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Virat Kohli exclusion from ICC ODI XI may have shocked cricket fans but stats speak otherwise

Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Although Virat Kohli has scored two tons and three half-centuries, his average is good but it isn’t the best. And he falls behind in the number of runs scored © Getty Images

By Aayush Puthran

 

Stats can be a cruel indicator to assess performances. When the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its Test and One-Day International (ODI) teams of the year, there were a few surprising decisions. The exclusion of Virat Kohli from the ODI team and the inclusion of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Test team raised a few eyebrows.

 

However, if their performances during the assessment period (August 7, 2012- September 25, 2013) are to be taken note of, then it justifies their respective places.

 

Here is the list of performances of batsmen in Tests during the period of assessment

 

Player M R Ave 100s 50s
Michael Clarke 14 1,559 70.86 5 5
Alastair Cook 15 1,256 44.85 5 3
Jonathan Trott 15 1,139 40.67 2 7
Cheteshwar Pujara 10 1,073 82.53 4 2
Ian Bell 14 1,022 44.43 4 4
Hashim Amla 9 973 69.5 4 4
Matt Prior 15 845 42.25 1 5
AB de Villiers 9 816 62.76 3 3
Kevin Pietersen 11 811 40.55 2 6
David Warner 13 811 33.79 1 7
Joe Root 11 763 40.15 2 3
MS Dhoni 10 700 58.33 1 4

 

However, it is the selection of Michael Hussey that comes as the real surprise in the team. He played only six Tests during this phase before announcing his retirement. Even as he struck three centuries during those 10 innings, five of those outings came against a Sri Lankan side that was outplayed during the series. Another thing to be noted is that all six Tests were played at home. His average shoots to 75.28 because of three not outs.

 

Other contenders for Hussey’s place in the Test XI

 

Player M R Ave 100s 50s
Jonathan Trott 15 1,139 40.67 2 7
Ian Bell 14 1,022 44.43 4 4
Virat Kohli 10 684 52.61 3 3
Kumar Sangakkara 6 614 61.4 3 3
Michael Hussey 6 527 75.28 3 1

 

Another thing worth debating in the Test line-up is that, would it lend a better balance having an all-rounder in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin in the side. During the year of assessment, Ashwin was the leading wicket-taker in Test, yet finds himself missing from the starting XI. Graeme Swann, who picked one wicket lesser than the Indian off-spinner during the year, is the lone spinning option in the side. Even in batting, there is very little that separates the two.

 

Here are the statistics of their performance during the year

M

R

Bat. Ave

Wickets

Bowl. Ave

SR

Graeme Swann

12

334

30.36

60

25.96

55.5

Ravichandran Ashwin

10

332

36.38

61

25.5

55.8

 

Even as Ashwin boasts of a slightly better record in both departments, it must be noted that the Indian spinner played all his Tests in home soil, where conditions are favourable for both —batting and spin bowling. Thus Swann, gets the nod ahead of the India. However, having both of them in the starting XI would have offered a better balance to the side.

 

However, even as the Test side looks a lot settled, it is the ODI team that has caught a few eyeballs. If the performance of the assessment period is to be considered, Kohli’s show falls way behind the ones selected in the ICC ODI team. Although Kohli has scored two tons and three half-centuries, his average maybe good but it isn’t the best. And he falls behind in the number of runs scored.

 

Player

M

R

Ave

100s

50s

SR

Kumar Sangakkara

21

956

63.73

2

6

89.34

Tillakaratne Dilshan

19

928

71.38

4

3

83.45

Misbah-ul-Haq

22

910

53.52

0

9

70.76

Ian Bell

21

826

43.47

1

5

78.44

AB de Villiers

21

819

48.17

1

6

91.71

Hashim Amla

19

794

49.62

2

3

90.32

Darren Bravo

25

775

33.69

1

6

68.7

Jonathan Trott

15

725

65.9

1

5

80.02

Nasir Jamshed

20

713

37.52

2

3

68.68

Shikhar Dhawan

14

707

54.38

3

2

93.51

Virat Kohli

23

689

40.52

2

3

87.88

 

Even as the selection of the batsmen in the line-up seems fine, it is the bowling line-up which is unusual. Ravindra Jadeja makes into the team purely on the basis of his bowling; with batting being an added advantage. He finished the year as the third highest wicket-taker. But, Lasith Malinga making it to the ODI team ahead of some of the other bowlers is surprising.

 

Performance of the pacers from August 7, 2012- September 25, 2013

 

Players

Matches

Wickets

Average

SR

ER

Junaid Khan

22

40

21.62

26.5

4.89

Lasith Malinga

25

35

26.28

31.5

5.00

Mitchell Johnson

21

32

23.09

31.3

4.41

Ryan McLaren

20

31

25.83

30.2

5.12

Clint McKay

18

30

21.60

29.3

4.41

Mohammad Irfan

20

30

24.80

33.2

4.47

Ishant Sharma

18

30

25.50

29.0

5.26

James Anderson

15

29

17.96

24.3

4.43

Mitchell McClenaghan

10

29

16.51

18.9

5.22

Mitchell Starc

12

28

16.39

19.7

4.98

 

Junaid Khan’s name missing from the list is a shocker and so is the inclusion of Malinga ahead of the other bowlers mentioned in the list. There were indeed some surprising selections and it wasn’t all about Kohli and Dhoni.

 

Here is the list of the ICC teams of the year

ICC Test XI

Alastair Cook (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Hashim Amla, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (wk), Graeme Swann, Dale Steyn, James Anderson, Vernon Philander, 12th Man: Ravichandran Ashwin.

ICC ODI XI

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shikhar Dhawan, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Saeed Ajmal, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson, Lasith Malinga, 12th Man: Mitchell McClenaghan.

 

(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)

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