2018 was another productive year as far ODI cricket is concerned. Many teams enjoyed their show to script some essential victories throughout the campaign. Teams like England and India dominated the show in the format. Virat Kohli captains Kyro Sports ODI playing XI of 2018.
We have analysed the year and the performances that came along with it. It was quite a year for players who brought in consistency. We managed to churn 11 players in the end, who deserved to make the cut. It was a breakthrough campaign for many players as well and that helped them in having a say.
Three out of the Fab Four players feature in our list. It was also the season for spinners, who stood tall across conditions. If England ended as the best team in the circuit, India weren’t far behind. Several players feature from these two teams.
There were many individual records that were seen throughout the campaign. Let’s celebrate the start of 2019 with a look back to the ODI XI of 2018.
Rohit Sharma (India)
India’s opening batsman Rohit Sharma features as one of the leading batsmen in the side. He is also our choice as the vice-captain of this team. Rohit was instrumental throughout the campaign and finished as the second highest run-scorer.
He also led the Indian cricket team to victory in the Asia Cup 2018. This was a big moment in his ODI journey. Rohit amassed a total of 1,030 runs from 19 ODI matches at an average of 73.57. Rohit smashed five hundreds and three fifties. His best knock of 162 came against the West Indies in October.
Rohit’s productivity and finesse with the bat was there for everyone to see. He laid the foundation for India consistently and staked his claim as a modern day great.
Jonny Bairstow (England)
The versatile English star had a breakthrough campaign. Bairstow was a pivotal figure for England and became the first batsman to amass 1,000+ runs in ODIs in 2018 (1,025). He was superb for England, who won almost everything.
Bairstow hit four hundreds and two fifties in 22 ODI matches for England last year. He was top class against the Aussies in particular. The Englishman grabbed a deal in the upcoming Indian Premier League 2019 season for his heroics in limited-overs cricket.
Bairstow averaged 46.59 and his best knock (139) came against New Zealand away from home. He settled himself as the opener for his side alongside Jason Roy.
Joe Root (England)
The England batsman had a productive year as time progressed. Root managed 946 runs in ODIs that included three tons. The stylish Test batsman showed that he is quite the force in ODIs as well. Two of his three tons came against India in the three-match ODI series at home.
The best moment came when he hit two successive ODI hundreds against the Men In Blue and helped England earn a series win. Root played a positive brand of cricket and showed that he could be the anchor man for the side and bat along till the end.
His strike-rate of 83.93 highlights the work he has been associated with. It was a fantastic year for the player, who is respected all across the cricket fraternity.
Virat Kohli (c) (India)
The Indian captain grew from strength to strength and had an amazing year. Besides dominating the Test format, Kohli was way ahead of the pack in ODIs. He was the highest run-scorer in 2018 (1,322). What was fascinating was his impact both at home and away.
Kohli smashed six hundreds in 14 matches. He was rested for the Asia Cup and could have even gone on to score more runs. It was the year that belonged to the modern day’s best batsman. Kohli’s average of 133.55 is as good as it can get.
He scored 50+ runs in nine of the 14 matches. Such was his presence and domination in the format. Kohli’s leadership will be remembered for a long time after the 6-1 drubbing of South Africa at the start of the year.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
The senior Kiwi international had a fantastic campaign with the bat. He played just 11 games but managed to maintain his consistency. New Zealand played very less cricket in 2018 and Taylor shined for them in whatever cricket they turned up for.
Taylor’s moments came when he amassed two centuries and two fifties at home, against England and Pakistan respectively. He showed his fluency with two scores in the 80s when New Zealand toured UAE for a series against Pakistan.
He often played the anchor role and fought for his side. Taylor averaged an impressive 91.28. He amassed a record-breaking 181* against England and scored two tons in a tally of 639.
Jos Buttler (wk) (England)
Given the dominance England enjoyed in the year, Jos Buttler’s heroics cannot go unnoticed. Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor was a serious contender, but Buttler got the nod. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 671 runs from 23 games at an average of 51.62.
Buttler helped England have a say in matches. His best moments came when he notched unbeaten innings of 100 and 110 against Australia in Sydney and Manchester respectively.
He is one of the best finishers and that was witness consistently. He helped the side pile on some crucial runs at the end on many occasions. This was a major boost for England in their ODI supremacy.
Sikander Raza (Zimbabwe)
Sikander Raza’s inclusion does not come as a surprise. He was the best in business as an all-rounder and defied teams. He impressed one and all with achievements. The Zimbabwe senior player contributed immensely with both bat and ball. In 18 matches, Raza amassed 633 runs. He also chipped in with 22 wickets.
He started the year with consecutive fifties against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Dhaka and managed to make 92 in Sharjah against Afghanistan. That was crucial, especially with the Afghans fielding quality spinners like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
He got two scores in the 60s in the World Cup Qualifiers – against Afghanistan and Ireland. This is no mean feat for someone, who belongs to a team that has struggled to make any sort of impact.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
The Afghanistan youngster is no doubt the best in business at the moment. The legs-spinner has seen his stocks rise abruptly. Rashid played a major role for his side’s qualification for the World Cup. He turned the tides for Afghanistan in the Qualifiers.
Rashid had picked up 15 wickets in the Qualifiers early on in the year, which paved the way for his team’s triumph at the event. Rashid was significant in the thrilling last-ball tie against India in the Asia Cup as well. Rashid had a stunning economy rate of under 4 while picking up 48 wickets in 20 games.
His abilities with the bat adds some cushion to the side as well. He is a dream number eight for any side in the world.
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
The left-arm wrist-spinner is certainly the best in business in ODIs. Kuldeep Yadav was one of the standouts last year. He picked up a staggering 45 wickets in just 19 games at an average of 17. Alongside Yuzvendra Chahal, the player went on to dictate the show.
Their deadly partnership helped India gain stronghold in South Africa. Kuldeep romped away to 17 wickets in six games. Kuldeep shined in the Asia Cup and played a major role. He also bamboozled the England batsman during the limited overs.
His best attribute is that he does not rely on conditions for his success. He continued his form in the subcontinent as well, picking up 10 wickets in the Asia Cup and nine against West Indies.
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
The Indian speedster constantly troubled the batsmen both at the start and at the death as well. His impressive economy-rate shows his brilliance in curtailing sides and keeping them at bay. He played 13 ODIs and picked 22 scalps.
The most striking feature about his numbers this year is the economy rate of 3.63. This is quite remarkable and justifies why Bumrah is ranked the best ODI bowler in the world. He possesses some deadly variations, and Bumrah has shown that he can do it all at the moment.
Bumrah’s impact will help him lead the Indian attack in the ICC World Cup 2019.
Lungi Ngidi (South Africa)
He was the best in business for South Africa and was the find of the season. With an effective tearaway pace, Lungi can do wonders. He is effectual in stopping the run-flow in both the Powerplay and the death overs. He can contain batsmen when they are looking to attack.
He might have gone wicketless in his debut game against India at Cape Town, but since then he was among the wickets in every match. He beats Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman for a spot in the team. Playing against higher-ranked oppositions like India and Australia helped Lungi make the cut.
He did well across all conditions. On slow and dry tracks in Sri Lanka, Ngidi was top notch. He picked up 10 wickets in four games. He ended with 26 wickets from 13 matches.