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Indian cricketers fail to secure place in ICC ODI XI ranking

Previously, the Indian cricketers had gone unrepresented in the ICC men's T20 Team of the Year due to the disastrous World Cup campaign in the UAE

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No Indian player has been included in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI XI ranking for 2021 even as Rohit Sharma featured as an opener, Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper and R Ashwin as the lone specialist spinner in the ICC men’s Test Team of the Year.

Previously, the Indian cricketers had gone unrepresented in the ICC men’s T20 Team of the Year due to the disastrous World Cup campaign in the UAE. Even now, it is no surprise to see the BCCI team regulars miss out in the apex global cricket body’s ODI side as well after playing just six matches, even as the list featured two players from minnows Ireland.

India, the world No. 1 in tests have but three representatives in the year’s best team for the game’s longest format, with New Zealand talisman Kane Williamson as its skipper.

In all, India played 14 Tests in 2021 and managed to win eight out of them. They lost three Tests last year, including the depressing defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

Recently elevated as India’s white-ball captain as Virat Kohli’s successor, Rohit cracked 906 runs in the calendar year at an average of 47.68 with two centuries. Both centuries of Rohit were memorable knocks in contrasting conditions against England — one in Chennai and the other in overcast conditions away from home at the Oval.

Establishing himself as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman in all three formats, Pant scored 748 runs in 12 matches at an average of 39.36 with a memorable century against England at Ahmedabad. He also accounted for 39 dismissals in 23 innings, with his performance behind the stumps continuing to ameliorate.

The seasoned Ashwin scalped 54 wickets in nine matches at an average of 16.64, making a big impact in the home series against England and New Zealand. He also chipped in with 355 runs at an average of 25.35, which included a vital century against England in Chennai.

Besides the Indian trio and Williamson, the ICC Test team has one Sri Lankan in Dimuth Karunaratne, one Australian in Marnus Labuschagne, England captain Joe Root, New Zealand’s Kyle Jamison and three Pakistanis in Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi.

Leading the 2021 ICC Test Team of the Year, Williamson was an influential captain for New Zealand, leading them to glory at the inaugural World Test Championship Final against India in Southampton. He was also steady with the bat, scoring 395 runs in four matches at an average of 65.83 with a century.

Besides the absence of Indian players, the ODI team also doesn’t have anyone from Australia, English, New Zealand or West Indies.

The team, which has Pakistan’s as its captain, has two of his teammates, including Fakhar Zaman.

South Africans Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, Bangladeshis Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahaman and Mushfiqur Rahim, who is also the designated wicketkeeper, Sri Lankans Wanindu Hasaranga and Dishmantha Chameera along with Irishmen Paul Stirling and Simi Singh formed the rest of the squad.

Indian players played six ODIs and won four while losing two in 2021.

The non-selection of Indian players in the XI is more to do with lack of matches rather than poor show since they have won both the series that they played in 2021.

The only Indian player who has played all the ODI matches in 2021 is opener Shikhar Dhawan, who had 297 runs from six games.

The likes of Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma only played three ODIs in 2021 and ditto for premier bowlers, who also didn’t play all the six games.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was there in five of those six games with his tally of wickets not in double-digits (9 from 5 matches).

In order to make it to the team of the year, enough impactful performances to earn points, which Indians did not have, are a must.

Ireland’s Stirling had a whopping 705 runs in 14 ODIs in 2021 with an average of 79.66 which made him an automatic selection.

Proteas opener Janneman has scored 509 runs in eight games with an average of nearly 85.

Babar, who has played least among the 11 players, also has 405 runs in six games with two hundreds while team-mate Zaman has 369 runs in the year.

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