The fans got to see some outstanding ODI cricket in 2019. There was a World Cup scheduled during the year which saw plenty of world-class performances from the players of various sides. It was not only the batsmen who set the stage alight; the bowlers had their fair say as well.
As 2019 comes to an end, we create a fantasy XI based on the performances of the players in ODI cricket throughout the year.
Wicket-keeper (Jonny Bairstow)
Jonny Bairstow is going to be my wicket-keeper. Generally, if we ask ourselves who is the best wicketkeeper-batsman around the world at the moment, the answer would be Jos Buttler. The impact that Buttler makes lower down the order is like gold-dust.
But, the fantasy doesn’t give you points for impact. The points are directly proportional to the no. of runs and Bairstow, being an opener, has chances to score more runs than Buttler who generally bats at no. 6.844 runs in 20 ODIs in 2019 at an average of 46.88 and a strike rate of 102.92 warrants Bairstow’s place in the XI.
Batsmen (Rohit Sharma, Jason Roy, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Kane Williamson).
The names mentioned above are the top order batsmen and are highly consistent in ODI cricket. While Babar and Kohli averaged more than 60 in the ODIs in 2019, Roy averaged more than 70. Rohit and Williamson were in the 50s.
Rohit might have averaged only in the 50s, which is still a very high average, the most important point is that he has scored 6 ODI hundreds in the year so far and he still has to play a few more ODIs in December. He might actually add to that number. These five players have the ability to score runs against all kinds of attacks and in all kinds of conditions and when they score runs, they go big. They don’t throw it away after the 50s or 60s, they score hundreds.
All-Rounder (Ben Stokes)
Ben Stokes was the biggest story in ODI cricket this year. Although he came to the rescue of England on quite a few occasions during the World Cup, it was his heroics in the World Cup final which overshadowed everything.
When England was staring down the barrel, Stokes showed amazing grit and resilience and dragged the hosts to a tie which later resulted in a win for them in the super over. Stokes averaged 59.91 with the bat in 2019 and chipped in with the ball as well at the crucial moments for his team. He should be the unanimous choice for the all-rounder’s slot in the fantasy XI.
Bowlers (Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Mitchell Starc, Yuzvendra Chahal)
Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami are the top 2 leading wicket-takers in the ODIs in 2019 so far. Since both of them bowl with the new ball and are capable of moving the ball, they pick wickets more often than not.
Mitchell Starc is at no. 10 in the list of the leading wicket-takers, but his average and strike rate is the best of the lot. He has taken 27 wickets in just 10 matches at an average of 18.59 and a strike rate of 20.5.
Not only can Starc swing the new ball, but he is also one of the best death bowlers in the world and
if he is available, he easily gets into any fantasy XI because of his natural wicket-taking ability.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been the most successful ODI spinner in 2019 with 29 wickets in 16
games. Being a wrist spinner, he turns the ball both ways and if the batsmen don’t pick him out of his hand, he is always in with a chance to get wickets.