Veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle has recently picked up his ODI and T20I team of the year. However, the year saw the ICC Cricket World Cup in June-July. Following that, the teams shifted their focus back in the shortest format of the game to prepare for the next year’s T20 World Cup.
While Speaking on CricBuzz’s official YouTube channel, Bhogle said that the performance in the ODIs in 2019 received a boost because of the World Cup. He picked India opener Rohit Sharma and England’s explosive opener Jason Roy for his team’s opening slots. While Rohit hit seven centuries in the ODI, Roy played with a strike rate of nearly 120. The No. 3 position was an easy pick as Bhogle chose India captain Virat Kohli who scored almost 1,300 runs in 24 innings at an average of 58.72.
Pakistan T20I captain Babar Azam who had a “break out year” in 2019, placed at No. 4. He averaged above 60 with three tons this year. For No. 5 and No. 6 slots, the pro commentator picked up Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and England all-rounder Ben Stokes. Bhogle chose England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler for the wicket-keeping position.
In the bowling department, he picked up Mitchell Starc besides England pacer Jofra Archer and India’s seamer for across formats — Jasprit Bumrah. Bhogle chose Indian spinner, Kuldeep Yadav as the only spin-bowling option.
Along with the ODI team, Bhogle picked his T20 XI of the year too. A lot of new faces did well this year. For the opening slots, he went for Australia’s David Warner and India’s KL Rahul. Warner had an average of 70-plus in the T20s and scored more than 1200 runs in 25 innings, including two centuries and 13 fifties. KL Rahul, on the other hand, has scored 1262 runs in T20s with an average of 50.48. KL Rahul is also the wicket-keeper of his team.
For the middle-order, he picked the best pair of the game – Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. In 24 innings, the Indian captain scored 930 runs while his teammate in Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), de Villiers, has amassed 1580 runs in 43 innings.
For No. 5, Bhogle has chosen West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard. For the 6th and 7th positions, he has picked Windies’ Andre Russell and Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi. In 40 matches, Russell scalped 33 wickets and scored 950-plus runs. On the other hand, Nabi has scored 873 runs and took 32 wickets.
Rashid Khan has been chosen as the spinner’s spot in Bhogle’s T20 XI of the year alongside South Africa’s Imran Tahir. The duo has taken 137 wickets in 102 T20 games. Among the pacers, England’s Chris Jordan, Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, and Indian bowler Deepak Chahar have been included. Jordan claimed 41 wickets in 33 matches while the Sri Lankan pace-spearhead took 34 in 26 games. Chahar was impressive too with 55 T20 wickets.