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KG the only shining light in SA cricket


“This looks like an individual piece of recognition but it is much more about the team”

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KAGISO Rabada is the lone Proteas representative in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year that was announced yesterday, but South Africa have no representation in the ICC ODI Team of the Year.

Rabada is ranked No 1 on the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings.

Australia also only have one player selected across both teams with off-spinner Nathan Lyon being picked in the Test side.

Both ICC teams are captained by India’s skipper Virat Kohli, who struck 1 322 runs at an average of 55.08 with five centuries in 13 Tests and 1 202 runs at an astounding average of 133.55 with centuries in 14 ODIs.

Kohli also ended 2018 as the top-ranked Test and ODI batsman in the ICC rankings, while his side finished the year as the top-ranked side in Tests and number two behind England in ODIs.

“It has been an amazing year. I was able to play in a manner that I would not have imagined,” Kohli said.

“If the intention is right and you keep working hard, the results are there in front of your own eyes. The intent has always been to be helping your team at any cost; that is when these performances come by and you are pushing yourself to the limit, which you otherwise will not be able to. That is something I experienced in 2018 a lot.”

The Test team also features Kohli’s compatriots, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is the only player apart from Kohli to feature in both sides. New Zealand also have three players in the Test squad with captain Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and opener Tom Latham selected.

Five other nations make up the remainder of the Test team – Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Jason Holder (Windies), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan) and Rabada.

“This looks like an individual piece of recognition but it is much more about the team,” said New Zealand captain Williamson.

“Both of the other two who have been fortunate enough to be named in the XI, I am sure, would agree that as a group we have been growing for a period of time, as a Test unit. It is great that the guys have been looking to play their roles as best as they can. The Test team has been tracking nicely.”

ICC Teams of the Year

Test: Tom Latham (New Zealand), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Virat Kohli (India, capt), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Rishabh Pant (India, wk), Jason Holder (Windies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan)

ODI: Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India, capt), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England, wk), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India)