ICC ODI Race: India’s Best in the Mix

Despite missing the first few games of the World Cup, Shami got into the playing eleven due to Hardik Pandya’s injury and finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker…reports Asian Lite News

India’s trio of Talismanic batter Virat Kohli, senior fast-bowler Mohammed Shami and young batter Shubman Gill have been nominated for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2023 award. New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell is the fourth and lone non-Indian nominee for the award.

Kohli built on his stunning international cricket comeback in 2022 with a spectacular 2023, where was adjudged Player of the Tournament in the Men’s ODI World Cup on home soil. He smashed at least a half-century in nine of his 11 innings at the World Cup, finishing with a mind-blowing 765 runs.

His 765 runs are the most ever scored by an individual batter at a men’s ODI World Cup, going past the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar in 2003. Kohli finished the tournament with an average of 95.62 and a strike rate of 90.31, with three centuries including one in the semifinal against New Zealand at Mumbai, as India made a match-winning 397.

Kohli’s hundred against New Zealand in the semifinal was also his 50th ODI hundred, making him the leading century-hitter in the format’s history. While he ended the tournament with another half-century in the final, it didn’t lead India to a victory. He finished the year with 1377 runs at an average of 72.47, recording six centuries and eight half-centuries in 24 innings.

On the other hand, despite missing the first few games of the World Cup, Shami got into the playing eleven due to Hardik Pandya’s injury and finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 24 scalps at a staggering average of 10.7.

Notably, Shami took three five-wicket hauls and a four-wicket haul in the seven matches he played in the tournament. The seamer also broke the record for India’s leading wicket-taker at Men’s ODI World Cups, taking his tally up to 55 wickets in just 18 games, with the notable performance being a record haul of 7/57 against New Zealand in the semifinal.

Gill, meanwhile, produced performances in ODIs that would make 2023 his coming-of-age year in international cricket. He made 1584 runs at an average of 63.36 in the format in 2023, making it the fifth-highest tally of runs by an Indian men’s batter in a year in ODIs, only surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar (1996, 1998), Rahul Dravid (1999) and Sourav Ganguly (1999).

With five hundreds and a strike-rate of over 100, Gill was a rock at the top of the order for India alongside skipper Rohit Sharma, and the duo put on several memorable opening stands in the year. He ended the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 with 354 runs at an average of 44.25.

Unfortunately, the opener missed the first two matches due to dengue, but soon returned and hit his straps with a half-century against Bangladesh. He ended the tournament with four fifties, including an unbeaten 80, where he retired hurt midway with cramp and returned later in the final over. His notable performance though was a scintillating 208 off 149 balls against New Zealand in Hyderabad.

Mitchell was in top form in ODIs in 2023, finishing the year with a whopping 1204 runs, the third-most recorded in a calendar year in the format by a New Zealand player. He had a modest start to the year in the bilateral series in Pakistan and India, and the home series against Sri Lanka, but turned it around spectacularly with back-to-back hundreds in Pakistan in April.

Mitchell went on to hit another century in England but saved his best for the World Cup, where he became New Zealand’s middle-order lynchpin with Kane Williamson absent for a large part of the tournament.

Mitchell amassed 552 runs at the World Cup at an average of 69 and a strike rate of over 100. His smashing performance included two hundreds against hosts’ India in Dharamshala and Mumbai.

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