In this modern day-and-age of ODI cricket where it is generally the bat that dominates the ball, the bowling attacks become such a crucial part of each and every team. But there are times when the bowling attacks are punished for runs and all the bowlers seem to have a bad day. There have been some teams who have just not got it right when it comes to bowling economically in ODI cricket for almost the entire year. This has not only affected their team’s chances of winning the game but also has dented the confidence of their bowlers. Here we have a look at some of the teams with the worst ODI economy in a calendar year.
1. India – 6.6 (2020)
2020 has indeed been a challenging year for world cricket due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it has been more difficult for team India as they just not have been able to find the right bowling combination in ODIs. Out of the three ODI series that they played this year, they lost two of them and that too including a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of New Zealand. One of the main reasons why they struggled was because their bowlers kept on leaking runs and were especially unable to pick up wickets in the powerplay.
The strike bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami went wicketless for India in the powerplays and India went through a patch of five consecutive ODIs where they just couldn’t get a wicket in the first powerplay. 54-0, 52-0 and 65-0 were the scores in the first powerplays of three innings for New Zealand. This was one of the main reasons why New Zealand were able to whitewash India.
The Men in Blue’s problems continued in the ODI series against Australia Down Under when 51-0 and 59-0 were the scores in the first powerplay in the first two ODIs. Australia punished the Indian bowlers as they kept on leaking runs. The powerplay jinx was finally broken by T Natarajan when he picked up the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. However, this did not change the fact that the Indian bowling attack had a combined economy of 6.6 which is the worst ODI economy in a calendar year.
2. West Indies – 6.3 (2015)
West Indies played a five-match ODI series away to South Africa at the start of the year and were taken to the cleaners by the Protea batsmen throughout the series. The likes of Jason Holder, Andre Russell. etc. were targeted by the likes of AB de Villiers, who himself got a fantastic hundred off just 31 balls which still remains the fastest in the history of ODI cricket.
Going into the 2015 World Cup, the West Indies were hopeful of going deep into the tournament. But their bowlers were expensive again and could only help them win three games in the tournament. The likes of AB de Villiers and Martin Guptill absolutely smashed the West Indies bowlers all around the ground and the latter even brought up his double-century in ODI cricket.
After a disappointing World Cup, West Indies looked to end the year right by trying to win the ODI series against Sri Lanka. But it all went downhill for them as Sri Lanka whitewashed them 3-0, with the bowlers against being guilty of leaking runs. They ended the year with a combined economy of 6.3, which is the second-worst ODI economy in ODI cricket in a calendar year.
3. West Indies – 6.1 (2019)
Yet another World Cup year and yet another year where the West Indies bowlers leaked runs. They played well in the home ODI series against England to level the series 2-2 with one game washed out. But the likes of Jason Holder, Oshane Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite as a third seamer leaked a lot of runs, with England chasing down a mammoth total of 360 with ease in one of the ODIs.
It was yet another disappointing ODI World Cup for the West Indies that year, although they started with a bang by bowling out Pakistan for just 105 runs. But they were just not good enough when it came to longevity and consistency. They won only two games throughout the tournament and leaked runs left, right and centre.
Although they dominated against minnows like Afghanistan and Ireland in ODIs that year, they were not able to be as consistent as possible. A change in captain from Jason Holder to Kieron Pollard meant that there was some hope for the men from the Caribbean. However, that was not to be as they ran into a strong Indian side who again smashed their bowlers to all parts of the ground and ended the year with a 2-1 series win. West Indies ended the year with a combined economy of 6.1 which is the third-worst ODI economy in a calendar year.
4. UAE – 6.1 (2015)
The United Arab Emirates played just eight ODIs in 2015 and lost all of them, including a few in the 2015 World Cup. One of the main reasons for this was their poor bowling that leaked runs and just could not pick up wickets at regular intervals.
They ended the year with a combined economy of 6.1, which is the joint-third worst ODI economy in ODI cricket.