Despite leading his team to an 18-match unbeaten run, Indian skipper Virat Kohli could not break into the International Cricket Council’s Test team of the year announced on Thursday.
Kohli was the Player of the Series in India’s 4-0 triumph over England with 655 runs in five matches. He has also hit three double centuries this year, against West Indies, New Zealand and England. The fact that he still did not make the ICC’s Test team led to some Twitter outrage from Indian fans.
However, there is a perfectly logical explanation to it.
Kohli’s feat was not taken into account because of the ICC’s qualification period. Only matches played between September 14, 2015, to September 20, 2016, were taken into account by the adjudicating panel, which included journalists. In this period, Kohli scored only 451 runs in eight matches at 45.10. Rest assured, the Indian captain will feature in next year’s team.
Consequently, England’s Joe Root, Alastair Cook and Jonny Bairstow averaged well over 50 in this period. Australia’s David Warner averaged 56 while his teammate Adam Voges had a Bradman-esque average of 90.
The one complaint that can be made, though, is the timing of the release. If the ICC announces its awards and teams of the year for the period of September to September almost at the end of December, it is expected that a casual fan would consider it a team for the calendar year.
ICC Test Team of the year:
Alastair Cook (captain), David Warner, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Adam Voges, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rangana Herath, Mitchell Starc, Dale Steyn, Steve Smith.