Rabada lone Saffer in ICC Test XI, none in ODI side.
TELFORD VICE in London
YOU might think the Test team ranked second by the International Cricket Council (ICC) would crack a fair few nods in the ICC’s “Test team of the year”.
South Africa are that second-placed team, but in the ICC XI announced on Tuesday only Kagiso Rabada has earned a place.
Leaving him out would have been difficult seeing as he’s the No. 1 bowler as decided by the ICC themselves.
Part of the explanation for the paucity of Saffers is that the year in review was 2018 — and that they were in fourth place going into their series against Pakistan, which started on December 26.
Faf du Plessis’ team won six of the 10 Tests they played last year and lost the other four.
The top side in the rankings, India, have three players in the side and one of them, Virat Kohli, is the captain.
India’s record in 2018? Won six Tests, lost seven.
But wait. The lack of logic in the ICC’s team, which was picked by what a release called a “voting academy” that comprised former players, journalists and broadcasters from across the cricket world, doesn’t stop there.
There are also three players in the team from New Zealand, who are fourth in the standings, but none from England, who are third.
And is it right that the fourth and sixth ranked players in the batting rankings aren’t in the side because their names are Steve Smith and David Warner, convicted ball-tamperers both?
Maybe, considering there was space only for four of the top 10 — Kohli, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Dimuth Karunaratne.
Three of the bowlers in the team — Rabada, Mohammad Abbas and Jason Holder — are in the top 10.
Kohli also captains the ICC’s ODI selection, which features three other Indians, four England players and one each from New Zealand, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
And not a single South African. With a World Cup coming ready or not, that’s a worry for them.
Then again, considering the Test team, perhaps not.
ICC teams of the year:
Test: Tom Latham (New Zealand), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Rishabh Pant (India), Jason Holder (West Indies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan).
ODI: Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India).