Being a World Cup year, 2019 was much awaited by cricket fans and it would be fair to say that the year did not disappoint. The 2019 World Cup was one of the most intriguing editions of the quadrennial event and the year also saw a few interesting bilateral battles, Australia in India, England in West Indies, West Indies in India to name a few.
Here is Cricket.com’s ODI Team of the Year powered by Criclytics:
Innings: 27, Runs: 1,490, Average: 57.3, Strike-Rate: 89.9, 100s: 7
Rohit Sharma had a memorable 2019 in ODI cricket. Starting his year with a hundred - 133 vs Australia at the SCG, albeit in a losing cause - the Indian opener was on a record-breaking spree. His tally of 1490 runs is the highest by an ODI batsman this year. Nearly 1500 runs and seven hundreds seems ridiculous even if you consider the current batting-friendly nature of the format.
Amassing five of his seven hundreds in the World Cup, Rohit shattered Kumar Sangakkara’s record of four hundreds in the preceding World Cup edition. His tally of 1490 runs in a calendar year is only bettered by Matthew Hayden (1601 in 2007) which makes him an automatic pick for the opener’s role in our ODI Team of the Year.
Innings: 12, Runs: 845, Average: 70.4, Strike-Rate: 118.1, 100s: 3
Like Rohit Sharma, Jason Roy also began his 2019 with a hundred - 123 against West Indies in a run chase of 361. The swashbuckling opener was a pivotal part of England’s blueprint to lift the World Cup and he did not disappoint. 98.8 percent of his runs came in a winning cause. He put England’s campaign back on track with a breezy 66 against India after the hosts suffered a couple of campaign threatening defeats under his absence due to an injury. Later, he struck 85 off only 65 balls killing the nerves in what could have been a tense run chase in the semifinal against Australia.
Roy’s authority lies within the first 10 overs. He scored at an average of 105 with a strike-rate of 100.6 in the first powerplay this year which makes him the perfect foil to partner Rohit Sharma at the top who likes to bat with a measured approach at the start of an innings.
Innings: 25, Runs: 1,377, Average: 59.9, Strike-Rate: 96.4, 100s: 5
Virat Kohli’s ODI numbers this year saw a slump from 2018. Both, his average and strike-rate came down but such is the standard set by the Indian skipper that his numbers in 2019 are still superior to the other number three batsmen in world cricket. Moreover, each of Kohli’s five hundreds this year came when India lost a wicket within the first 10 overs which speaks volumes about his ability to absorb pressure. In the eight innings when Kohli did not need to bat in the first powerplay, he scored at an average of 50.6 with a strike-rate in excess of 100. In run-chases, his average was 63.6.
The numbers explain why Kohli is an indomitable contender for the number three spot in Cricket.com’s ODI Team of 2019.
Shakib Al Hasan
Matches: 11, Runs: 746, Average: 93.3, Strike-Rate: 95.9, 100s: 2, Wickets: 13, Best Figures: 5/29
Inarguably the greatest cricketer to come from Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan’s all-round performances in the 2019 World Cup will be remembered for ages. He was the third highest run-scorer and in a tournament dominated by pacers, he was amongst the leading spinners of the tournament alongside Yuzvendra Chahal, Imran Tahir and Adil Rashid - all of whom are wrist spinners.
He became the first cricketer to score 600 runs (606 in total) and scalp 10 wickets (11 overall) in a single World Cup edition. The southpaw drove the Tigers’ batting throughout the tournament batting at three. His 124* from 99 balls which helped Bangladesh trounce West Indies in the league stage will go down as one of the most famous hundreds in Bangladesh’s ODI history.
The only factor that kept him away from the man-of-the-tournament honour was Bangladesh’s failure to qualify for the semifinals. Such kind of performances often assure an automatic selection in any team but competing with Babar Azam who himself had an outstanding year, it was Shakib’s bowling and experience of batting at all positions in the middle-order that won him a place over Pakistan’s emerging star.
Eoin Morgan (c)
Innings: 18, Runs: 791, Average: 52.7, Strike-Rate: 112.2, 100s: 2
Eoin Morgan had an unforgettable year both as captain and as a batsman. He ended England’s long wait to lift the ODI World Cup and led the side from the front with his batting performances. Setting up a ‘see the ball hit the ball’ approach for his side, Morgan showed the way himself batting with a strike-rate of 112.2 and yet maintaining an average in excess of 50.
His 71-ball 148 against Afghanistan was one of the most famous knocks of the World Cup during which he broke the record for most sixes in an ODI innings (17). In the last 20 overs of ODI cricket this year, Morgan’s average and strike-rate shoots up to 58 and 141 respectively establishing him as the perfect number five. The World Cup triumph also hands him the captaincy of the side.
Matches: 11, Runs: 719, Average: 59.9, Strike-Rate: 92.5, Wickets: 12, Best Figures: 3/23
Ben Stokes’ 2019 was comprised of heroic performances in both ODI and Test cricket. Leaving the consequences of the Bristol brawl behind him, Stokes strung a number of consistent performances both with bat and ball. There were no hundreds for him but seven fifties in 17 innings is a testimony to a strong year with the bat. He registered four 80s in the World Cup including a vital 84* in the final which will be etched as one of the greatest knocks in a World Cup final.
His seam bowling is another additional factor. He pairs up with Shakib, a spin bowling all-rounder, to form an XI consisting of two batting all-rounders.
Jos Buttler (wk)
Innings: 16, Runs: 667, Average: 47.6, Strike-Rate: 125.6, 100s: 3, Efficiency: 75 percent
Another England player in the squad, Jos Buttler takes the gloves in the ODI Team of the Year. Capable to bat at any stage of the innings, Buttler has been menacing in the death overs. Nearly 44 percent of his runs this year came in the last 10 overs of the innings where his strike-rate was 197.3, the highest amongst all batsmen with a minimum of 100 runs in the death.
His hundred-plus scores this year read 150 off 77 balls against West Indies, 110* off 55 balls and 103 off 76 balls, both against Pakistan. He partnered Stokes in the World Cup final resurrecting England’s innings with a highly underrated knock of 59 from 60 balls showcasing the mature head he carries on his shoulders.
As a wicket-keeper, his efficiency behind the stumps (percentage of chances converted into a dismissal) was second only to Tom Latham.
Matches: 10, Wickets: 27, Bowling Average 18.6, Economy: 5.4, Bowling Strike-rate: 20.5
Mitchell Starc played only 10 ODIs in 2019, all of them in the World Cup, but such was his impact in the tournament that overlooking him won’t be an ideal prospect. The left-arm seamer bowled crucial spells for Australia in the league stage - five for 46 versus West Indies, four for 55 versus Sri Lanka, four for 43 versus England and five for 26 versus New Zealand - taking wickets at key moments in the game. His spell against England in particular shifted the game in Australia’s favor early in the innings when he dismissed Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in his spell with the new ball. Later, he came back to dismiss Ben Stokes with what was unofficially termed as the “Ball of the Tournament”.
His overall average (18.6) and strike-rate (20.5) is the best in ODI cricket this year amongst the bowlers with at least 20 wickets. An economy of 5 runs per over during the death assigns him as the designated death over specialist of the side.
Matches: 16, Wickets: 31, Bowling Average 21.6, Economy: 4.7, Bowling Strike-rate: 27.3
Taking 31 wickets this year, Pat Cummins had his most productive year in ODIs. Cummins is in the top five amongst bowling averages in the first 10 overs (22.4) and in the last 10 overs (12.4) of ODI cricket this year. An economy rate of 6.5 runs per over in the death is also acceptable.
The Australian seamer has pipped the charismatic Jasprit Bumrah to find himself in Cricket.com’s ODI Team of 2019 with a better average and strike-rate than the Indian pacer.
Matches: 17, Wickets: 35, Bowling Average 23.7, Economy: 5.2, Bowling Strike-rate: 27.3
The second-highest wicket-taker in the World Cup, Lockie Ferguson was employed by New Zealand as their middle-overs specialist. He accounted for 43 percent of New Zealand’s scalps during the 11 to 40 over phase in the World Cup and overall took 19 wickets in 2019, the most by a pacer.
Mohammed Shami comes close with 17 wickets and a better strike-rate and average but falls behind Ferguson in the death overs phase where the Indian pacer has leaked at 8.1 runs per over. Ferguson’s economy rate of 6.2 runs per over in the death helps him nail the third-seamer’s spot in the side.
Matches: 16, Wickets: 29, Bowling Average 28.1, Economy: 5.7, Bowling Strike-rate: 29.3
The second-highest wicket-taker amongst spinners in ODIs this year, Yuzvendra Chahal was in competition with countryman, Kuldeep Yadav (32 wickets) for the spinner’s spot in the side. However, Chahal’s bowling average and strike-rate, both are superior to that of the other four spinners who have taken 20 wickets in ODIs this year - Adam Zampa, Imran Tahir, Adil Rashid and Kuldeep.
Chahal’s six for 42, in his comeback game in Melbourne against Australia, is the best bowling figures by a spinner this year and the second-best overall after Shaheen Afridi’s six for 35.
Aaron Finch: Innings 23, Runs 1141, Average 51.9, Strike-Rate 89.4, 100s 4
Babar Azam: Innings 20, Runs 1092, Average 60.7, Strike-Rate 92.3, 100s 3
Jasprit Bumrah: Matches 14, Wickets 25, Bowling Average 24.6, Economy 4.6, Bowling Strike-Rate 31.8
Kuldeep Yadav: Matches 23, Wickets 32, Bowling Average 34.7, Economy 5.3, Bowling Strike-Rate 39