Not too many teams have experimented too much with new players possibly because most of them were trying to give exposure to their pre-decided World Cup combination due to lack of International fifty over cricket this year. Some teams such as West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan were forced to try different things due to their miserable results. India, on the other hand, gave a lot of opportunities to their bench-strength because of many meaningless games. Rest of them remained fairly settled with their combination throughout the year.
As the emergence of new players is a natural process, I have listed down a few players who have arrived at the international scene during the year 2010.
Note that the below mentioned players did not play even a single international match of any format prior to the start of 2010, so it was tough to include some players who may not have made their presence felt at the international scene as yet. But I am sure most of them are going to serve their countries for a good number of years in the future.
Australia: Steve Smith: To bat at number 6 in test matches for Australia does not come that easily. There are so many Australians at domestic level who are piling on huge amount of runs at that position over the years and are still waiting for their chance but Steve Smith has achieved what is like a dream for any cricketer at such a young age. He will have a lot to offer the Australians in the coming years with his all-round abilities and may well turn out to be their key player in the World Cup due to his leg-spinning option.
England: Steven Finn: With 46 wickets in 11 tests of his debut year, this tall fast bowler of England is sure to make his presence felt in the future. He grabbed six wickets in his debut Ashes test which is a great achievement.
India: Cheteshwar Pujara: Puraja is only two tests old at the international arena but he has impressed everyone with his solid technique and the range of proper cricketing shots which are rare amongst most of the youngsters today. He helped India to win a test match against Australia at home by a gutsy knock of 72 in fourth innings. While the senior middle order of Indian test cricket is on verge of retirement, Pujara can be the best choice to fill in the big shoes of Rahul Dravid at number three.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson: Although failed miserably during his first few international innings, Williamson delivered the goods for the kiwis in their forgetful tour to the subcontinent with a ton in both one-day and tests. New Zealand would want Williamson to remain consistent and solve their long lasting middle order batting problems.
Pakistan: Asad Shafiq: With an impressive test debut against South Africa and a relatively satisfying series against England, Asad can be Pakistan’s future mainstay of the middle order after the departure of two Y’s.
South Africa: Colin Ingram: Ingram has blasted two centuries in just 8 one day internationals that he has played for South Africa. Keeping a batsman of Herschelle Gibbs’s calibre on his toes to get back in the side is quite an extraordinary effort on Ingram’s part.
Srilanka: Jeevan Mendis: Probably Suraj Randiv or Thisara Perera deserved this place more than Jeevan Menis but since both of them made their debut in December 2009, they could not qualify to the requirements of this list. Mendis is still young at International level with just 5 games and was a part of Sri Lankan team that won the One day series in Australia two months ago.
West Indies: Shane Shillingford: Shillingford’s bowling action is under a scanner these days but he was impressive in his few test matches for West Indies.
With a large number of retirements and rebuilding processes are expected after the world cup 2011, there is a chance of more players emerging at the highest level next year.
My Find of the Year: Steven Finn (England).