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India's Most Impactful 9 Cricketers in 2017

December 30, 2017 07:51 IST

Rajneesh Gupta presents India's top impact players in 2017.

Team India

It was a record-breaking year for Indian cricket as they continued their winning run.

Under Virat Kohli, India won all the four Test series they featured in 2017 -- all at home, while in ODIs they emerged victorious in six series, while their only setback in the 50-overs format was a shocking loss to Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

 

This year, India played a lot of T20 cricket and there was no beating them in the shortest format too.

The Men in Blue won four of six T20I bilateral series, with their only series loss coming in the one-off T20 match against the West Indies, while the three-match series against Australia ending in a 1-1 draw after the third match was abandoned due to rain.

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front with the bat, with 2,818 runs across all formats.

Cheteshwar Pujara may have not hogged the limelight but he had enjoyed another stellar run with the bat in 2017, while there was no stopping record-breaking Rohit Sharma, who registered his third double century in ODIs and then slammed the joint fastest century in T20 Internationals, against Sri Lanka in Indore.

Spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja may have lost their places in the limited overs team, but they made their presence felt in the longer version with a rich haul of wickets in Tests in 2017.

The young spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal justified their inclusion ahead of the two senior spinners with some sparkling performances with the ball in ODIs and T20Is.

Shikhar Dhawan came back with a bang when he was presented with a lucky opportunity for the Test series in Sri Lanka and made his count with a consistent run with the bat while Jasprit Bumrah emerged as the best fast bowlers in limited overs cricket with some consistent performances through the year which saw win a place in the Test squad for the tour of South Africa.

Rediff.com presents India's top impact players in 2017:

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli

Another year full of runs for India's captain and leading batsman -- across all formats and on all fronts.

Under his leadership, India won almost every series, the only blot on his copybook being the loss to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

India won more Tests, ODIs and T20Is than any other side in 2017 and Virat's phenomenal batting was one of the major reasons behind this grand success.

He ended the year with 1,059 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 76.24. So consistent was his form that he scored five hundreds and only one fifty!

Three of his hundreds were double hundreds to take his tally to six double tons in Tests -- the last of them gave him a world record of most double hundreds by a captain in Tests, breaking Brian Lara's record.

In ODIs, Virat ruled supreme with 1,460 runs in 26 games at an average of 76.84. His run tally is the highest for a captain in a single year.

During the year, Virat also became the quickest to complete 9,000 runs in the 50-overs game.

In all, Virat scored 2,818 runs across all formats at an average of 68.73, with 11 hundreds in 2017.

Performance in the year

 GamesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate10050
Tests 10 1,059 243 75.64 76.24 5 1
ODIs 26 1,460 131 76.84 99.11 6 7
T20Is 10 299 82 37.37 152.55 0 2

Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara

Virat Kohli might have grabbed all the attention with Bradmanesque dominance, but he was not India's leading run-getter in Tests in 2017.

That honour went to India's run-machine 'Chottu' Pujara.

Test cricket is the only format Pujara plays at the international level and therefore, it comes as no surprise why he does not get the credit that he so richly deserves.

But make no mistake, Pujara is the fulcrum around which the Indian batting revolves in the longer format and he keeps making runs without ever bothering about the credit.

In 2017, Pujara scored 1,140 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 67.05 with four hundreds and five fifties.

It was he who made India's brilliant come-from-behind series-win against Australia possible with his knocks of 92, 202 and 57 after the loss in the opening Test at Pune.

Performance in the year

 GamesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate10050

Tests

11 1,140 202 67.05 45.89 4 5

ODIs

0            

T20Is

0            

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin

>For the third year in a row, Ashwin ended up with 50-plus Test wickets, becoming the first Indian and only the third bowler (after Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan) to accomplish this feat.

After India's tour of the West Indies, Ashwin made all his appearances only in Tests as the team management preferred the young wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal over Ashwin and Jadeja.

But Ashwin remains a vital cog in India's wheel in the longer version.

Ashwin managed only two five-wicket hauls during the year, but he has been consistent with his form and that saw him becoming the fastest bowler to reach the 300 wicket mark in Tests.

Performance in the year

 GamesWicketsBestAverageRuns Per OverStrike Rate5W

Tests

11 56 6/41 27.58 2.78 59.35 2

ODIs

9 8 3/28 53.75 5.73 56.25 0

T20Is

1 0 - - 9.75 - 0

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma

Rohit appeared in only two out of the 11 Tests India played this year, but he still finished 2017 with 1,793 runs at an average of 64.03 and a strike rate of over 100 across the three formats.

His run tally is the second highest by an Indian across all formats, behind only Virat Kohli.

That speaks volumes about Rohit's incredible batting prowess.

During the series against Sri Lanka at home, Rohit scored a hundred in Tests, a double hundred in ODIs and a hundred in T20Is, thus becoming the first player to reach three-figure mark in all three formats in the same series/tour.

Throughout the year Rohit kept displaying his mind-boggling talent in shifting gears and shredding the opposition bowling to pieces at will. There aren't many players who can match Rohit's incredible hitting qualities.

2017 saw Rohit hitting 64 sixes -- the most by any batsman in a single year across formats and it didn't come as a surprise to anyone.

Towards the end of the year, Rohit was given a chance to show his leadership skills and he grabbed the chance with both ends as he led India to ODI and T20I series wins against Australia.

Performance in the year

 GamesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate10050

Tests

2 217 102* 217.00 69.77 1 2

ODIs

21 1,293 208* 71.83 99.46 6 5

T20Is

9 283 118 31.44 171.51 1 1

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja

Like Ashwin, Jadeja continues to be ignored for the ODIs and T20Is formats, but he has been India's most consistent bowler in Test cricket and delivered whenever the captain needed him to -- whatever the situation, whatever the conditions.

His average and strike rate this year has been better than Ashwin.

Jadeja played 10 Tests this year and finished with an impressive 54 wickets, but only featured in 10 ODIs in which he picked up eight wickets.

Performance in the year

 GamesWicketsBestAverageRuns Per OverStrike Rate5W

Tests

10 54 6/63 23.05 2.44 56.50 3

ODIs

10 8 2/43 60.12 5.22   0

T20Is

1 0 - - 11.71 - 0

Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal

Yet to play a Test, Yuzvendra's control and effectiveness makes him one of the best exponents of spin bowling in the shorter versions.

His success in T20 Internationals for India is simply amazing: He has taken 23 wickets in 11 matches at an average of just over 14.

His tally includes a six wicket haul -- 6/25 against England at Bengaluru -- the best figures by an Indian in T20Is and back to back four wicket hauls against Sri Lanka -- the only Indian to do so.

His T20I tally is the highest for any bowler this year.

In 14 One-Day Internationals, he has an economy of under-five, making him one of the few bowlers the captain can rely upon at any stage of the game.

Performance in the year

 GamesWicketsBestAverageRuns Per OverStrike Rate5W

Tests

0            

ODIs

14 21 3/30 28.57 4.95 34.57 0

T20Is

11 23 6/25 14.13 7.83 10.83 3

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar's has been a fairy tale story in 2017.

Out of the Test team, he had to sit it out of the shorter versions too after two ODIs against England.

When he got an opportunity to make a comeback in the ICC Champions Trophy he grabbed the opportunity by the lapels and ended up India's leading run scorer with scores of 68, 125, 78, 46 and 21.

This was followed by a five match ODI series against the West Indies where he made 87 and 63 in the first two games, but only managed scores of 2, 5 and 4 in subsequent games.

Shikhar was not considered for India's tour of Sri Lanka and was on his way to a family holiday when he had to rush to the island after receiving a distress call as both the first choice openers -- Murali Vijay and K L Rahul -- were injured.

Opening the innings at Galle, Shikhar scored 190 in just two sessions. This was the kind of break he needed and he has not looked back since to seal a regular spot in the team in all three formats.

In 2017, he aggregated 1,637 runs across formats at an average of 49.60 and a strike rate of over 100. Only Kohli and Rohit are ahead of him in scoring runs for India.

Performance in the year

 GamesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate10050

Tests

5 550 190 68.75 92.43 2 2

ODIs

22 960 132* 48.00 101.37 3 6

T20Is

6 127 80 25.40 138.04 0 1

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah

His dismissal of Fakhar Zaman off a no ball in the ICC Champions Trophy final will haunt Jasprit for a long time, but the young pacer had a very fruitful year otherwise.

In white ball cricket, Jasprit has been India's main strike bowler.

With 39 wickets in 23 matches, he is India's most successful bowler in ODIs. Overall, only two bowlers -- Pakistan's Hasan Ali and Afghanistan's Rashid Khan -- took more wickets than him.

For long India had conceded far too many runs in the death overs. Not any more as Jasprit has turned out to be one of the best death over bowlers in the game with his ability to bowl yorkers at will and clever use of the slower ball.

Performance in the year

 GamesWicketsBestAverageRuns Per OverStrike Rate5W

Tests

0            

ODIs

23 39 5/27 26.25 5.13 30.67 2

T20Is

11 12 3/14 20.00 6.92 17.33 0

Kuldeep Yadav

The first left-arm 'Chinaman' bowler to play for India, Kuldeep had a most dramatic and eventful Test debut.

With the series level at 1-1 against Australia, Kuldeep was inducted into the side as the replacement for the skipper who was ruled out of the decider fourth Test in Dharamsala because of a shoulder injury.

Electing to bat first, Australia were sitting pretty at 131/1 at lunch on day one, with David Warner and Steve Smith taking the game away from India.

Kuldeep, who had bowled just two overs before lunch, had immediate success after lunch, getting rid of Warner.

That dismissal proved crucial as Australia lost their way and were dismissed for 300. Kuldeep was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 4/68.

India went on to win the Test by 8 wickets and claim the series 2-1.

Kuldeep has played only one more Test, but he has been a regular in the shorter versions of the game and has the numbers to prove his importance to the side.

In both ODIs and T20Is, his economy and strike rate has been superb with a combined tally of 34 wickets in 22 games.

Performance in the year

 GamesWicketsBestAverageRuns Per OverStrike Rate5W

Tests

2 9 4/40 20.77 3.22 38.66 0

ODIs

14 22 3/41 24.77 4.88 30.45 0

T20Is

8 12 3/52 18.50 7.65 14.50 0

Photographs: BCCI

Rajneesh Gupta