The International Cricket Council has picked twelve players, who performed exceptionally well in the last one year (August 4, 2011-August 6, 2012), for the ODI Team of the Year. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named the captain of the side. And here are the other members. (AP&AFP Photos)
Gautam Gambhir (India): This southpaw has been at his consistent best for the Men in Blue as runs have flown from his bat in the last one year. 1004 runs at an average of 41.83 from 25 matches are numbers which speak for themselves.
Alastair Cook (England): Since his appointment as ODI captain of England his form has also taken off. Cook has truly earned himself a place in the ICC ODI Team of the year with 882 runs from 20 matches averaging 46.42. Not bad for a player who was once believed not to be suited for the fifty over format.
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka): This Sri Lankan ex-captain has been in a rich vein of form in the last twelve months scoring virtually at will. While he no longer keeps wickets his bat continues to do the talking. 1457 runs from 37 matches at 42.85 is a clear indication that Sanga is still lethal when on song.
Virat Kohli (India): He has been hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket. A big match player and match-winner, Kohli has proven time and again that he is India's saviour in times of trouble. An average of 66.65 in from 31 games has helped him reap 1733 runs and he certainly deserves a place in the ODI Team of the year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India): Chosen as skipper he is also burdened by the responsibilty of wicket-keeping. With 14 wins out of 25 matches in the past year Dhoni has averaged 78.09 with 859 runs making him a leader by example in this team of stars.
Michael Clarke (Australia): The Aussie skipper has gone through the purple patch off late as he has proved to be an inspiration to his players by leading from the front scoring 759 runs from 19 matches at 50.60.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan): An attacking batsman and a more than useful bowler, Shahid Afridi is a vital cog in the Pakistan line-up. Averaging 23 with the bat and 26 with the ball in the last one year, he is an invaluable inclusion as a frontline spinner and lower order batsmen in this all-star team.
Morne Morkel (South Africa): The South African speedster has made use of his limited opportunities as he picked up 20 wickets from 10 matches in the last one year at 20.40 runs per wicket. He is selected as the first choice pacer in this world eleven.
Steven Finn (England): The tall paceman from England has had a good outing recently as his wicket taking appetite has proved dividends for his team. The ideal bowling partner to Morne Morkel as his 35 wickets from 18 games at 20.94 suggest.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka): Arguably the best death bowler in today's date, Lasith Malinga really lets it rip when he fires in his fast yorkers. No doubt that any captain would want him in the side. 62 wickets in 37 matches at 27.59 is ample proof of his hunger to dismiss opposition batsmen. An important part of the best ODI team of this year as judged by the ICC.
Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan): This Pakistani spinner is still a mystery for many top players around the world. He is the most difficult to read and with his turn off the pitch not only keeps the runs down but picks up wickets as well. His 37 victims from 23 outings in the last one year at 22.56 has fetched him a place in the ICC ODI Team of the year.
Shane Watson (Australia): Last but not the least, we come to the twelfth man. Shane Watson is the best replacement should there be an opening in this team. The man is an attacking batsmen and a useful medium pacer. 626 runs in 21 matches at 31.30 along with 22 wickets at 27.54 indicate how valuable he can be to the team.
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