Virat Kohli was super star of 2016, Herath in top 10 list

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Virat Kohli was super star of 2016, Herath in top 10 list;  India No.1 Test XI, Australia No.1 ODI XI

By Srian Obeyesekere

While Sri Lanka’s spin bowler was the only player from the island nation to bowl himself in to the top ten performers fold, the international cricket year gone by was hogged by India’s Virat Kohli who proved to be the batting phenomenon of 2016, and of course the successor to all time great batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli drove home his status quo by also going a notch further in turning things new succeeding long time Test captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to cap it in a flamboyance by leading India to finish as the ICC No.1 Test team.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the fifth and final Test cricket match between India and England at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on December 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

The 5’ 9” tall right hander, who first debuted in ODIs in 2008 and in Test cricket in 2011, did translate the year gone by in a fruition of full measure of a batting wizard who has got in to the Tendulkar shoes of doing the job for India. His 1215 Test runs from 12 matches with a highest score of 235 averaging 75.93, and 739 ODI runs from 10 games with an individual highest of an unbeaten 154 averaging 92.37 symobolises Kohli the batting artist that he has fashioned himself in to in a brief 5-year Test career and 8-year ODI career.  In the top flight stage of contention that sets apart the super star batters in what was a head on race between Australia’s young captain Steve Smith who arrived on the fold a few years ago, indeed the mustachioed Kohli blazed away in a nonchalance of aggressive but minutely calculated stroke play that exalted the Indian skipper ahead as the prince of batsmen in 2016.  Wholly, it was Kohli’s year in leading India to the first T20 Asia Cup.

Kohli was followed by England batsman Joe Root as the N0. 2 performer on the back of the following statistics: Tests – 1477 runs. 17 matches. Highest score – 254. Average – 49.23, and ODIs – 796 runs. 15 matches. Highest score – 125. Average – 61.23. Strikingly, Root, the 26-year Yorkshireman, who broke in to the England side more or less during a passage that saw their star performer Kevin Pietersen depart from the fold on disciplinary grounds, turned the situation to rise as England’s anchor man who starred as their prize batsman. South Africa’s Quinton de Kock took the coveted third position in the list of honours for 2016 with statistics that read: Tests – 626 runs. 8 matches. Highest score – 129*. Average – 62.60. ODIs – 857 runs. 17 matches. Highest score – 178. Average – 57.13.

The rest of the honours list reads as follows in that order:

Azhar Ali (Pakistan)

Tests – 626 runs. 8 matches. Highest score – 129*. Average – 62.60
ODIs – 857 runs. 17 matches. Highest score – 178. Average – 57.13

Steve Smith (Australia)

Tests – 914 runs. 11 matches. Highest score – 138. Average – 60.93.
e   ODIs – 1154 runs. 26 matches. Highest score – 164. Average – 50.17score – 138. Average – 60.93.
ODIs – 1154 runs. 26 matches. Highest score – 164. Average – 50.17

Jonny Bairstow (England)

Tests – 1477 runs. 17 matches. Dismissals – 70. Highest score – 167*. Average – 58.80

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

Tests – 72 wickets. 12 matches. Best bowling – 7/59. Econ rate – 2.9

Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

Tests – 56 wickets. 9 mathches. Best bowling – 8/63. Econ rate – 2.5

Stuart Broad (England)

Tests – 48 wickets. 14 matches. Best bowling – 6/17. Econ rate – 2.74

Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Tests – 45 wickets. 8* matches. Best bowling – 6/50. Econ rate – 3.45
ODIs – 26 wickets. 13 matches. Best bowling – 3/32. Econ rate – 4.49

-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-

By Srian Obeyesekere