Wisden names Kohli Leading Cricketer of the Year for third successive time

Kohli has bagged the honour for the third consecutive year. © Getty

The Wisden Almanack named Virat Kohli as the Leading Cricketer of the Year for 2018 on Wednesday (April 10). The Indian captain also was picked as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the year, along with Tammy Beaumont, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Rory Burns. Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana bagged the Women’s Leading Cricketer of the Year.

Kohli, who was picked as the Leading Cricketer of the Year for the third time in a row, composed 2735 runs across the three formats in 2018. He was in prime form during the tour of England, where he notched up 593 runs over five Tests at an average of 59.3. He ended the year with five Test hundreds to his name. Don Bradman (10 times) and Gary Sobers (8 times) are the only two cricketers who have bagged the award on more than three occasions.

Mandhana, who won the Leading Women’s Cricketer of the Year, scored 669 and 662 runs in ODIs and T20Is during the course of 2018. She was also in stellar form in the Women’s Super League, compiling 421 runs at an astounding strike rate of 174.68.

Rashid Khan bagged the Leading T20 Cricketer of the Year. The Afghanistan spinner plucked 21 scalps in the Indian Premier League 2018. He was also in superb form in T20Is, finishing with 22 wickets at an average of 8.68 for Afghanistan last year.

Meanwhile, alongside Kohli, Beaumont, Curran, Burns and Buttler were included in the Five Wisden Cricketers of the Year. Beaumont, the England opener, compiled 452 and 430 runs in ODIs and T20Is. She also finished with 198 runs for Southern Vipers in the Women’s Super League. Burns, the Surrey opener, accrued 1359 runs at an average of 64.71 in the County Championship. He crunched four hundreds during the course of the County season, and also played a key role in helping Surrey win their first Championship title after 16 years. Subsequently, Burns was picked for the Test tours of Sri Lanka and and West Indies.

Buttler, the wicketkeeper-batsman, had a breakthrough year in Test cricket, evidenced by the 760 runs he accumulated at an average of 44.70 in 2018. He also cracked his maiden Test hundred against India at Trent Bridge. The enterprising batsman also continued to make waves in limited overs cricket and averaged over 50 in ODIs in the year gone by. Curran, the younger brother of Tom, also took his game to an elevated level, finishing with 272 runs and 11 wickets in his debut Test series versus India. The promising all rounder was also named the Player of the Series.

The criteria for Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year is based mainly on their “influence on the previous English season”. Wisden has been listing out Cricketers of the Year since 1889.