Top 3 ODI wicket-takers in 2018

Dpak Panda

Kuldeep Yadav (L) and Yuzvendra Chahal

The year 2018 has been quite an eventful year as far as ODIs are concerned. The highest ever ODI total was scored by the merciless English batsmen against the Aussies, two time world champions West Indies had to play the World Cup qualifying tournament for the first time, Virat Kohli became the fastest man to cross 10,000 runs, India won their first series in South Africa - it was a season jam-packed with landmark moments. 

Apart from these events, many individuals stood out, irrespective of their team performance. Some legends just grew their stature and some newcomers made a name for themselves.

As we enter the last month of 2018, we look back at some of the star performers with the ball this year - the top three wicket-takers in 2018 in ODI cricket:

#3 Adil Rashid (42)

Adil Rashid

The English leggie has cemented his place in the national team after his superb show with the ball, as well as his handy batting lower down the order. He was particularly impressive against India at home, where he troubled Virat Kohli and repeatedly got the better of him, which helped his team stop the Indian juggernaut. 

Adil has picked up 42 wickets in 2018 from 24 games, at an average of 27.47 and strike rate of 30.4. He has been a little expensive with an economy of 5.41, but that can be attributed to the fact that he has played most of his games on the high scoring English pitches.

Rashid has two four-wicket hauls to his name, with best figures of 4/36. The English bowling, which is usually overshadowed by their brutal batting, now has Adil as one of their trump cards.

#2 Kuldeep Yadav (45)

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman bowler from Uttar Pradesh, has been India's trump card in the middle overs along with leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. Kuldeep decimated South Africa in their own backyard and also ran through the explosive English lineup in the first ODI. He also had a fruitful Asia Cup and was among the wickets all through the year. 

Kuldeep has picked up 45 wickets from just 19 games in 2018 at an impressive strike rate of 22.9 and average of 17.77. He has also been economical, barring occasional off days, with a rate of 4.64 - despite being involved in many high scoring encounters.

With two four-wicket hauls and one five-wicket haul to his name, Kuldeep had best figures of 6/36, which came against England in their own backyard. Kuldeep will be one of the bowlers to watch out for in the World Cup. 

#1 Rashid Khan (48)

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan has been a revelation ever since his emergence on the international stage.

The Afghan spinner played a key role in the qualifying tournament and helped his team qualify for the 10-team World Cup. His success in the leagues all over the world is a testament to the fact that he doesn't merely bully the lesser teams; he has managed to trouble some of the best batsmen in the world.

Even in the Asia Cup, he was a thorn in the flesh for higher-ranked teams like India and Pakistan. Most teams settle on just playing him out without attacking. 

Rashid has 48 wickets to his name from just 20 games, at an incredible average of 14.45 and strike rate of 22.2. His economy (3.89) has also been one of the best, showing the fact that he has been really hard to attack.

He has one four-wicket haul and two five-wicket hauls to his name, with best figures of 5/24. Rashid has been instrumental in Afghanistan's phenomenal rise and will play a key role in the World Cup next year.

As evident from the list, the top three wicket takers have all been wrist spinners, showing the growing dominance of leg spinners in limited overs cricket. The next names in the list include Mujeeb (37), Tendai Chatara (30), Yuzvendra Chahal (29) and Moeen Ali (29).