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Eight players who were unlucky to miss out on Wisden’s current world ODI XI

Wisden ODI XI
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Wisden.com managing editor Ben Gardner, Wisden.com features writer Taha Hashim, and Wisden India editor Aadya Sharma recently combined to select Wisden’s current world ODI XI.

The XI that the panel settled on has no dearth of star power, but the following eight players were also considered at some point, failing to make the cut despite their impressive track record in the format.

Joe Root (England)

152 ODIs, 6,109 runs @ 51.33, 16 100s, HS: 133*

A shoo-in for the Test XI, Root, England’s second-highest ODI run-getter, has only played half of the side’s games since the start of 2020. In those nine games, he’s hit two fifties and averages over 50, hitting unbeaten knocks of 79 and 68 in the two innings he played this year. Since 2016, he is among the top three run-getters in the format.

Jos Buttler (England)

148 ODIs, 3,872 runs @ 38.72, 9 100s, HS: 150

Another player who could walk into any white-ball side today (and is in the middle of an exceptional T20I run), Buttler has constructed a stellar career as a middle-order finisher in the 50-over format. Since the 2019 World Cup final, Buttler has just played six innings with small returns, a big reason why he doesn’t make the cut in the main team. With two wicketkeeper-batters already in the XI, it became even more difficult.

Aaron Finch (Australia)

132 ODIs, 5,232 runs @ 41.85, 17 100s, HS: 153*

Currently ranked fifth in the world, Finch is undoubtedly one of the finest white-ball openers of his generation, and among the top three run-getters in the format since the start of 2019 (only Rohit Sharma has hit more one-day centuries since). It was quite a tussle for the opening spots though, and Finch ultimately missed out, having not played an ODI game this year.

Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

56 ODIs, 93 wickets @ 25.08, 3 five-fors, BBI: 6-52

Known more for his Test exploits for the majority of his career so far, Hazlewood is quickly establishing himself as an all-format star, and is currently second in the one-day rankings. Kept out of the 2019 World Cup, Hazlewood has been a revelation since, picking up 21 wickets at 24.85, the second-best tally among Australian seamers. The fact that the other bowlers in the main team have had longer patches of brilliance made it difficult to earn a spot.

Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)

28 ODIs, 53 wickets @ 24.62, 2 five-fors, BBI: 6-35

Pakistan’s top-ranked bowler in the current ODI bowling charts has been improving with each passing year, and has already become the spearhead of Pakistan’s attack across formats. With two left-arm seamers already in the team, it wasn’t easy fitting him in, along with the fact that his one-day numbers have dipped a tad since the World Cup, with a couple of expensive spells in there forcing others to edge past him. A fine, fine prospect nonetheless, with possibly a great future ahead of him.

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

74 ODIs, 140 wickets @ 18.57, 4 five-fors, BBI: 7-18

Just look at those numbers. The leg-spinner has revolutionised modern-day spin bowling in his own way, and can already be considered a T20 great. His one-day returns aren’t spoken of enough, probably because  many of Afghanistan’s opponents have been relatively weaker sides, and also the fact that he did not play a single ODI across 2020, having made only six appearances since the 2019 World Cup. In the same period, Adam Zampa, the leg-spinner eventually selected, has had quite solid numbers.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

82 ODIs, 126 wickets @ 27.95, 1 five-for, BBI: 6-16

Top of the ODI bowling charts in 2018, Rabada has been truly world-class over the last half a decade, even though his appearances have receded considerably in the format since the last World Cup. He didn’t play any one-dayers after the global event in 2019, as well as the whole of 2020, before making his return this year. His recent numbers don’t really project the impact he has created so far in his career; despite the lull, he still features in the top-10 in the current ICC rankings.

Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

68 ODIs, 127 wickets @ 22.83, 5 five-fors, BBI: 6-43

A subcontinental beast, Rahman mixes skill with shrewdness in his bowling, and continues to be the driving force of the Bangladesh pace attack in white-ball cricket. Currently ranked 11th in the ICC charts, he was exceptional at the 2019 World Cup (20 wickets at 24) and has been in fine form since, leading the wicket-taking charts for his country.

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