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2020 in Review

The players unlucky to miss out from Wisden’s men’s ODI Team of the Year

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In a curtailed international calendar, there were still plenty of impressive performers in men’s ODI cricket in 2020.

Competition for Wisden’s men’s ODI Team of the Year was as fierce as ever and a number of players who missed out on the final XI will count themselves unlucky.

Here are 11 players who might feel unluckier than most:

Rohit Sharma

429 runs @ 71.5; SR: 96.62
Two hundreds; HS: 159

Another sterling year for Rohit Sharma at the top of the order in ODI cricket. Rohit played just six games in the qualification period yet still registered two centuries, including a vintage Rohit ‘daddy hundred’ at Visakhapatnam against West Indies. Perhaps the unluckiest to miss out on the XI.

Tamim Iqbal

310 runs @ 155; SR: 107.63
Two hundreds; HS: 158

Two big hundreds in three innings, Tamim, like many others in consideration, was a victim of the lack of cricket he played as much as anything else.

Shai Hope

504 runs @ 63; SR: 76.13
Two hundreds; HS: 115

Shai Hope’s heavy run-scoring in ODI cricket continued in 2020, though his detractors will still point to his below par strike-rate that would look more at home in 2000 than in 2020. An unbeaten hundred at Chennai where he batted in the slipstream of the more explosive Shimron Hetmyer helped his side to a famous away win.

Jonny Bairstow

346 runs @ 43.25; SR: 100.87
One hundred; HS: 112

Three 80-plus scores and three sub-five scores in a slightly hit and miss year for Bairstow. He was at his brutal best in England’s second ODI against Ireland and battled well against a superb Australia attack later in the summer.

Virat Kohli

520 runs @ 43.33; SR: 94.03
No hundreds; HS: 89

The first time since 2008 that Virat Kohli has gone an entire calendar year without a century in ODI cricket. Though he didn’t make any ground on Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time ODI hundreds record, Kohli did contribute six half-centuries in the last year – all at good strike-rates.

Sean Williams

241 runs @ 60.25; SR: 86.37
One hundred; HS: 118*

Sean Williams’ hundred at Rawalpindi helped set up a brilliant Zimbabwe win over Pakistan. Striding in to the crease at 22-3, Williams’ century catapulted Zimbabwe to a competitive total that kept them in the game. That, combined with his handy left-arm spin, nearly won the veteran a place in the XI.

Aqib Ilyas

400 runs @ 100; SR: 82.30
Two hundreds; HS: 109*
10 wickets @ 12.2; ER: 3.93, BBI: 4-36

With a batting average of 100 and a bowling average of 12.2, Ilyas’ numbers this year are extraordinary. Ilyas has been utterly dominant for Oman in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, a tournament that forms part of the 2023 World Cup qualification process. Approaching the competition’s halfway point, Oman are well placed to qualify for the 2022 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Liton Das

311 runs @ 155.5; SR: 118.70
Two hundreds; HS: 176

The same can be said for Liton Das, the maker of the year’s highest ODI individual score against Zimbabwe.

Blessing Muzarabani

7 wickets @ 19.42; ER: 5.03, BBI: 5-49

The other protagonist in Zimbabwe’s Rawalpindi victory. His five-wicket haul was only enough to tie the game before he took two wickets in the super over to hand his side the win.

Mohammed Shami

16 wickets @ 30.81; ER: 6.72, BBI: 4-63

A regular wicket-taking threat but an economy rate of 6.72 keeps him out of the side.

Adil Rashid

12 wickets @ 30.16; ER: 5.37, BBI: 3-34

2020 has arguably been Adil Rashid’s best year as an international white-ball bowler. Seemingly over the shoulder problem that has plagued him in recent times, he’s looked as in control of his game as ever. His overall record in the qualification period doesn’t quite do his performances his justice so Adam Zampa pips him into the XI.


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