New Delhi: The ICC named MS Dhoni as captain of its ODI Team of the year, with opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and the in-form Virat Kohli also featuring in the 12 names announced by the game's apex body on Friday. This is the fifth year in a row that Dhoni has been selected in the team.
The team, chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend and former captain Clive Lloyd, includes players from six countries - India (3), England (2), Australia (2), Sri Lanka (2), Pakistan (2) and South Africa (1).
Gambhir has been selected as the opener, while Kohli slotted at No. 4. The surprise omission, though, remains South Africa opener Hashim Amla who has been in top form for the last one year in all formats and is also the top-ranked batsmen in ICC's ODI rankings.
The current number-one ODI team England is represented by their opener and captain Alastair Cook and fast bowler Steven Finn. Australia captain Michael Clarke leads his country's representation, along with Shane Watson, who has been named the 12th man.
No. 1 ODI bowler Saeed Ajmal and bowling allrounder Shahid Afridi of Pakistan are the two spinners in the side. Sri Lanka's batting stalwart Kumar Sangakkara has been listed to bat at No. 3, with his countryman Lasith Malinga's death-bowling expertise earning him the fast bowler's role with Finn and South Africa's only representation Morne Morkel.
The announcement was made by the ICC's Chief Executive, David Richardson, at a special function ahead of the LG ICC Awards ceremony which will be held on Saturday night at the Waters Edge, Colombo.
ICC ODI Team of the Year (in batting order) Gautam Gambhir (Ind), Alastair Cook (Eng), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Virat Kohli (Ind),
MS Dhoni (Ind, c/wk), Michael Clarke (Aus), Shahid Afridi (Pak), Morne Morkel (SA), Steven Finn (Eng), Lasith Malinga (SL), Saeed Ajmal (Pak), Shane Watson (Aus, 12th Man)