Aloof from cricket, in every sport, consistency is a key attribute. A big performance can befall any time, but it is how often it drops that absolutely matters. And when you are consistent for a long duration of time, that is when you convert into an essential piece of your side.
Rightly so, consistency is rewarded and recognized in cricket. Recently, the International Cricket Council declared a series of awards in this regard. While there were prizes across various categories, it was the Indian superstar Virat Kohli who clinched the prestigious ‘Men’s Cricketer of the Decade’ Award. He was superb from 2011 to 2020 and thoroughly deserved the crown.
Talking about players who could win the same honor for the decade 2021 to 2030, we have come up with five names. They are gifted players and are already a significant part of their team’s current structure.
1. Shubman Gill
The first name that comes to our mind is, again, an Indian. Shubman Gill‘s rise is similar to that of Virat Kohli, and the youngster oozes class in the way he goes about things. Although he has only made a mark in the five-day format as of now, there is potential in this teenager to extend influence across formats. It is only a matter of sincere work-ethic that lies in between the award and Gill. If he can take a leaf out of Virat Kohli’s book and emulate him for the next decade, Team India would have had a wonderful player by then.
2. Babar Azam
He is only 26 years at the moment, and already, Babar Azam is the best Pakistani player. The right-handed batsman is also the captain of the squad. While there are no debates concerning the talent, Azam must maintain his consistency to grow into a legendary player. The Pakistan Cricket Board could also have a role to play in this. The nation is playing in limited tournaments due to security concerns. If more bilateral series with stronger teams are arranged often, Azam would get the chances he needs to showcase his cricketing genes.
3. Marnus Labuschagne
Aussie batsman Marnus Labuschagne is also 26-years-old. At the moment, the middle-order player has settled only in the longer format. Although he represents the nation in 50-over games, there is still work to be done in this format. As for the T20 format, Marnus has some distance to go. However, if he can start operating towards enhancing his versatility, Marnus could be a serious contender. His technique and temperament are world-class, and a little push on his big-hitting skills could be the last piece of the puzzle. Hopefully, the player does this at the earliest.
4. Sam Curran
There is a reason why we think Sam Curran would go a long way in his career. His position is fixed only in the Test line-up now, but he gets a few chances in other formats now and then. Sam can contribute to both the departments of the game in equal measure. Although his primary skill is bowling, Curran has shown on numerous occasions that he is no muck with the bat. In terms of attitude too, Curran looks exciting. He has excelled in tough situations, and that makes him a good contender to take top honors in 2030.
5. Shimron Hetmyer
West Indies has concentrated on producing T20 cricketers in the last few years. This has affected their performance in the other formats. However, the trend is changing now. The likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, and Nicholas Pooran are altering the face of West Indian cricket. Hetmyer, for us, seems to be the future of Caribbean Cricket. Yes, he has suffered due to inconsistency, but when he gets going, there is plenty to talk about the youngster. The shorter formats are set, and it is the five-day format where the player can improve. He is already on the way and could be a real deal in the coming years.