International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to name the Men's ODI Team of 2018. For the uninitiated, ICC names Teams of the year for all formats, including ODI cricket, every year. Players who perform exceedingly well in the calendar year find a place in the XI which comprises of top players from all around the world.
India and England dominated 2018 across all formats and thus, more players from these two top-ranked ODI teams are set to feature in the team of the year. While South Africa and New Zealand had a fruitful year, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia struggled in ODIs throughout the year and thus players from these teams might struggle to find a place in the XI.
Here is the predicted ICC Men's ODI Team of the year 2018.
Also read: Predicting the winners of 2018 ICC awards
Rohit Sharma continued his excellent run in ODI cricket in 2018 too. The Indian vice-captain scored 1030 runs in 19 matches at an outstanding average of 73.57. Rohit hit five centuries in the calendar year and played some stunning innings at the top of the order for team India. In Virat Kohli's absence, Rohit also led the Indian team to Asia Cup triumph, a tournament where they beat arch-rivals Pakistan twice.
There was a time when Jonny Bairstow struggled to find a place in the England ODI side because of the stiff competition he faced from Jason Roy and Alex Hales. But, the right-hand batsman outperformed both his competitors in 2018 scoring 1025 runs at an impressive average of 45.69. Bairstow has become an integral part of England's team across formats and will be crucial for his team's chances in the World Cup.
Virat Kohli, the run machine, ended 2018 as the leading ODI run-scorer of the year yet again. The talismanic Indian skipper scored 1202 runs at a mind-boggling average of 133.55. Interestingly, Kohli was rested in the Asia Cup otherwise his tally of runs would have been much more. Kohli started the year in a sensational fashion by batting brilliantly against a strong South African bowling attack and ended the year by scoring three consecutive hundreds against West Indies.
In what was a disappointing year for West Indies, Shai Hope was one of the few silver linings for the team. Even though Hope played some classy innings in 2018, he impressed the most in the ODI series against India. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 875 runs at an amazing average of 67.30 in 2018.
Wicketkeeper and All-rounders
Jos Buttler played some match-winning innings in the lower middle-order for England in ODI cricket. The England vice-captain amassed 671 runs at an average of 51.62. Buttler's ability to finish games for his side makes him a special player, especially in ODIs.
Shakib Al Hasan had yet another steady year in international cricket. Despite missing quite a few matches due to injury, the Bangladesh all-rounder scored 497 runs with the bat and took 21 wickets with the ball in 15 matches.
Sri Lanka did not have the best of years in ODI cricket as the island nation slipped to the eighth position in the ODI team ranking. However, the Sri Lankan team management will be pleased with the performance of Thissara Perera. Perera played some useful innings down the order scoring 415 runs in 2018. He also took 25 wickets at an average of 20.72. Perara has started 2019 with a bang too with some sparkling innings against New Zealand.
Rashid Khan enhanced his reputation of being a match-winner in 2018. The leg-spinner played a huge role in Afghanistan's qualification for the World Cup. Apart from performing exceedingly well in various T20 leagues, he was a standout performer for his national side getting 48 scalps in just 20 matches. Afghanistan will be banking on Rashid's all-round abilities to surprise a few teams in the World Cup.
Kuldeep Yadav had a remarkable year for Team India picking up 45 wickets in 19 matches. The Chinaman was Kohli's goto man in the ODIs and provided crucial breakthroughs whenever needed. Kuldeep proved his mettle as an all-round spinner by doing well in overseas conditions against stronger teams like South Africa and England. Some of the big names of international cricket found it difficult to read the youngster and fell prey to his bowling.
2018 was a year to remember for Jasprit Bumrah. The Indian pacer made a sensational Test debut against South Africa earlier in the year and by the end of the year, he has become the leading bowler in the world in all formats. In order to manage his workload Bumrah was rested for a lot of ODIs in 2018, and still, he picked up 22 wickets at an average of 16.63. The most staggering part of Bumrah's excellent show in ODIs is his fantastic economy of 3.63 runs per over. Bumrah is currently one of the leading fast bowlers in the world and his numbers in 2018 are just a testimony to that.
Mustafizur Rahman once again proved his effectiveness for Bangladesh in ODIs. The Fizz took 29 wickets at an average of 21.72. The left-arm seamer has established himself as a top-class bowler in international cricket.