As the cricketing fraternity bids adieu to 2019 and welcome 2020, Cricket Australia (CA) analyzed statistics and picked their ODI XI of the decade. India’s star opener Rohit Sharma who broke so many records in his ODI career has been picked by CA as the best opener of the decade. Rohit Sharma is the only batsman to have scored three double centuries in ODIs, two of them coming against Sri Lanka and one against Australia.
He registered his career-best score of 264, which is the most by any batsman in the history of the 50-over game. It should be noted that 18 of his 28 centuries this decade have come outside of India, five of which came during an ICC 2019 World Cup campaign, where he became the only player to score as many centuries in a single World Cup.
Hashim Amla might have retired from international cricket on 8 August 2019 but he currently holds the record for being the fastest player ever to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. Virat Kohli is the only batsman in the modern era to average 50+ across all formats of the game. He is often hailed as the run-machine because of his exquisite appetite to score runs on a consistent basis.
AB de Villiers is known for his sheer ability to score all around the ground and is often called the “360-degree” cricketer. He is a consummate surgeon at the crease and shows no mercy to the opposition when he goes about his business. He was named as the ICC ODI Player of the Year 3 times during his 15-year international career.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been picked by CA. In June 2019, Shakib became the fastest cricketer to essay as many as 6,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs in just 199 games. CA went for Jos Buttler who is known for his on-field batting exploits. Time and again, he has raised the tempo of the game with brutal hitting.
MS Dhoni named captain and gloveman of the XI
CA felt that MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in ODI cricket. MS Dhoni is the only captain to have won all the three major ICC trophies in international cricket- the World Cup in 2011, the T20 World Cup in 2007, the Champions Trophy in 2013. Besides being a world-class captain, he has been a world-class wicketkeeper-batsman for India. There is nobody who can come even close to him in terms of street-smart wicket-keeping traits. He is also the fastest runner between the wickets. More often than not, he has pulled off the ropes from the jaws of defeat during tense run-chases. This is why he is called “Finisher”.
Rashid Khan is one of those players in the game of cricket who has proved that age is just a number. The 21-year-old Afghanistan player became the youngest player to top the ICC Player Rankings for bowlers in One-Day Internationals. During the final of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier against the West Indies, he became the fastest and youngest bowler to account for 100 dismissals in ODIs when he dismissed Shai Hope. He took 44 matches to claim his 100th wicket, breaking the previous record of 52 matches, held by Mitchell Starc.
Three pacers in Cricket Australia’s line-up
Many professional pacers are able to clock 85 mph but only a handful of bowlers in the cricketing world are able to go beyond that. The three specialist pacers Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult and Lasith Malinga are picked by CA. Mitchell Starc has been one of the consistent bowlers for Australia and despite his slow run-up, he bowls at an average speed of 146.4 kph throughout the matches.
Trent Boult has been one of the key bowlers for New Zealand. The left-arm fast-medium swing bowler is known for his ability to swing the ball both ways and his deceptive pace has troubled the batsmen more often than not. Lasith Malinga is the best thing that happened to Sri Lankan cricket after Aravinda de Silva. The veteran fast bowler is known for delivering pin-point yorkers and has often been a nightmare to the batsmen who play big shots.
Here’s Cricket Australia’s ODI team of the decade:
Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Rashid Khan, Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga
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