes, he failed, over and over. His strike rate this season is 78. With ball in hand, Brathwaite had good outings, taking 10 wickets at an average of 24.9.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors missed that batting royalty this season from the Kingman. This season, King scored 116 runs at an average of 11.6 and a strike rate of 98.3. His high score was 51*, but the fashion in which he was dismissed was beyond poor for a player with such talent. He lacked application but like many other players, this may be a result of the nature of the tournament and the long lay-off he had.
Heading into this tournament with a high-level of fitness, Rutherford expected more than 39 runs in seven matches at an average of 5.5 and a strike rate of 76.4. The usually explosive left-handed batsman had a high score of 15. Given this lean patch, he will be aiming to make amends when he rocks the Mumbai Indians outfit in the India Premier League (IPL) 2020.
If leadership was the only basis on which you are selected, Sammy has perfected this. For the first time in the history of CPL, St Lucia Zouks reached the final. However, Sammy scored only 42 runs in 10 innings at an average of 6 and a strike rate of 82. He only took one wicket and had little time with ball in hand and batted very low in the order.