Virat Kohli named Wisden Cricketer of the Year for third time in a row
Virat Kohli topped the run list during the India-England Tests in 2018. © Getty

India captain and the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs, Virat Kohli, has been named as Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year, the only non-English player in the prestigious almanack’s annual edition.

This makes it an unprecedented three years in a row that Kohli, 30, has found it to the publication’s list.

Kohli scored 2,735 runs across formats in 2o18 and was recognised by Wisden for batting during the English summer. After failing to dominate during India’s tour of England in 2014, Kohli returned four years later as captain and made amends with 539 runs in five Tests.

India lost the series 1-4, but Kohli’s tally of runs – the most on either side – got him the nod from Wisden.

The four other Wisden Cricketers of the Year are Sam Curran, Jos Buttler, Tammy Beaumont and Rory Burns.

Curran, 20, was India’s choice for Man of the Series during their Test tour of England, in which they were undone by his left-arm swing and lower order batting. Son of the late Zimbabwe allrounder Kevin, he burst onto the scene with terrific all-round performances against India and Sri Lanka.

Sam Curran Wisden Cricketer of the year
Sam Curran was chosen as Man of the Series by India last summer. ©

In receiving the Wisden accolade at the age of 20, Curran has become the youngest to do so since Jack Crawford in 1907.

All three formats combined, Buttler was England’s third-highest run-getter in 2018 with 1677. Recalled to England’s Test team in June 2018 after a bumper IPL run, he scored 760 runs in 18 innings last year at an average of 44.70, with a maiden century and six half-centuries. Buttler made 14, 67 and 80* in the drawn two-match series against Pakistan and against India scored 0, 1, 24, 39, 106, 21, 69 and 89 to be his team’s leading-run getter of the series. His 760 runs in Tests last year were second to Joe Root’s 948.

In ODIs, Buttler made 671 in 18 innings at a strike-rate of 113.53, scoring two hundreds and four fifties. In T20Is, he made 246 runs at a strike-rate of 135.91.

Beaumont, 28, was pivotal to the England women’s cricket team in 2018. She scored a record 628 runs during the English summer, highlighted by the fastest T20 hundred for England, off 47 deliveries.

In women’s ODIs last year, Beaumont scored 452 runs at 56.50 with two centuries and two half-centuries. In 15 T20Is, she averaged 30.71 with a strike-rate of 126.47.

Burns earned selection to England’s Test team for the first time after leading Surrey to the County Championship title – their first since 2004 – and scoring 1319 runs at 69.42.

Players can only receive Wisden’s nod of approval, awarded primarily for feats achieved during the preceding English domestic season, once in their career.