By Dinesh Anandan, Edited by Divvisha Bharti
Hopes are high from the Indian cricket team this year in 2018. Indian team is the world’s best performing team in the cricket today. With only four days left to the start of the South Africa series, the team is practicing and looking forward to a washout.
Game of Cricket in Different Formats in the Year 2017
INDIAN WOMEN CRICKET TEAM
The year 2017 has become a tipping point for Women’s Cricket because of the highly successful ICC Women’s World Cup. Focus on Women’s cricket will grow much more in many countries such as Australia, England, New Zealand and India. Let us look how each team has performed in all three formats in the year 2017.
INDIAN MEN CRICKET TEAM
With a win percentage of 63.63%, Indian cricket team has been the most successful team in tests this year. Though India played most of its matches at home, they have set a benchmark for other teams in how to play well as a unit in their fortress. India kicked off the year with a sensational win against Bangladesh in the one-off test match, where Virat Kohli scored a stupendous double ton.
Next up was the home series against Australia. India’s momentum was shattered when the visitors defeated the strong Indian side in the 1st test, courtesy of Steve O’ Keefe who spun India with a six- wicket haul in each of the innings. With the side 1-0 down, India came back aggressively to win the series 2-1 against Australia, where Ravindra Jadeja won the Man of the Series award for his exceptional performance with the ball. It was time for India to travel abroad for a 3 match series in Srilanka.
Fair to say, it was a one-sided series with India managing to outsmart Srilanka 3-0 in the series. Shikhar Dhawan came back to form bagging the man of the series award. The year ended with yet another series against Srilanka, but this time at the fortress. India won the series 1-0 after settling for a draw in the first and third test match.
The sensational Indian captain Virat Kohli won the man of the series award and ended the year with 4 double hundreds. Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest bowler to take 300 test wickets beating the record of Dennis Lillee. India’s spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja finished the year claiming 56 and 54 wickets respectively. India have now registered nine consecutive test series victories under Kohli’s captaincy, thus equalling the record of Australia under Ponting’s captaincy.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s)
India has been the second most successful ODI team this year with a win percentage of 72.41% only next to England. The year started with a 2-1 series win over England at home. Next up, it was a great challenge in the ICC Champions Trophy with the top eight ODI teams competing against each other. India ended up as the runners-up of the tournament losing to the unpredictable Pakistan team in the finals. India won 3-1 against West Indies and completed a whitewash against Srilanka defeating them 5-0 in their home conditions. India ended their great year with series wins against Australia, New Zealand and Srilanka at home. What’s so unique is that six different Indian players won the man of the series award(Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan) this year, which proves that Indian team clicked well as a unit and is equipped with many match winners. Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been very best with their performances this year. Rohit Sharma became the only player to score three double centuries in ODI’s when he scored an unbeaten 208 against Srilanka at Indore. India never lost an ODI series this year.
India has been the third most successful team this year in T20’s, after Pakistan and South Africa. With an argument on one side whether T20 should be played at an International level or not, I would say it gives an opportunity for young players to represent the country at a very young age. To justify the above statement, several young talents like Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Basil Thampi and Deepak Hooda have been given chance to represent the country in T20’s this year. Apart from losing to West Indies in the one-off T20I, India have never lost a T20I series this year. The best performance from the bat came from Rohit Sharma who equalled David Miller’s record for the fastest T20I century off 35 balls. In the bowling department, it was Yuzvendra Chahal who bagged six wickets against England at Bengaluru.
AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM
Australia tasted success late this year by regaining the Ashes against England. Apart from the Ashes, to be fair Australia had a pretty bad year in terms of their performances. Though there were some strong consistent performances from the likes of Steve Smith and Lyon, it couldn’t guarantee them an outright series win against subcontinent sides like India and Bangladesh. Mitchell Starc cameback to the side after an injury and his vital wickets with the ball proved crucial for Australia to regain the Ashes this year. Some of the best performances for Australia came from Steve Smith, who scored a double century against England in Adelaide and Steve O’Keefe who spun Australia to victory by bagging six wickets in each innings to beat India in the first test at Pune.
LIMITED OVERS:(ODI and T20I)
If I were Australia, 2017 was a year to forget in limited overs cricket. With a win percentage of 31.25% in ODI’s and 33.33% in T20’s, Australia never looked promising this year. Australia started the year on a positive note by winning the ODI series 4-1 against Pakistan at home. Australia couldn’t regain their momentum in ODI’s mainly because of several abandoned matches that came by their side in the ICC Champions Trophy. 2 out of 3 matches in the group stages were abandoned because of rain and Australia couldn’t progress to the semifinals because of their loss against England in a must-win encounter. Srilanka surprised Australia by winning 2-1 in the T20 series held in Australia. Australia levelled the 3 match T20 series 1-1 against India, with weather coming in their way one more time. Jason Beherendorf proved his mettle by scalping 4-for against India in the 2nd T20.
SOUTH AFRICA CRICKET TEAM:
2017 has been a pretty decent year for South Africa in tests with a win percentage of 61.53%. Apart from a disappointing stint in England where they lost 3-1 in the 4 match series against England, South Africa have managed to win the series against Srilanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Their best performance came when they defeated New Zealand 1-0 in their home conditions. South Africa have found best performances from Dean Elgar, who had scored more than 1000 runs in the calendar year and Kagiso Rabada, who took 57 wickets in the calendar year. The quest for a good spinner in tests for South Africa was found in the form of Keshav Maharaj, who had managed to pick 48 wickets this year in unfavorable spin conditions like New Zealand and South Africa.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’S):
Over the years, South Africa has always been consistent with their performances in limited overs cricket but they panic in big tournaments. The year 2017 is no different. They had a very bad Champions trophy stint managing only one win in their group stage games, thus failing to progress to the next stage. South Africa’s best performances in ODI’s came from Faf Duplessis and Quinton De Kock. In T20’S, SA faced an upset against Srilanka with the latter winning the series 2-1. One of the best T20 performances in 2017 came from David Miller, who smashed the fastest T20 century off 35 balls against Bangladesh(Rohit Sharma equalled this record later this year against SL).
ENGLAND CRICKET TEAM
England had an year of mixed fortunes. They had defeated the mighty South Africans 3-1 at home. They also defeated West Indies 2-1 at home. When things were looking right, they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat against Australia down under in the Ashes. The year 2017 saw Joe Root taking over the test captaincy from Alastair Cook. In his first stint as England captain, Root scored 190 against the Proteas. Then after the major problem was that he couldn’t convert his 50+ scores and good starts to big ones. Also, the form of Alastair cook was a major talk among the cricket pundits but he silenced his critics scoring a massive unbeaten 244 against Australia at Melbourne. James Anderson reached his career milestone of 500 test wickets and also claiming 55 wickets to his name in this year.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s)
With a win percentage of 75.00%, England emerged as the most successful team in ODI’s in the year 2017. The year started on a negative note by losing the series 1-2 against India. Some good series win against South Africa,West Indies and Ireland, the team were looking unstoppable. England won all of its matches in the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy against Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. They lost to Pakistan in the semifinals. In the T20’S, England never looked dominating. They lost to India and West Indies, thus managing only to win against South Africa. Some of the best performances in the limited overs format came from Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes. Jonny Bairstow as an opener looked promising.
NEW ZEALAND CRICKET TEAM
One of the worrying concerns for NZ Cricket is that they have played only 7 test matches in 2017, as compared to other teams which has played a minimum of over 10 test matches. Scheduling needs to be taken care of by the New Zealand Cricket body because they didn’t play International cricket for almost four months between June 19 and October 19. Out of the 7 tests which they played in the year, NZ had a win percentage of 57.14%. NZ defeated Bangladesh and West Indies easily but they lost to South Africa 1-0 in the 3 match series at home. Top performances for New Zealand came from Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson and Trent Boult.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s)
With a win percentage of 52.38%, one has to say New Zealand had a mediocre year in ODI cricket. They couldn’t prove their success against strong oppositions like South Africa and India. After giving a good fight, they lost against South Africa 3-2 and lost against India 2-1. They had a disappointing ICC Champions Trophy losing 2 out of the 3 group stage matches, thus failing to qualify for the next stage. NZ gave good performances against Australia and West Indies with series wins against both the oppositions. Trent Boult became the fastest NZ bowler in terms of a number of innings to take 100 ODI wickets. Tom Latham and Ross Taylor remained consistent with the bat.
With a win percentage of 62.50%, NZ had a decent year in T20 Cricket. One of the exceptional performances came from Colin Munro who smashed a quickfire T20 hundred against India. Ish Sodhi took crucial wickets for New Zealand with the ball.
PAKISTAN CRICKET TEAM:
Pakistan have played only 6 tests this year, the same problem as that of New Zealand cricket as mentioned earlier. They have won only two tests against West Indies. One of the most surprising loss came against Srilanka when they defeated Pakistan 2-0 in their fortress(UAE). Some of the best performances came from Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s):
Pakistan has been the most unpredictable side when it comes to limited overs contests. They had a very good year winning the ICC Champions Trophy after beating their arch-rivals India in the finals. With a win percentage of 66.67%, Pakistan has produced some stellar performances this year. Best performances came from Hasan Ali, who became the quickest Pakistan bowler to take 50 wickets in ODI’s and Babar Azam, who was very consistent with the bat this year. Fakhar Zaman surprised everyone with his fantastic century against India in the Champions Trophy finals. Pakistan, with a win percentage of 85.71% paved them the way for achieving the number 1 ranking in T20I’S. Best performances came from Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik and Hasan Ali.
SRI LANKAN CRICKET TEAM
Srilankan cricket has been in a rebuilding phase for the past two years. Their performance has been below par this year in all formats. In tests, they shocked Pakistan this year winning 2-0 against them in UAE. Apart from this series victory, they lost badly against South Africa and India. What’s even more worse is that the contests were completely one-sided. Only positive for Srilanka came in the form of Dimuth Karunaratne, who managed to score more than 1000 runs in the calendar year.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s):
It was a dismal year for Srilanka in ODI’s with a win percentage of only 17.24%. They couldn’t win a series this year in ODI’s. Only positive for them was Tharanga returned back to good form this year.
In T20I’S, Srilanka were unpredictable this year. Having won the series against South Africa and Australia in away conditions, they lost to Pakistan and India in the subcontinent conditions. Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella were the standout performers for Srilanka this year in T20I’S.
WEST INDIES CRICKET TEAM
West Indies test team is in a rebuilding phase. They had struggled as a unit this year winning only against Zimbabwe and losing to Pakistan, England and New Zealand. But some individuals like Shai Hope and Devendra Bishoo gained attention from cricket lovers with their match changing performances.
LIMITED OVERS (ODI’s and T20I’s):
West Indies lost all the series that they have played in ODI’s this year. They have the lowest win percentage of 13.04% this year. In T20I’S, they didn’t play like champions as they used to in this format. Some exceptional performances came from Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine and Marlon Samuels.
Most Consistent teams in 2017 (Basis of win % in all 3 formats):
2. South Africa
3. New Zealand
Test XI of the year(Based on 2017 Performance):
Dean Elgar, Dimuth Karunaratne, Cheteshwar Pujara, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli(C), Ben Stokes, Quinton De Kock(WK), Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, James Anderson, Nathan Lyon
12th Man: Neil Wagner
ODI XI of the year(Based on 2017 Performance):
Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan (C), M.S. Dhoni(WK), Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan, Liam Plunkett, Hasan Ali, Jasprit Bumrah
12th Man: Yuzvendra Chahal/Trent Boult
T20I XI of the year(Based on 2017 performance):
Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, Virat Kohli(C), Faf Du Plessis, Jos Butler(WK), Shoaib Malik, Hardik Pandya, Sunil Narine,Hasan Ali, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
12th Man: Rohit Sharma