Wisden Almanack 2022: Rizwan, Root, and Six Other Cricketer’s Names Revealed

Wisden has revealed their top cricketers of the 2021 year that will feature in their 2022 edition of the almanack issue. Two Englishmen, two Indians, two South Africans, one New Zealander, and one Pakistani were each included in the edition. 

Former England Test captain Joe Root, who recently stepped down from his role as the team’s Test captain, and South Africa’s Lizelle Lee have been named as Men’s Cricketer and Women’s Cricketer of the year respectively. 

Pakistan’s all-format wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan has been named the leading T20 Cricketer of the year for his record-breaking year in 2021. 

Wisden’s Leading Cricketers of the Year in 2021

Leading Test Cricketer of the YearJoe Root (England)
Leading ODI Cricketer of the YearLizelle Lee (South Africa)
Leading T20 Cricketer of the YearMohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)

Wisden’s Five Cricketer of the Year in 2021

Jasprit Bumrah (India)
Devon Conway (New Zealand)
Ollie Robinson (England)
Rohit Sharma (India) 
Dane van Niekerk (South Africa)

The five cricketers that were revealed were India’s Rohit Sharma and Japrit Bumrah, New Zealand’s Devon Conway, England’s Ollie Robinson, and South Africa’s Dane van Niekerk. 

Let’s take a review of their performances in 2021.

Wisden: The Leading Cricketers

Joe Root: 1708 runs @ 61, 6 hundreds

Root had an incredible year in 2021 in Test cricket. He scored the third-most runs in a single calendar year and was once on the verge of breaking Mohammad Yousuf’s record. He started the year with two double centuries in Sri Lanka and in India. 

He was so far ahead in the runs chart that the next player was 802 runs behind in second place. But the next best English batter was Rory Burns with just 530 runs, a massive gap of 1,178 runs between Root and the next best England batter. This shows the huge flow that Root’s team has been having for a while now. 

Also read: Joe Root stepped down as England’s Test captain

Lizelle Lee: 632 runs @ 90.28, 1 hundred

In the women’s world, South Africa’s Lee was outstanding in Women’s ODI. She scored 632 runs, 100 runs more than any woman, at an excellent average of 91. She also scored her career-best of 132 against India Women. She was the chief architect for her side in the series win over India and the West Indies. 

Wisden and their Five Cricketers

Jasprit Bumrah: 30 wickets @ 26.53, 1 fifer

Bumrah was excellent throughout the year in Test cricket. He was the star of the Indian bowling line-up in their tour of England, picking up the second-most highest wickets in the series that saw India take 2-1 lead. Although he was ineffective in the 2021 World Test Championship final. 

Devon Conway: 379 runs @ 63.16, 1 double  

It was a year to remember for Conway. He made his Test debut against England at Lord’s and he straight away scored 200 in his maiden innings, becoming the seventh to achieve this feat

In the final of the World Test Championship, he scored a crucial fifty in the first innings New Zealand won the final by 8 wickets and was crowned champions. 

Ollie Robinson: 37 wickets @ 21.16, 2 fifers 

Robinson was the second-best England bowler in the year and their best in the Pataudi Trophy. In that series, he took 21 wickets but could not help England to get the lead.

Rohit Sharma: 906 runs @ 47.68, 2 hundreds

The second-highest run-scorer in the Test in 2021, Sharma was outstanding both home and away. He was the leading run-scorer for India in the Pataudi Trophy and was responsible for the 2-1 lead in the series.  

Dane van Niekerk: 259 runs @ 43, 8 wickets @ 20

Her records mentioned here are from the Women’s Hundred, where she was declared as the “Player of the Tournament.” Van Niekerk was the captain of the Oval Invincibles and led them to their first title. 

Rizwan’s record-breaking rise in T20s

Mohammad Rizwan had a stellar year in 2021 in Twenty20 cricket. He broke records in both the international and domestic/leagues where no player had ever done. Not even big T20 stars like Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. 

In international cricket, Rizwan scored 1,326 T20I runs at an average of 73.66 with 12 fifties and a century. He broke Paul Stirling’s record of 748 runs that was set in 2019. 

Also Read: 2021 – The Year of Mohammad Rizwan in T20s

In overall Twenty20 cricket in 2021, he became the first-ever batter to cross 2000 runs in a single calendar year. He made 2,036 runs at an average of 56. 

He was part of the Pakistan’s T20 World Cup eleven that defeat India in a world cup match for the first time. He top-scored with an unbeaten 79 that game and went on to score 281 runs in the whole event. This was another record broken, which was set by England’s Craig Kieswetter in the 2010 edition. 

This is the second time that Rizwan has been named in Wisden, following his inclusion in the 2020-’21 Edition of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the year.

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