Sunday, 22 January 2012

My ODI team of the year 2011...

Now for the shorter format of the game, my ODI XI for the year 2011.

So my team is as follows,

Shane Watson(Australia)

I've not been his biggest fan when it comes to the test arena, but he holds his own in the ODI format, he is a hulk of a man and is capable of smacking any opening bowlers out of sync, he is one of the leading run scorers for the year 2011 with 1139 runs at an average of 56.95 and a top score of 185* - and that score of 185* was against Bangladesh, and had the total been higher for the victory then he would have seriously damaged the record for the highest ODI score in an innings, he didn't look like getting out.

Hashim Amla(South Africa)

The wristy Amla gets my second opener position, he has been of the star performers for South Africa over the last while, then in 2011 he continued his dominance and is currently the No.1 ODI batsman. Looking at his stats it's not hard to see why, with 632 runs at an average of 45.14 with two centuries and five half-centuries, he has been the rock of the South African batting order. While many felt he couldn't make the step from Test cricket to ODI cricket, he has proved them all wrong.

Jonathan Trott(England)

Now some of you might think I've lost the plot here, some might think Trott is too slow. Have a look at what he does for the team, he provides a solid anchor throughout the innings, he might not be the biggest six hitter the game has seen but he will keep an end shut and score consistent runs, even during the WC when a lot of fans were against him in the English side, he did still become the fourth highest run scorer for the entire World Cup with 422 runs at an average of 60.28. Some will still say he puts pressure on his team with his slow scoring but overall he deserves a spot in this team in my opinion.

Kumar Sangakkara(Sri Lanka)

Kumar comes into the side as my wicket-keeper batsman, he is a very classy left handed batsman, and has got some big runs during the year, and with a total of 1127 runs for the year at an average of 51.22 with one century and nine half centuries he is a certainty for any persons team, with so much pressure on his shoulders when he comes out to bat. Often he's been in difficult positions with wickets falling around him, and while still managing to keep the runs coming, he's a cool headed player and will be vital in the Sri Lankan batting order.

AB de Villiers(South Africa)

While AB didn't play in as many ODI's as some other in this team, I do feel he place is vital in this side, he brings controlled aggression,  he did score 467 runs at an average of 51.88, but his Strike Rate is 104.94, with two centuries and two half centuries. So once he gets going he converts his scores, and he rarely lets his side down. You can also add to his impressive credentials, that he is an excellent fielder and can also keep wicket. The inclusion of him as a wicket-keeping batsmen has allowed South Africa to add a further specialist batsman to the side, in my opinion, he is one of the best players in the world of cricket.

Virat Kohli(India)

The leading run-scorer for 2011 with a massive 1381 runs, which also got him four centuries and eight half-centuries, scoring at an average of 47.62. He is one of the leading lights for India in recent times, with some lovely strokes in his locker. He will hope to continue his form in 2012, as India look to get back to winnings ways.

Shahid Afridi(Pakistan)

When you think of Shahid ''boom boom'' Afridi, you think of a big hitting batsman, that no stadium is big enough for his shots, you think of power and aggression. Now the world cup changed that, he produced some stellar performances with the ball, and becoming the joint top wicket taker for the entire world cup with 21 wickets with best figures of 5/16 at an average of only 12.85. Also producing one of the most exciting deliveries of the year when he bowled Tim Southee with a 134km/h delivery. Despite not producing too much with the bat, he stills gets in as my all-rounder.

Brett Lee(Australia)

Many people throughout the world went into mourning when they heard that Brett Lee wouldn't be playing in test cricket anymore, he decided to try and save his body for as long as he could and focus on the shorter form of the game. It was a wise decision for the very likable Aussie, he picked up 33 wickets in the year at an average of 21.72, and considering he opens the bowling and he also bowls at the death, his figures are very tidy indeed, especially when his economy rate has been at a very low 4.59. He's one of the few Aussies that the English cricket fans like to watch, he is a gentleman in the way he plays the game, and it will be a very sad day for cricket when he has to hang up his quick boots.

Dale Steyn(South Africa)

I think you won't find many teams of the year for 2011, or indeed for the last few years that won't include Dale Steyn in all formats of the game, he has been one of the most consistent bowlers in world cricket for many years now, and his aggression at the wicket has most if not all batsmen in complete concentration, he's got 25 wickets for the year at an average of 19.32 but most notably he picked up 5/50 during the world cup, he is an excellent bowler and an absolute must in any side.

Saeed Ajmal(Pakistan)

The crafty Saeed has had a year to remember with the ball, picking up 34 wickets at an average of 17.08, he has been a huge part of the success Pakistan is having and with him and Afridi in the side, they look confident to continue their upward trend. All his good work has been rewarded when he was recently made the No.1 ODI bowler, and with a upcoming series against the No.1 test side in the world in England, this spritely bowler has a big challenge ahead of him.

Lasith Malinga(Sri Lanka)

Lasith much like Brett Lee has retired from test cricket to focus his body on the shorter forms of the game, and 2011 was a huge year for the fast bowler. He picked up a huge haul of 48 wickets for the year at an average of 19.25, which included his best figures of 6/38 and also picking up a hat-trick against Kenya when they had absolutely no answer for his rampant deliveries, his lethal yorkers at the death is a delivery that everyone knows is coming but still they can't keep them out.

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