Teams of the year December 30, 2016

The trump cards of 2016

ESPNcricinfo staff
It may have been a year of surprises, but there aren't too many in our staff's XIs of the year

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The opening stand is in good hands with a triple-centurion (Azhar Ali) and a man who carried his bat through an innings and his team to victory (Kraigg Brathwaite). The middle order is manned by three of the four batsmen widely considered to be the best in the world at the moment. (The fourth, Kane Williamson, had a comparatively quiet year.) Jonny Bairstow, at No. 6, broke the record for most Test runs by a wicketkeeper in a calendar year. He is followed by a five-man bowling attack that would give most batsmen sleepless nights. Two of those five, incidentally, are world-class allrounders. Would any captain be greedy enough to ask for more?

You can vote for our Readers' 2016 Test XI here.

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It is difficult to imagine a more potent ODI opening pair than David Warner and Quinton de Kock, who finished first and third respectively on the ODI run charts and made their runs at strike rates exceeding 100. Warner's tally of seven ODI centuries this year is the joint second highest in a calendar year. The middle order from the Test XI slots into the ODI side as well, illustrating their versatility. In Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, this side has fearsome strikers in the lower middle order. Mitchell Starc leads a four-man fast-bowling attack, and Sunil Narine is the only front-line spinner. Fancy coming up against this lot at the WACA?

You can vote for our Readers' 2016 ODI XI here.

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The only one of these XIs to look beyond international cricket, given the majority of the top-level action in the format is in domestic leagues. Warner, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers - arguably the four biggest titans of T20 batting - all had a stellar 2016. While Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden IPL title, Kohli dazzled with the bat at both the World T20 and in the IPL. More than capable batting back-up is available in the form of Buttler, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo. Russell, in particular, has stellar numbers; he has now been in title-winning teams in five T20 leagues around the world, as well as winning the World T20 with West Indies this April. The bowling features three youngsters with plenty of promise - 23-year-old fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, legspinner Adam Zampa (24), and Mustafizur Rahman (21).

You can vote for our Readers' 2016 T20 XI here.

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Ellyse Perry, Amy Satterthwaite and Stafanie Taylor stand out in the Women's XI, which was compiled looking at data across ODIs and T20Is. Each of the three had stunning all-round numbers in 2016. Perry displayed jaw-dropping consistency with the bat, Satterthwaite topped the ODI run charts while averaging 85.30, and Taylor not only excelled with bat and ball but also led West Indies to a World T20 title. Among the bowlers, 20-year-old legspinner Sune Luus and 24-year-old offspinner Leigh Kasperek enjoyed breakout years. The latter went on a wicket-taking spree during the World T20 and finished the year with a scarcely credible T20I bowling average of 7.75.

Stats updated to December 25, 2016

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on January 6, 2017, 4:34 GMT

    @ Syed Mohsin - Root and Smith can share 6th bowler duties. Don't need a genuine 6th bowler in ODIs when a lot of teams have been going in with 4 bowlers and some part timers for much of the past couple of decades.

  •   Syed Mohsin on January 4, 2017, 17:28 GMT

    Top selection. ODI team lacks sixth bowler though. Buttler or Smith can be replaced by Matthews (44 with bat and 24 with ball in 2016).

  • tariqp7088653 on January 3, 2017, 10:14 GMT

    I think he is Mitchell Starc he was good at bowling but now he is also in Batting after Gabba unbeatable 84 runs on only 91 balls.

    For Australia Mitchell Starc was the Trump Card of 2016

  • Bindu on January 3, 2017, 7:49 GMT

    I feel only Afridi's selection is a dud, rest of the selection seems reasonable.

  • Santosh on January 3, 2017, 4:30 GMT

    King kohli in all 3 formats...noone is better than him. Why is bumrah in? india doesnt even play him.

  • B-Radical81 on January 3, 2017, 4:13 GMT

    All very good teams, but arguably a second team of different players would be amlost as good (imo) - even better a game between the two, much like all-star weekend in NBA....why has this not been done?? Imagine the cricinfo test team up against AB, KW, Jadeja, Steyn, etc...

  •   cricfan64406827 on January 2, 2017, 17:25 GMT

    But there is No Mohammad Shehzad which 2nd Leading scorer of the Year in T20I This is not fear........Team for T20

  • Rathnavel on January 2, 2017, 11:18 GMT

    Why no Readers voting for the Women XI?

  • Nicholas on January 1, 2017, 21:41 GMT

    You can't always judge cricket solely on stats; conditions and oppositions will always be factors and as many have posted, a lot of teams and fans have their own views on team formations and strategies. There's no denying, however, that the players chosen here have been very exciting to watch/follow during 2016 and the CRICINFO staff have come up with great, deserved teams that would indeed be formidable to face. Fantastic to see players of all ages, colours and religions chosen here and recognised for their efforts and contributions over the last year in the beautiful, exciting game that is cricket. Here's to a cracking 2017 in international cricket! Happy New Year everyone and thank you to the wonderful staff at ESPNCRICINFO.

  • MD on January 1, 2017, 13:44 GMT

    Warner should include in Test & Mustafiz in ODI.

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