Year-ender 2018: India, England dominate ODI XI
India and England players rule our ODI XI of the year.

With India and England jostling for the No. 1 ODI ranking, it is no-brainer how impressive players from both teams were in 2018. This aside, 2018 saw the emergence of young big-hitter from the Caribbean and a chinaman bowler who is fast emerging to be India’s leading spinner.

Here’s presenting CricketCountry’s ODI XI of the year

1 Rohit Sharma

M: 19 | Runs: 1030 | Ave: 73.57 | SR: 100.09 | 100s: 5 | 50s: 3 | HS: 162

With over a 1000 runs in the calendar year, Rohit Sharma makes it to the opening slot. Of the four ODI series Rohit played, he averaged over 50 in three of them. His 115 against South Africa was his only significant contribution in the six ODIs but the way he took off from there was simply phenomenal. Rohit’s match-winning 137 at Nottingham completed a smooth chase in India’s only of the series. But it was in the latter half of the year that Rohit really found his mojo. His scores of 23, 52, 83 not out, 111 not out and 48 in the Asia Cup was instrumental in India winning the title for a record seventh time. Rohit signed off 2018 with an unbeaten 152 and 162 against West Indies, making him the cricketer with the maximum 150-plus scores in ODIs.

2 Jonny Bairstow

M: 22 | Runs: 1025 | Ave: 46.59 | SR: 118.22 | 100s: 4 | 50s: 2 | HS: 139

Bairstow took his batting credentials to a whole new level on 2018. While England dominated the year in all three formats, Bairstow’s batting was one of their biggest gains. In ODIs in particular, Bairstow was unstoppable. As England whitewashed Australia, Bairstow became the first England batsman to score three consecutive centuries, where his 139 contributed to England posting the highest-ever ODI scores. He went on to score one more hundred in the next two innings, resulting in four centuries in six innings. A superior strikes rate and his ability to give England rollicking starts inside the Powerplay gives him the edge over Shikhar Dhawan for the opening slot.

3 Virat Kohli (Captain)

M: 14 | Runs: 1202 | Ave: 133.55 | SR: 102.55 | 100s: 6 | 50s: 3 | HS: 160

And then there is the best batsman in the world. In Kohli’s career, there was been many significant years in terms of performance, but purely on numbers, 2018 stood out for the India captain. In addition to going past 10000 runs in ODIs, Kohli was the leading run-scorer this year. And this was despite him missing five matches in the Asia Cup which he opted to skip. In the four series he played for India, twice did Kohli score three centuries in it – against South Africa and West Indies. At times, Kohli has simply looked unconquerable. An average of over 100 and with six centuries from 14 innings, is there any surprise why he is our captain?

4 Joe Root

M: 24 | Runs: 946 | Ave: 59.12 | SR: 83.93 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 5 | HS: 113*

Another Englishman who had a fabulous year is former skipper Root. As England dominated 2018 with wins over Australia, India and Sri Lanka, Root had a year to remember with the bat. Root scored eight fifty-plus scores this year and his back-to-back centuries against India were pivotal in England securing a 2-1 win, where his average was a jaw-dropping 216. His average against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka were 75 and 56, and 49. Root surpasses Marcus Trescothick’ tally of 12 tons to become England’s leading century-scorer in ODIs.

5 Shimron Hetmyer

M: 18 | Runs: 727 | Ave: 40.38 | SR: 109.65 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 2 | HS: 127

One of West Indies’ finds this year, Member of their successful Under-19 World Cup campaign in 2016, Shimron Hetmyer was one of the few positives for West Indies, besides Hope. His fearless six-hitting approach, coupled with a certain degree of caution, was exemplary. It was evident through his knock of 93 against Bangladesh, even as the rest of his teammates crumbled to Mehidy Hasan’s spin. Hetmyer hit nine sixes during that knock on a turning Mirpur surface, after the 64 he’d scored in Chittagong in the previous Test. Against India, Hetmyer hit a century and a 94 in consecutive matches and opened the door for a 4.3 crore deal with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore

6 Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)

M: 23 | Runs: 671 | Ave: 51.61 | SR: 113.53 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 4 | HS: 110*

In a team lined up with batting stars, Jos Buttler stamped himself as one of the permanent ones. Sure, he would remember this year by roaring back into the Test side, but his ODI form was equally good. After a lukewarm series in Australia and New Zealand, the big-hitting wicketkeeper batsman scored twin unbeaten centuries, both coming arriving when England were in a spot of bother, in England’s 5-0 whitewash of the current World Champions. Couple that with a strike-rate of over a 100 and 35 dismissals behind the stumps, Buttler is a sure-shot inclusion.

7 Chris Woakes

M: 13 | Wickets: 19 | Ave: 26.62 | SR: 108 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2 | HS: 78 | Econ: 5.11

The allrounder spot goes to Woakes, who just about pips Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera for the position. Against New Zealand, Woakes was the leading wicket-taker of the series with 10 scalps. In Australia, Woakes showed what he is capable of with the bat, scoring 170 runs in three innings and being dismissed just once. His 78 from the No. 8 position was a match-winning one in Adelaide. Going without an ODI game for seven months, Woakes picked 3 for 32 against Sri Lanka to give England the series. With 2019 being an important year for England, Woakes will be the trump card for the World Cup hosts.

8 Mustafizur Rahman

M: 18 | Wickets: 29 | Ave: 21.72 | Econ: 4.20 | 5WI: 0 | BBI: 4-43 | SR: 31.0

The most wickets by a fast bowler, Mustafizur was an integral part of Bangladesh’s spirited showing in 2018. His most vital contribution was against Pakistan in the Super 4 match against Pakistan that sent them crashing from the Asia Cup. In the same series, he had defended eight runs off the final over against Afghanistan, taking 2 for 44. In the final against India, he was economical picking up 2 wickets for 38 runs and stifled India’s chase. In his final ODI series of the year, Mustafizur took five wickets as Bangladesh beat West Indies 2-1.

9 Rashid Khan

M: 20 | Wickets: 48 | Ave: 14.45 | Econ: 3.89 | 5wi: 2 | BBI: 5-24 | SR: 22.2

2018’s leading wicket-taker, the No. 2-ranked ODI bowler, the stature of Rashid continues to grow. He began the year picking up 16 wickets in five games against Zimbabwe aiding Afghanistan to a series win and continued to wreak havoc against the weaker teams like Scotland and the UAE. Twice he took registered five-wicket-hauls and even when it came to serious oppositions, like Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, Rashid was equally effective. With 10 wickets in the Asia Cup, the 19-year-old showed he is right up there with the big guns and starred in Afghanistan’s epic tie against India when he defended seven off the last over.

10 Kuldeep Yadav

M: 19 | Wickets: 45 | Ave: 17.77 | Econ: 4.64 | 5wi: 1 | BBI: 6-25 | SR: 22.9

Legspinners dominated 2018 and after Rashid, the player to make most heads turn was India chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. His wrist spin tangled South Africa in India’s 5-1 win with 17 wickets. Against England, his 6 for 24 strangled the hosts in India’s only win in the series against the No. 1 ODI team, followed by another sensational performance in the Asia Cup where Kuldeep emerged the joint-highest wicket-taker with 10 scalps. Kuldeep grabbed nine more wickets the four matches at home against the West Indies, making him one of the hottest limited-overs players in 2018, even though he occasionally did go for runs.

11 Jasprit Bumrah

M: 13 | Wickets: 22 | Ave: 16.63 | Econ: 3.62 | 5wi: 0 | BBI: 4-35 | SR: 27.5

How do you ignore a player who has been the deadliest fast bowler in all three format? In a nutshell, 2018 could very well be the making of Jasprit Bumrah, the No. 1 bowler in ODIs. He was threatening with both new ball and at the death. His economy of 3.62 highlights just how difficult he is to get away with, and even in conditions that aren’t favourable for fast bowlers, Bumrah can have a telling impact – evident from his eight wickets in the four matches in India’s victorious Asia Cup campaign in September. Only once has Bumrah gone wicketless in 2018. His excess pace, mixed with immaculate in precision in line and length has made Bumrah Kohli’s go-to man. He will have a huge role to play in the World Cup.