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2013 has witnessed some very good ODI cricket all over the world. It has seen India emerge as the undisputed winners of the Champions Trophy and then getting thrashed by the Proteas after a run fest at home against the Aussies.
Meanwhile, South Africa and Pakistan have played enough to bore fans from both the nations. Australia, England and Sri Lanka have had a mixed year while West Indies’ misfortunes have simply increased in 2013.
Keeping the complete year’s performance in mind, here’s the best ODI team of 2013:
1. Shikhar Dhawan (India)
The man with a giant smile and a lion heart has definitely been the talk of the year. The way he twirls his moustache on the ground has admired his countrymen and intimidated his opponents. He announced his return to ODI cricket in style, hitting a powerful century against South Africa in England. Stepping into Sehwag’s shoes, he has definitely added a new dimension to India’s top order.
His flashy shots on the off-side, reminiscent of Sourav Ganguly, have given India the edge as he has taken the attack on to the opposition bowlers. The southpaw also loves coming down the track, often forcing bowlers to err in their lengths. With 1162 runs at an average of 50+ and a strike rate of almost 98, it has been certainly a fairy tale run for Dhawan.
2. Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Martin Guptill might just not be as prolific as some of the names mentioned on this list but he has performed more than the stats simply suggest. New Zealand have had one of the most successful away assignments in the recent years beating South Africa in South Africa and England in England, with Guptill playing the antagonist in most of these ventures.
With occasional big scores like the spectacular 189 against Anderson and co., Guptill has managed to keep his team on top in the games he played. Unfortunately, he missed out on the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka tours after suffering an ankle injury and New Zealand’s plight was clearly exposed.
3. Virat Kohli (India)
This lad has got a very big appetite for chasing big scores which has made him an ideal No.3, forcing Sanga to go a spot lower in the batting order. Technique and flamboyance could probably be well associated with Kohli and his purple patch is getting darker with every passing year.
With the added responsibility of vice-captaincy, Kohli’s response under pressure has been terrific, making centuries in 350+ chases twice this year. With 1268 runs under his belt this year at an average of 53 and a strike rate of 98, Virat Kohli is undoubtedly Cricket’s next-big-thing.