The year 2014 is all set to come to an end with a total of 118 ODIs played throughout the year and majority of them went down to the wire such as tied ODI between India and New Zealand at Auckland and Glenn Maxwell’s match saving final over for Australia in which he defended just 2 runs against Pakistan at UAE.

There were some exceptional performances in the ODI matches this year which includes Rohit Sharma’s record breaking 264, Corey Anderson’s 36 ball 100, Stuart Binny’s 6-4 against Bangladesh and some consistent performances from the other players too. Some players were exceptional throughout the year and some players made a mark in ODIs this year. Here is the list of Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year which compiles all the names of players who remained consistent throughout the year.

The Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year consist of six frontline batsmen including the wicketkeeper, an All-Rounder who can come down the order, score quick runs and bowl his 10 overs of medium pace which will back the 2-2 pace-spin combination.

South African captain AB de Villiers has just edged out his Sri Lankan counterpart Angelo Mathews as the captain of the side.

The Openers

The openers of the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year is the South African opener Hashim Amla and Australian opener Aaron Finch. Both of them had a brilliant year with the bat. Hashim Amla scored 5 ODI tons this year in his tally of 852 from 18 innings at an average of 53. He has got his side to a flying start in most of the matches and remained consistent throughout. His opening partner Finch, though was a tough choice as he was picked ahead of Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan, India’s Shikhar Dhawan and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock.

Dilshan has amassed 990 runs in 25 innings at an average of 41 and de Kock too averages 41 for his 741 runs in 19 innings.  On the other hand, Dhawan has scored 815 runs in 18 innings at an average of 48. But Aaron Finch has aggregated 790 runs in 18 innings at an average of 44 with most of those coming from conditions difficult for batting unlike Dilshan and Dhawan, who scored majority of their runs in flat wickets of Sri Lanka and India.

Middle-Order Batsmen

The middle order of the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year comprises of Kiwi sensation Kane Williamson, India’s anchor man Virat Kohli, England’s ever-reliable Joe Root and South Africa’s Mr. Consistent AB de Villiers followed by Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews, who is by far best batsman in the last one year.

Exclusion of 2014’s leading run scorer Kumar Sangakkara from the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year might raise few eyebrows, but his replacement Kane Williamson has had an tremendous year when compared to the Lankan gloveman as he has scored 770 runs in just 12 innings at an average of 70 when compared to the former’s record of 1256 in 28 innings at an average of 46. Williamson scored most of these runs in conditions that are not easy to bat and on the other hand, Sangakkara has scored most of those runs in the flat wickets of Sri Lanka.

It has become a habit for Virat Kohli to score 1000 ODI runs in a year and feature in the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year. This year though, Kohli has scored only 1046 runs from 20 innings at an average of 55, which is way below the standards he has set for himself in the past. Kohli will take guard at number 4 followed by England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers at number 5 and number 6 respectively. De Villiers is the finisher in the line-up, the role he had mastered in the past few years. A strike rate of 74 and a strike-rate of 114 throughout the year shows how consistent he was in the past 1 year.

All-Rounder for the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews has been a revelation this year as he is arguably the best batsman 2014. Mathews has established an image for himself with a string of consistent performances across all the formats. Even with the ball, he looked threatening as he scalped 18 wickets at an economy of 4.59 this year adding to his batting tally of 1244 runs from 31 innings at an average of 63.

Wicket-Keeper

AB de Villiers will keep wickets for the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year in the absence of a regular gloveman in the XI. De Villiers, who has taken a break from standing behind the stumps for South Africa since the inception of Quinton de Kock will be acting as the make-shift wicket keeper in the team.

Pacers

The three prone pace attack for the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year includes 2014’s joint leading wicket-taker from India Mohammad Shami who has 38 wickets to his name in 16 innings along with Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Chris Jordan. Malinga, once again gets a place into the team with some breath-taking performances in the year which includes 29 wickets in 17 innings before undergoing a surgery in his ankle. Angelo Mathews is included as the third seamer in the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year.

Spinners

Ajantha Mendis, who is joint with Mohammad Shami in the list of leading wicket takers in 2014 has earned a spot in the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year along with South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Mendis’ selection was a direct choice whereas Tahir’s selection ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, James Tredwell or any fast bowler might shock few. The reason behind Tahir’s inclusion in the 3-2 pace-spin combination is because of the kind of pitches he bowled in.

In the 14 matches he played in the year, only 3 of them were played in the flat and turning wickets of Sri Lanka and rest were in New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Australia. He proved himself in all these conditions and picked up 21 wickets with an excellent economy of 4.30. On the other hand, the likes of Sachitra Senanayake, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin picked up tons of wickets in spinner friendly conditions and failed overseas.

Notable absentees from the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year are Indian skipper MS Dhoni, Sri Lanka’s opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, leading run scorer in ODIs Kumar Sangakkara. But just to bring stability in the side and to honour the players who played exceedingly well throughout the year, these players fail to make it to the Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year. Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the 12th man in the squad.

Sportzwiki ODI XI of the year:

S. No

Player Name

Country

Stats in 2014

1

Hashim Amla

South Africa

852 runs in 18 innings at an average of 53

2

Aaron Finch

Australia

790 runs in 18 innings at an average of 44

3

Kane Williamson

New Zealand

770 runs in 12 innings at an average of 70

4

Virat Kohli

India

1046 runs in 20 innings at an average of 55

5

Joe Root

England

872 runs in 22 innings at an average of 42

6

AB de Villiers (c) (wk)

South Africa

879 runs in 16 innings at an average of 74

7

Angelo Mathews

Sri Lanka

1244 runs in 31 innings at an average of 63/

18 wkts in 28 inngs. at an avg. of 36 & econ. of 4.5

8

Lasith Malinga

Sri Lanka

29 wkts in 17 inngs. at an avg. of 26 & econ. of 5.87

9

Mohammad Shami

India

38 wkts in 16 inngs. at an avg. of 23 & econ. of 6.16

10

Ajantha Mendis

Sri Lanka

38 wkts in 17 inngs. at an avg. of 22 & econ. of 5.76

11

Imran Tahir

South Africa

21 wkts in 14 inngs. at an avg. of 26 & econ. of 4.31