Friday 23 December 2011

ODI team of the year

Well, it wouldn't be the end of the year, without people naming a team of the year.

Here is my attempt at ODI team of the year:

For batsmen I broke down the players into openers, top order and lower/middle order players.
I then looked at all batsmen's results batting in these positions throughout the year, giving a bonus for world cup matches and for games against harder opposition. I created a points system that took in account their runs scored, their wickets lost and their deliveries faced. The higher the score the better.


Sehwag & Watson

NameMatchesRunsAverageStrike ratePoints
V Sehwag1264553.75122.58133.432
SR Watson22112459.1592.35108.154
SR Tendulkar1151346.6391.9899.282
HM Amla1563245.1487.6773.667
MJ Guptill1665054.1668.5873.338

Somewhat unsurprising, given that they have both dominated this year. Tendulkar was a close 3rd.

Top Order

de Villiers, Clark & Taylor

NameMatchesRunsAverageStrike ratePoints
AB de Villiers1046751.88108.28113.889
LRPL Taylor1756151.0087.0986.13
MJ Clarke2490056.2591.0181.247
Yuvraj Singh1138142.3389.7880.421
IJL Trott28124651.9180.8477.224
V Kohli31134949.9681.4976.953
KC Sangakkara26112751.2283.7875.762
G Gambhir1556240.1485.0974.575
JP Duminy1352347.5487.6170.696

This was a little more interesting. I was quite surprised bu Clarke's numbers, as I hadn't remembered him having such a good season. By the same token Kohli had an amazing season, but missed out.

Lower/Middle order

Dhoni & Duminy

NameMatchesRunsAverageStrike ratePoints
MS Dhoni2375963.2581.69100.227
JP Duminy1145150.11100.0079.152
KJ O'Brien1232429.45125.3177.566
Umar Akmal2878541.3186.9562.378
DJ Hussey1634238.00152.9461.583
KA Pollard2052831.05151.2657.963
YK Pathan1227127.10121.1553.221
MEK Hussey1434738.5593.2451.55
EJG Morgan1538429.5385.7151.297
F du Plessis1328828.8084.1250.829

Initally I was going to have this and wicket-keeper as separate sections, but given that Dhoni came first as a batsman and there is not a lot of point in having two wicket keepers, it's better to take an extra batsman. JP Duminy just edges out Kevin O'Brien, but O'Brien is an obvious choice for 12th man, as he can contribute with the bat or the ball. And because I like his style of play.


Quantifying the records for bowlers is not as easy as batsmen. I again created a measure that valued dot balls and wickets, and put a higher value on performances in the World Cup and in matches against good teams. The lower the points the better.

DW Steyn142518.504.4119.78
RJ Peterson91821.154.7420.51
M Morkel142617.734.4121.26
Shahid Afridi274525.654.3521.76
Wahab Riaz132320.775.3222.51
TG Southee132522.855.0022.56
JDP Oram122323.884.7123.13
SL Malinga244823.134.8923.46
B Lee193323.034.6223.47
Z Khan143023.755.0823.64
M Muralitharan111722.354.2223.81
BAW Mendis141724.134.4625.15
HK Bennett101726.615.7326.09
Mohammad Hafeez323224.063.4326.64

There are a couple of interesting names here. Mohammad Hafeez misses out due to not taking many wickets in the World Cup. Perhaps this is a weakness in my system, as he was really one of the outstanding bowlers of the year. Peterson likewise only played 2 games outside the world cup, and went at about 6 an over in those matches. But he had a fantastic World Cup and it is fair that a player gets a bonus for performing at the highest stage.

The final team:

de Villiers
Shahid Afridi

12th man O'Brien

How does your team look?


  1. Good side Michael, well thought out and I have picked up quickly you're a stats man.

    My side, taking into account some of the factors you put forward (not as much emphasis on the World Cup):

    1 Virender Sehwag
    2 Shane Watson
    3 Hashim Amla
    4 Roscoe Taylor
    5 Michael Clarke*
    6 Mike Hussey
    7 MS Dhoni+
    8 Shahid Afridi
    9 Morne Morkel
    10 Mitch Johnson: 2011 - 39 wkts, BBI 6/31, Avg 20.94.
    11 Dale Steyn

    12 Saeed Ajmal - To have an additional spin option who can really trouble batsmen. He's had a good ODI year as well.

    My criteria is a bit different to yours (Amla at three)

  2. Good method, but the balance is off... too many South Africans and not enough people to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

    So now seriously: there are more spin bowling options than needed, so you could lose a spinner or parttime spinner for:
    A. an extra specialist batsman (Amla or Trott, neither are a bad option with the attacking guys already there. Or:
    B. a batsman who bowls medium pace. Example: Ryan ten Doeschate, he's had the highest career ODI average (minimum 20 innings) for years, now 67(!) 12 higher than no. 2. His bowling is more than handy: Avg. 24, Ec. 5,03, SR: 28,7. Or:
    C. A specialist pace bowler, because the batting strength is good enough and there's enough in your 8-11 to help out (they won't all fail on the same day).

    Given the pace in your 11 only has Morkel, Steyn and Watson, option B or C would be the most important. Chucking 2 guys out and doing C and A or B and A would work too.

    I chose to do A, B and C, here's the result:
    Ten Doeschate

    12th man: Hafeez because he can come in for a batsman or a bowler, his economy is far better than anyone else in your list and that's not a fluke because it's based on 32 matches.

    De Villiers, Duminy and Peterson are out because their stats in your list are only based on 9 to 11 matches and (for the batsmen) other guys have higher averages. If C isn't neccessary on a given day, then I'd leave De Villiers in.

    But I did C, so why Southee? I looked who missed out with your method. Riaz is the most expensive of those. I couldn't decide between Southee, Lee or Malinga, so I picked the Kiwi, sue me.

  3. I felt that 2 quicks and 2 spinners with Watson, Duminy and Sehwag to complete the bowling was sufficient. I was surprised that Ten Doeschate didn't make the list, because I do rate him. However he has played very little cricket against the major teams.

    My selected team (rather than the stats based one) looks like this:
    Sangakkara +
    Ten Doeschate
    Shakib Al Hassan

    That has Steyn and Rampaul to open the bowling, Malinga and Steyn to close it out. Shakib and Vettori to dry up runs in the middle. It was a difficult decision between Sangakkara, Dhoni and McCullum for the keeping spot, but I felt that another more solid batsman gave the side some better shape.

  4. If stats weren't decisive, my team would look more like yours too.
    Sanga for Dhoni: yes. On potential: maybe McCullum, but not on performance.
    Plenty of options for Morkel: Broad, Rampaul, Edwards, Philander, Malinga, Lee or a young Aussie, etc.
    Vettori for Afridi: I agree. If other reasons don't clinch it, character does. Who would you rather have in the dressing room?
    Kohli and Tendulkar aren't too bad either.

    I like how you put Ten Doeschate at 5. He bats a 6 for Netherlands because of who's around him, but on his own I'd say he's a no. 4 or 5.

  5. Pretty interesting even if this was 9 years ago. Great job!