In a decade where the T20 format gained power and the focus was on saving Test format, the ODI format somehow ended up garnering fewer eyeballs than it usually does. However, there sure has been an improvement in the level of cricket because of the tactics different teams have come up with to cope with […]
In a decade where the T20 format gained power and the focus was on saving Test format, the ODI format somehow ended up garnering fewer eyeballs than it usually does. However, there sure has been an improvement in the level of cricket because of the tactics different teams have come up with to cope with the changing rules of the games. There has not been a clear stand-out team in this decade with every team trying to outdo the other. The 5 different international tournaments (3 World Cups and 2 Champions Trophies) produced 5 different winners and this stat is a testament to that. In a decade where there have been 12 400+ scores and 300 being the par score, the run-scoring has certainly improved with the rule changes, benefiting the batsmen slightly more than the bowlers.
Irrespective of all the external or changing factors, every generation produces a class of players that are a notch above the rest. Here is a list of 11 such players who stood out with their superlative performance in the decade gone by, and should be a part of the ODI Team of the Decade.
1. Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla is one batsman who showed the world how you can play orthodox shots and yet score at a rate 90 in ODIs. The fact that he is the fastest player to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 runs just proves his consistency in this format of the game in this decade. While scoring 7265 runs in this decade, Amla amassed 26 centuries at an average just shy of 50.
2. Rohit Sharma
If hitting just one double-century in your ODI career was an incredible achievement, Rohit Sharma just took it to another level by hitting three of them , including a monstrous 264* against Sri Lanka in 2014. His career took a dramatic turn once he was asked to open the innings and as they say, the rest is history. With 27 centuries, he’s second in the list of most centuries hit in this decade and is the only player who has hit 200+ sixes in this decade.
3. Virat Kohli
Well, how can we not include a player who is being considered around the world as the best ODI batsman of all time in this list!? If there’s one player who has defined this decade in ODI cricket then it is Virat Kohli. 11125 runs! 42 hundreds! 52 half-centuries! An average of 61.31! These are just some of the mind-boggling and unheard numbers that Kohli has gathered in these 10 years in his pursuit of becoming the best.
4. A B De Villiers
Fastest 50, 100 and 150 and all in the same year! There is just one man on this planet who can achieve such feats, Mr. 360°, A B de Villiers. The torch-bearer of the modern renaissance in ODI cricket, de Villiers changed the game completely and inflicted fear in the eyes of the bowlers. He showed the world how one can hit the same delivery to 5 different parts of the world! Till the time he retired, there was no stopping him. He amassed 6485 runs at an average of 64.20, better than Kohli, and all this came at a mind-numbing strike rate of 109.76!
5. Ross Taylor
One of the most under-rated batsmen of this decade, Ross Taylor has been the best NZ batsman of this decade in ODIs with his consistent performances, even better than Kane Williamson. He scored 6428 runs at an average of 54, hitting 17 centuries in this decade and was a crucial part of a NZ team that played two back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019.
6. M S Dhoni (c) (wk)
One cannot make a ODI team of all time without MS Dhoni, let alone a team of the decade. The man who started the decade by winning the world cup in 2011 showed the world how to stay calm under any tough situation, especially during run-chases. He scored 5640 runs at an average over 50 and more than half of these runs came when the team was in dire needs. This ability to lead from the front is what makes him the captain of this team as well.
The greatest Bangladeshi player of all time, Shakib-Al-Hasan just changed the level of consistency an all-rounder usually shows in this format. With over 4200 runs in this decade, he scored at an average over 40 but it was his 10 overs which were much crucial for the team. He is the second highest wicket-taker of the decade with 177 scalps to his name, with a miserly economy rate of 4.72!
8. Mitchell Starc
If there’s one bowler whom the batsman feared the most for his pace and swing, in the decade gone by then it has to be Mitchell Starc. With his toe-crushing yorkers and in-swinging fast bowling, he helped Australia win the world cup in 2015. He may not have played a lot of matches in this timespan but he sure has left a lasting impact in almost all the matches he played, picking up 172 wickets in 85 matches with an impressive strike rate of less than 25.
9. Lasith Malinga
Ever since his debut back in 2004, Malinga made a huge impact in world cricket and continued to do so in the decade gone by as well. Even though he lost his sheen at the back end of his career, he still is the only bowler to pick up more than 200, 248 to be precise, wickets in this decade at an average of 30 and an economy rate of less than 5!
10. Trent Boult
If Starc was more lethal with his pace, Boult was just stunning with his swing bowling at speeds of more than 140kmph. He was the main man for New Zealand in all three world cups in the decade and was at his menacing best throughout. With over 164 wickets in 89 matches and 58 maidens in this time period, he was just unstoppable.
11. Imran Tahir
It would not be wrong to say that the decade gone by saw hundreds of spinners coming in and performing for a short period of time before switching to other formats or just fading out in general. However, Imran Tahir stood out from the rest and even playing the business end of his career in his 30s, he has been nothing short of incredible. With 173 wickets in 107 matches and an economy rate of just 4.65, he walks into this dream team with ease.
Honourable mentions: Shikhar Dhawan, Quinton de Kock, Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.
This team is a world-beater for sure with the stalwarts of the game covering all bases. With most players from this ODI Team of the Decade list already retired or nearing retirement from the format, it would be interesting to see if any of them would still be part of the team of the upcoming decade.