Sri Lanka Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne is the only Sri Lankan to feature in the ICC’s Test and ODI teams selected based on their performance last year. Karunatane has been consistently among runs in last year and has scored 743 runs off nine matches at 46.43, with a top score of 158 not out.
However there was no place for Kusal Mendis in the Test depite becoming only the second cricketer to pass 1000 Test runs in 2018, behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli who has been named captain of both sides following a remarkable 2018 as batsman and skipper.
The awards, which honour performances during a calendar year, saw the India captain Kohli walk into both sides which were selected by the ICC Voting Academy* comprising former players, members of the media and broadcasters.
Kohli’s 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 with five centuries in 13 Tests and 1,202 runs at an astounding average of 133.55 with six hundreds in 14 ODIs saw him selected to both sides by every voting member of the Academy with the majority of them also opting to name him at the helm of each.
Kohli also ended 2018 as the top-ranked Test and ODI batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings while his side finished the year as the top-ranked side in Tests and number two behind England in ODIs.
India won six Tests and lost seven during the voting period that ran from 1 January to 31 December 2018 and included victories in South Africa, England and Australia, as also some other close matches in away series. In ODIs, Kohli led India to nine victories, with four losses and one tied match.
India captain Virat Kohli said: “It has been an amazing year. I was able to play in a manner that I would not have imagined. If the intention is right and you keep working hard, the results are there in front of your own eyes. The intent has always to be helping your team at any cost, that is when these performances come by and you are pushing yourself to the limit, which you otherwise will not be able to. That is something I experienced in 2018 a lot.”
The Test team also features his compatriots, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is the only player apart from Kohli to feature in both sides. New Zealand also has three players in the Test squad with captain Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and opener Tom Latham selected. Five other nations make up the remainder of the Test team – Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Jason Holder (Windies), top-ranked Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia) and Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan).
The ODI team has opener Rohit Sharma, spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah from India along with captain Kohli, while England are represented by Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), top-ranked Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) and Ross Taylor (New Zealand) complete the ICC ODI XI.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said: “This looks like an individual piece of recognition but it is much more about the team. Both of the other two who have been fortunate enough to be named in the eleven, I am sure, would agree that as a group we have been growing for a period of time - as a Test unit. It is great that the guys have been looking to play their roles as best as they can. The Test team has been tracking nicely.”
Joe Root said: “It feels really great to be named in the ICC ODI squad and the fact that three of my team-mates are there along with me, makes it extra special. We had a fine year and expectations are on the rise as we look forward to playing the ICC Cricket World Cup at home this year. I thank the ICC for the honour and to the jury for taking the effort to go through the elaborate process.”
ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year (in batting order):
1. Tom Latham (New Zealand)
2. Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
4. Virat Kohli (India) (capt)
5. Henry Nicholls (New Zealand)
6. Rishabh Pant (India) (wk)
7. Jason Holder (Windies)
8. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
9. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
10. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
11. Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan)
ICC Men’s ODI team of the year (in batting order):
1. Rohit Sharma (India)
2. Jonny Bairstow (England)
3. Virat Kohli (India) (capt)
4. Joe Root (England)
5. Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
6. Jos Buttler (England) (wk)
7. Ben Stokes (England)
8. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
9. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
10. Kuldeep Yadav (India)
11. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
The ICC individual men’s awards will be announced later today.