With 2016 approaching an end, we wanted our readers to pick their best cricket team of the year in the SportsCafe Readers’ XI. In the first leg, we are inviting you to select the best wicket-keeper of the year following which we will go through the bowlers, all-rounders and batsmen one by one.
Since making his international debut as a 20-year-old against New Zealand, Quinton de Kock has only grown in stature. His fearless hitting prowess and superb work with the gloves have earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.
2016 has been a wonderful year for the Johannesburg-born batsman as he plundered runs at will in all three formats of the game. With the superb ability to get runs quickly, de Kock has become a player to watch out for and there is no doubt, why he was chosen as the ICC ODI Cricketer of the year 2016. In ODIs this year, de Kock has effected 16 dismissals from 16 matches and has been phenomenal with the willow as well, scoring 857 runs at an average of 57.13.
De Kock has played only seven T20s in 2016, in which he effected nine dismissals and scored 229 runs at an average of 32.71.
In Tests, this has been the third best year for the wicket-keeper batsmen out there since 1990 and de Kock has a fair share of contribution to it. With six 50-plus scores in 11 Test innings, including two
So, picking him in both your limited-overs and Test team won’t be a bad idea at all.
Jos Buttler has had an extraordinary impact in the resurgence of England’s limited-over fortunes- to be more precise after the 2015 ICC Cricket World-Cup debacle. His clear-minded and quick-footed aggressive batting has been an asset for every team that he has played so far.
Taking his 2015 form to 2016, Buttler has scored 573 runs from 16 one-day matches at an average of 57.30. Behind the stumps, the Lancashire-born batsman has effected 21 dismissals whereas, in T20s, Buttler has helped in three dismissals from 10 matches.
In T20s, Buttler has scored 22 runs at an average of 32.71.
Dinesh had a fantastic 2016 in which he scored 656 runs at an average of 59.63 from 14 one-day matches. Adding to this, his 14 dismissals behind the stumps is an icing on the cake. He has scored 378 runs from 11 limited-over matches.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Dhoni, who had retired from Test cricket in 2014, has effected 17 dismissals in 13 matches in the One-day format and bettered it with 27 dismissals from 21 matches in T20 cricket. Dhoni has scored 238 runs in T20s but couldn’t live up to the billing in the one-day format, scoring 278 runs from 13 matches.
What a year he has had!
Jonny Bairstow has racked up 1470 runs from 19 Tests, the most by any wicketkeeper in a calendar year; in fact, he needed just 12 runs to become the highest run-getter for England in a calendar year. (Michael Vaughan currently holds the record with 1481)
Indian wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha has played nine matches and effected nine dismissals and scored 366 runs in 2016, making a case for his inclusion in the Test team.
Chandimal has 12 dismissals to his name from seven matches and scored 450 runs in 2016. He can be a contender for the Test squad.