Unlike Test, batting has been much easier in one-day format in 2018. It has been a landmark year for England in ODIs and emerged as the most favourite team to lift the World Cup to be held in England. On the other hand, India too had a brilliant year and their top order has dominated batting chart as well as ICC rankings. Bowling too has been brilliant where spinners came out as much more affected than the pacers.
The year 2018 was all about building up for 2019 where most of the teams have experimented in their playing XI considering the all-important World Cup next year. After looking at the performances, we have picked the players who stood out and made a difference in our ODI XI of 2018.
Here we are presenting you the best possible ODI XI of 2018:
1. Rohit Sharma (IND) - The second highest run-getter after Virat Kohli with 1030 runs in 19 matches at an average of 73.57, Rohit Sharma started the year with low scores against South Africa but till the end of the year he came out as one of the only three batsmen with more than 1000 runs. He notched up 5 centuries and 3 half-centuries with his highest score being 162 against the Windies at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. He is also the second rank batsman in ICC ODI Ranking.
2. Jonny Bairstow (ENG) - Jonny Bairstow has emerged as one of the most dangerous openers this year where his strike rate has been 118.22 (highest among the top run-getters). The right-hander has scored 1025 (Third highest) runs in 22 matches at an average of 46.59 including 4 centuries and 2 fifties with his highest score of 139 runs.
Other option as an opener - Shikhar Dhawan (IND), Shai Hope (WI)
3. Virat Kohli (IND) - This is as obvious as it gets for the number one batsman. Kohli scored 1202 runs in 14 matches averaging a stellar 133.55 in 2018, which started with a 112 against South Africa in Durban. Kohli scored a 160 not out in Cape Town again, helping India win the series 5-1. He then ended the year with three consecutive hundreds against the Windies.
4. Ross Taylor (NZ) - The 34-year old and one of the most experienced New Zealanders, Ross Taylor has had a phenomenal year with the bat. He has scored 639 runs in 10 innings with an average of 91.28 with the help of 2 centuries and 4 half-centuries where his highest score was 181*. Joe Root also was the other contender at no.4 but Taylor's ability to score quick runs earns him this spot.
5. Jos Buttler (ENG) - The wicket-keeper batsman had a stupendous year where the 671 runs in 18 innings of 23 matches with an impressive average of 51.62 at no.5. His ability to score quick runs at the end of innings makes him a valuable player. His strike rate has been 113.53 and has scored 2 centuries (both came against Australia) and 4 half-centuries.
6. Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) - The number 1 all-rounder from Bangladesh had a wonderful year with both bat and ball. Shakib's evergreen ability to turn games on its head makes him a different player from others and his record also justified that with 497 runs to go with 21 wickets across 15 matches.
7. Thisara Perera (SL) - Thisara Perera has had a pretty good year in 50-over cricket despite Sri Lanka's dwindling fortunes. The 29-year old left-hand all-rounder has made handy contributions with the bat lower down the order averaging 34.58 and has also picked up 25 wickets at a very good average of just 20.72.
8. Rashid Khan (AFG) - Arguably the best spinner at present in limited overs cricket, Afghanistan's leggie has had an outstanding year in the 50-over format. His abilities with bat and his mysterious bowling make him an outstanding player at no.8 for any side in the world. He has grabbed 48 wickets (most by any bowler) in 20 matches with an economy rate of under 4 per over.
9. Kuldeep Yadav (IND) - Now India has their own Chinaman in Kuldeep Yadav and batsmen haven't able to pick his googlies. Wrist spin is certainly the way to go in limited overs cricket nowadays and Kuldeep Yadav is master in this. With 45 wickets in 19 games, Yadav was the second highest wicket-taker of 2018. He makes a deadly partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal. The spin duo helped India to win ODI series against South Africa in South Africa 5-1 where Yadav picked 17-wickets in 6 matches.
10. Jasprit Bumrah (IND) - Wickets up front with the new ball, wickets at the death with some deadly variations, Jasprit Bumrah the rank 1 bowler can do it all at the moment. The 25-year old right-arm pacer has been standout bowler across formats. Bumrah took 22 wickets in 13 matches with an economy rate of 3.62 which is rare in modern day cricket.
11. Mustafizur Rahman (BAN) - The left-arm pacer from Bangladesh has had a wonderful year with the ball. He picked up 29 wickets in 18 matches at an average of 21.72 and economy rate of 4.20. His ability to deceive batsmen with slower balls makes him one of the best bowlers in the world at present.