One of the most dominant ODI sides of this decade, team India had a very successful outing in the 50-overs format. The Men in Blue began the decade with a historic World Cup win at home and then MS Dhoni and his young brigade won the 2013 Champions Trophy in England.
The Indian team could not win the 2015 and 2019 World Cups but they reached the semi-final stage with ease. Also, India had made it to the final of 2017 Champions Trophy, however, a shocking loss against Pakistan denied Virat Kohli and Co a major win. Over the last 10 years, there have been multiple players who have emerged as match-winners for India in ODIs.
Here’s a look at the best Indian ODI XI of the decade:
1. Rohit Sharma
Matches – 180, Runs – 8,249, Highest Score – 264, Strike Rate – 90.63
Indian opener Rohit Sharma was a struggling middle-order batsman at the start of the decade. However, MS Dhoni’s faith in him helped him become the best opener on the planet. Dhoni promoted Sharma to the opening position in 2013 and that move changed his life.
Rohit is the only player in the world to have score 3 ODI double hundreds. Also, he holds the record for the highest individual score in ODI history with his 264 runs innings against Sri Lanka being the best ODI knock ever. Sharma is also the vice-captain of the Indian team.
He had an incredible World Cup in 2019 where he outshone each and every Indian batsman with his consistency. Rohit will look to carry forward the same for in the 2020s because although the team performed well in this decade, it won 0 ICC trophies in the second half.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
Matches – 133, Runs – 5,518, Highest Score – 143, Strike Rate – 94.01
The fans refer him as an inconsistent player however, his numbers indicate the opposite. With an average of 44.50 and a strike rate of 94.01 in one-day international cricket, Shikhar Dhawan stands as one of the most prolific left-handed batsmen of this decade.
The Delhi-born superstar represented India in 133 ODIs during the last 10 years and just like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar’s breakthrough moment came at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Dhawan won the Champions Trophy for India with his unbelievable batting performances.
The left-handed batsman even won the Golden Bat award in that tournament. He is known to be a completely different player in ICC tournaments however, an unfortunate injury had ruled him out of the 2019 World Cup. Dhawan will look to impress in the 2023 World Cup at home.
3. Virat Kohli
Matches – 227, Runs – 11,125, Highest Score – 183, Strike Rate – 94.11
The current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli earned the respect of the cricket universe with his dedication and performance on the cricket field. Kohli played 227 ODIs for India, amassing 11,125 runs at a strike rate of 94.11 and an average of 60.79.
Nicknamed as the ‘Chase Master’, Virat has been exceptional in the second innings. His match-winning century against Sri Lanka in Commonwealth Bank Series 2012 is still billed as one of the best knocks in ODI history. Virat scored 42 hundreds and 52 fifties in the last 10 years.
The right-handed batsman started the decade as a fat and chubby guy however, he worked on his fitness levels and now, he is the fittest cricketer on the planet. Kohli will be keen to carry forward his phenomenal form in the 2020s decade.
4. Yuvraj Singh
Matches – 59, Runs – 1,452, Wickets – 33
The first retired player to feature in this ODI XI is the 2011 World Cup hero, Yuvraj Singh. The Punjab-born all-rounder could only play 59 ODIs for India in the last 10 years but, he has left a lasting impact on the cricketing history of the Indian ODI side.
Singh announced his retirement from international cricket in 2019 but the fans can never forget the way he defeated cancer and made his comeback to the cricket field. A lot of cricket experts believe that his battle with cancer made him very weak.
However, being the lion-hearted man that he was, Yuvraj returned to the Indian team. His innings against Australia in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal is perhaps his best ODI knock of the decade. Besides, he even represented India in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
5. Suresh Raina
Matches – 144, Runs – 3,718, Highest Score – 110*, Strike Rate – 96.57
Another World Cup hero from 2011 to feature in this team is the left-handed middle-order batsman, Suresh Raina. The Uttar Pradesh-based all-rounder had played a vital knock for India in the semifinal match against Pakistan at Mohali which ultimately helped India win the match.
He also played a match-winning role for the Indian team in the 2015 World Cup, however, his shortcomings against the bouncer deliveries led to his exit from the team. Raina made a comeback to the side in 2018 however, he could not cement his place.
The Chennai Super Kings star donned the Indian jersey in 144 ODIs during the last 10 years where he aggregated 3,718 runs at a fantastic strike rate of 96.57. He is gearing up to make a comeback to the Indian team once again and hopefully, he may make his return soon.
6. MS Dhoni (C & WK)
Matches – 196, Runs – 5,640, Highest Score – 139*, Strike Rate – 85.79
India’s most successful ODI captain ever, MS Dhoni will keep the wickets for this team besides leading it. Although the current captain Virat Kohli has been great as a captain, no one can deny the fact that Dhoni was a leader who understood the game better.
He led the Indian side to the 2011 World Cup win and then also guided them to the 2013 Champions Trophy win. Dhoni always believed in giving more opportunities to the youngsters and he is the reason behind the success of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and many others.
The Ranchi-born superstar had played fantastically in the first half of the decade but with growing age, his finishing abilities have taken a dip. The right-handed batsman’s century against Pakistan in the 2012 bilateral series is one of his best knocks of the decade.
7. Hardik Pandya
Matches – 54, Runs – 957, Wickets –54
The Baroda-born star, Hardik Pandya has solved Team India’s problem of having a fast-bowling all-rounder in the ODI team. The Indian selectors tried a bunch of players for this role, right from Stuart Binny to Rishi Dhawan however, Pandya has emerged to be the perfect player for this position.
His big hits against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final are still remembered by the fans because that was the stage where Hardik Pandya announced his arrival on the grand stage. Pandya has featured in 54 ODIs for India this decade, scoring 957 runs and scalping 54 wickets.
The Mumbai Indians star comes out to bat in the lower middle order and then he also bowls 10 overs of pace bowling regularly. Also, he gives his 100 per cent on the field with his dives and unbelievable catches. All in all, Pandya is a blessing to the Indian team.
8. Ravindra Jadeja
Matches – 145, Runs – 1,987, Wickets – 171
The man who scalped the most wickets for India in ODIs this decade, Ravindra Jadeja proved that he is not a ‘bits and pieces’ player with his all-round brilliance in this decade. Jadeja silenced all his critics with his magical knock against New Zealand in World Cup 2019 semifinal.
The Saurashtra-born star has played 145 matches for India in the last 10 years where he has taken 171 wickets while giving runs at an economy rate of 4.87. He is known for finishing his overs quickly which puts more pressure on the opposition batsmen.
The left-handed batsman has scored nearly 2,000 ODI runs in this decade but, interestingly, he could not score a single hundred. Jadeja will look to improve his performance in the batting department during the next decade and also, continue to be a match-winner for the team.
9. Ravichandran Ashwin
Matches – 111, Runs – 675, Wickets – 150
Ravichandran Ashwin has been one of the best spin bowlers of the country in this decade however, the selectors have dropped him from the limited-overs team. Ashwin plays Test match cricket only but, still, he ended the decade as India’s second most successful bowlers.
He picked 150 wickets in 111 matches and, he even scored 675 runs with the bat. Though Ashwin has better batting skills, the team management could not send him up the order thanks to the presence of some top-quality batsmen and hard hitters.
The Tamil Nadu-born star will try to make his comeback to the Indian ODI team soon as even he would wish to don the Indian jersey in the T20 World Cup and the ICC World Cup at home. Ashwin could not pick a five-wicket haul in the last 10 years but he bowled at a miserly economy rate.
10. Zaheer Khan
Matches – 33, Wickets – 50, Best Figures – 3/20, Economy Rate – 5.04
The premier left-arm pacer of India in ODIs this decade was Zaheer Khan. The left-arm fast bowler was the team’s most successful bowler in the 2011 World Cup. Although he retired from international cricket long back, team India is yet to find his replacement.
Zaheer featured in 33 ODI games this decade where he picked up 50 wickets and had best figures of 3/20. He conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.04 but the most important skill possessed by him was to take wickets in the early phase of the innings.
The Indian selectors tried a variety of left-arm pacers right from Khaleel Ahmed to Barinder Sran however, there has been no alternative to Khan’s talent. Unfortunately, injuries marred Zaheer’s career otherwise he could have played more cricket for India.
11. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Matches – 114, Wickets – 132, Best Figures – 5/42, Economy Rate – 5.02
Bhuvneshwar Kumar earned the appreciation of the fans after his remarkable swing bowling against Pakistan on debut. Kumar absolutely defied the Pakistan batsmen with his swing and now, he is one of the finest pace bowlers of the country.
The fans billed Bhuvneshwar to be the second version of Praveen Kumar and co-incidentally, both the pacers hail from the same place. Praveen did not have a long career because the batsmen learnt about his bowling and soon, he became predictable.
However, Bhuvneshwar added the yorker and pace to his bowling skill set to emerge as the most consistent Indian right-arm pacer. He scalped 132 wickets in 114 matches with his best figures being 5/42. He is currently injured and will look for a heroic comeback in 2020.
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