2021 was not a year that saw a lot of important ODI fixtures take place. With the T20 World Cup scheduled in October, naturally, most teams stuck to playing T20 cricket. However, the ODI Super League was in place and hence, there were some ODI encounters. On that note, in this article, we take a look at the best ODI XI of the year 2021.
Openers: Janneman Malan and Paul Stirling
Janneman Malan and Paul Stirling will open the batting for this, the best ODI XI of the year 2021. The duo takes the Top 2 spots in the list of highest run-getters in ODIs so far in this year. While Stirling has been consistent, striking three centuries and two fifties, the South African youngster was brilliant against Ireland, the series in which he made 177* runs in a game.
Middle-Order: Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Jonny Bairstow and Mushfiqur Rahim (WK)
2021 is the year of Babar Azam. The Pakistan captain was in fine form across all the formats. He scored 405 runs in just six ODIs in 2021. Babar will also captain this squad. At No.4, it will be Babar’s teammate Fakhar Zaman who occupy a slot in this XI. He has also been impressive, especially in the knock of 193 against South Africa.
The wicket-keeping duo of Bairstow and Rahim will complete the middle-order of this XI. While Rahim stuck 407 runs from nine games, the Englishman was impactful, with his strike-rate hovering around 120 for the year.
All-Rounders: Shakib Al Hasan and Wanindu Hasaranga
Shakib Al Hasan and Wanindu Hasaranga will be the all-rounders for this XI. The Bangladeshi scored 277 runs and took 17 scalps, the Sri Lankan had returns of 356 runs and 12 wickets. Both Shakib and Hasaranga won games for their team consistently in 2021 and, hence, make it to this list.
Bowlers: Dushmantha Chameera, Sandeep Lamichhane and Mustafizur Rahman
Chameera is the highest wicket-taker in ODIs for 2021. The right-arm pacer from Sri Lanka collected 20 wickets at an average of 29. He recorded the best figures of 5/16. The newly appointed captain of Nepal, Lamichhane, will be the specialist spinner in this XI. He took 18 wickets and was brilliant with his average of 7.38. Mustafizur Rahman returned to form this year, and he, too, collected 18 wickets. He also had an impressive average of 21.55.