@Ben_Wisden 5 minute read
What a current world ODI XI would look like if picked based purely on the ICC player rankings.
While the eyes of world cricket are on the Test action unfolding Down Under, where New Zealand have become the top ranked side in the ICC rankings and Australia and India are vying to see if either of them can reclaim supremacy, 50-over action is quietly gearing up for a resumption in Abu Dhabi, where United Arab Emirates will take on Ireland in a four-match ODI series. It’s been over a month since the last one-day international – India’s 13-run win over Australia – with England’s three-match series against South Africa delayed and delayed again before being cancelled, and we’ve missed it.
That makes now the perfect time to look at what a current ODI world XI would look like, if you picked it based off the ICC player rankings. In a similar fashion to this Test team, we’ve picked the five top-ranked batsmen, the top wicketkeeper and all-rounder, and the top four bowlers. No players from Ireland or the UAE make the cut, but the team we’ve emerged with is actually quite a balanced one, with a pair of proper openers, a clutch middle-order trio, and a bowling attack featuring both left-arm and right-arm quicks and spinners.
Here, then, is the current ODI world XI, as based on the ICC player rankings.
Rohit Sharma (India)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 2nd (840 points)
The king of going big, no one has crossed 150 more often in ODI cricket than Rohit Sharma, who has done so eight times. That includes three double hundreds – only five other men have scored just one – the largest of which was a monstrous 173-ball 264, laden with 33 fours and nine sixes. To put it bluntly, you want to get him early.
Aaron Finch (Australia)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 5th (791 points)
Often featuring in a top three with David Warner, one of the world’s most blistering ball-strikers, and Steve Smith, the funky, freaky best-since-Bradman, Aaron Finch’s exploits can fly under the radar. But only three Aussies have more ODI tons than the current captain, with his record against England – Australia’s rivals and the reigning world champions – of particular note. He has seven tons in 30 games against Eoin Morgan’s side; only Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Finch’s opening partner in this XI have scored more hundreds against any one side.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 3rd (837 points)
Babar Azam is relatively inexperienced compared to the other batsmen on this list, but in 77 ODIs so far he’s quickly shown himself to be one of the most consistent batsmen going. The Pakistan captain has 12 hundreds in 75 knocks – a rate of just under one every six digs – and an average a tick under 56.
Virat Kohli (India)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 1st (870 points)
Rated by many as the greatest ODI batsman the world has ever seen, Virat Kohli has been the No.1 ranked batsman since 2017. Still only 32 years old, he’s just six tons off Sachin Tendulkar’s record, and may well end having broken virtually every 50-over record there is. Only seven men in history (min. 2,000 runs) average more than 50 in ODI cricket. Kohli averages almost 60. A genius.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 4th (818 points)
Though he often finds himself in Kane Williamson’s shadow, Ross Taylor deserves to be remembered as a proper ODI great. Since the 2011 World Cup, only AB de Villiers and Kohli average more, among those with 1,000 runs in the format.
Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
ICC ODI batting ranking: 9th (755 points)
The one player in this team who is properly out of place, Quinton de Kock is an opener for South Africa usually, but we fancy he can do a job swinging for the fences down the order in this XI. Though he’s only 28 years old, de Kock already has a fearsome record as a wicketkeeper-batsman; only Kumar Sangakkara and Adam Gilchrist have more tons while donning the gloves in the format.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
ICC ODI all-rounder ranking: 1st (373 points)
Despite having missed a year of international cricket for anti-corruption violations, Shakib Al Hasan still finds himself atop the ICC ODI all-rounder player rankings. Firmly ensconced as Bangladesh’s greatest cricketer, he and Jacques Kallis are the only two cricketers to take more than 200 ODI wickets and average more than 35 with the bat. At the 2019 World Cup, Shakib matched Tendulkar’s record for fifty-plus scores in a single tournament, all while taking the most wickets by a spinner in the group stages of that competition.
Chris Woakes (England)
ICC ODI bowling ranking: 4th (675 points)
Yep, that’s right. Despite Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy being one of ODI cricket’s most explosive opening partnerships ever, Joe Root averaging 50 without breaking a sweat, Eoin Morgan’s otherworldly leadership skills, Ben Stokes’ slew of matchwinning performances, Jos Buttler’s freakish talents with the bat, and Adil Rashid being arguably the most complete white-ball spinner in the world right now, it’s Chris ‘The Wizard’ Woakes who makes this side from England’s all-conquering 50-over side. He’s also third in the all-rounder rankings for good measure.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
ICC ODI bowling ranking: 1st (722 points)
New Zealand’s left-arm swing maestro, only Mohammed Shami took more ODI wickets than Trent Boult in 2019, and, among quicks to bowl more than 100 overs, only Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah maintained a lower economy rate. A fast bowler who can do both.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
ICC ODI bowling ranking: 2nd (701 points)
If we’re talking economy rates, no one gets close to Afghanistan’s teenage mystery spinner. Since his debut in 2017, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is the only man in the world to bowl more than 100 overs and concede less than four an over. It’s staggering that he’s still only 19; there could be plenty to come yet.
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
ICC ODI bowling ranking: 3rd (700 points)
The stiff-armed yorker specialist is another captain’s dream, taking wickets while drying up the runs. Since his ODI debut, only Trent Boult has more wickets, with Jasprit Bumrah’s economy rate of 4.65 also right up there with the very best.
The current world ODI XI, as based on the ICC player rankings
1. Rohit Sharma
2. Aaron Finch
3. Babar Azam
4. Virat Kohli (C)
5. Ross Taylor
6. Quinton de Kock (WK)
7. Shakib Al Hasan
8. Chris Woakes
9. Trent Boult
10. Mujeeb Ur Rahman
11. Jasprit Bumrah