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Babar Azam to Captain ICC’s ODI Team of the Year

The ICC Team of the Year recognizes 11 outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all – be it with the bat, the ball or their all-around exploits in a calendar year.

Here, we take a look at 11 players who dominated in 2022 and make the cut in the 50-over format of the game for men’s cricket.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam once again showed his prowess in the 50-over format, displaying once again why he has ruled the roost at the top of the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings since July 2021.

In the nine matches Babar played this year, the 28-year-old registered eight scores of more than fifty, three of which he converted into hundreds. He finished the year with 679 runs at a stunning average of 84.87.

It was a memorable year for Babar as captain of the Pakistan ODI team, winning three series out of three. Pakistan were unstoppable in the ODI format, losing just one match (against Australia) out of nine. His leadership skills means that he leads the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year for 2022.

With former skipper Aaron Finch calling it quits from the 50-over format, Australia have already found his long-term successor at the top of the order.

Usually an attacking middle-order batter, Head brilliantly reinvented himself as an opener in ODIs, becoming one of Australia’s most consistent batters in the format. It was a year to remember for Head – who became one of the first names on the Australian team sheet – notching up 550 runs from nine games at 68.75.

His runs came at a strike rate of 112.24 and included two centuries and three fifties.

Shai Hope had a brilliant year in 2022, being at his consistent best for the West Indies in the 50-over format.

Hope did not get off to the greatest of starts in 2022 but in typical fashion started to grind out runs in the latter half. He finished the year with 709 runs, which include three hundreds and two fifties, at an average of 35.45.

Shreyas Iyer emerged from 2022 as one of India’s most consistent batters in the 50-over format while also becoming the anchor of their middle order.

Mostly slotting in at No.4, Iyer played 17 games during the calendar year and scored 724 runs at an average of 55.69. He scored his runs at a brisk pace of 91.52, which included one century and six fifties.

With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 fast approaching, Iyer has moved ahead of the competition to become a regular fixture in the India ODI setup.

Often regarded as a solid batter, Tom Latham added a new dimension to his game in 2022, often playing the role of a finisher from the No.5 position.

Latham scored 558 runs from 15 matches at an average of 55.80 and a sizzling strike rate of 101.27. He notched up two fifties and two centuries in the year becoming a vital cog of the New Zealand middle order.

Latham was also solid behind the stumps, affecting 16 dismissals.

2022 witnessed the resurgence of Zimbabwe on the international scene and a lot of it was down to one man – Sikandar Raza. Raza aggregated 645 runs at an average of 49.61 and strike rate of 87.16, making two fifties to complement three centuries.

With ball in hand, Raza was ever-reliable, scalping eight wickets while giving away just more than five an over.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz emerged as one of the most consistent all-rounders in ODI cricket in 2022, with some brilliant displays.

With his bowling as effective as ever, Miraz developed his batting further, often bailing Bangladesh out of some tough situations.

He picked up 24 wickets in 15 games at an average of 28.20 with a best performance of 4/29. He also scored 330 runs at a stunning average of 66, with one century and one fifty.

Joseph developed from a highly-rated prospect to a reliable performance with the ball for the West Indies in the year 2022. Not lacking in pace but sometimes in accuracy, Joseph worked on his shortcomings and became a fearsome prospect for the batters to face.

Alzarri Joseph played 17 matches and scalped 27 wickets at an average of 25.70 and a strike rate of 33.4. He was also miserly with an economy rate of 4.61, with the best figures of 3/36.

Mohammed Siraj’s skillset in white-ball cricket, especially the 50-over format developed in leaps and bounds in 2022. With Jasprit Bumrah often missing due to injury, Siraj emerged as the most potent weapon of the India pace unit.

Delivering with both the new and old ball, Siraj played 15 matches and picked up 24 wickets. His wickets came at an economy of 4.62 and an average of 23.50, with best figures of 3/29.

Siraj has moved ahead of the pack and has a good chance of being a part of the India pace battery come the Cricket World Cup in home conditions scheduled for later this year.

The left-arm pacer has been a beacon of consistency for almost a decade and the year 2022 was no different. Batters again struggled to counter his swing with the new ball, while finding it troubling to face him due to his skills in the middle and death overs.

Boult played only six games in 2022 but made a massive impact in them. He scalped 18 wickets at a stunning average of 12.38 and a miserly economy of 3.98, with best figures of 4/38.

Another year, another sensational set of displays from the consistent New Zealand seamer.

Adam Zampa continued to show why he has been such a vital cog in the Australian white-ball setup, finishing the year as the highest wicket-taker for his country in ODI cricket.

The leggie enjoyed his joint-most prolific year in ODI cricket, matching his tally of 30 wickets from his debut year in 2016. His feat was even more impressive this year considering nine of the 12 matches he played were at home, where conditions aren’t favorable for spinners.

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