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BEST XI of October: A view at the best performances from the month

3 Indians and 3 Pakistanis in the eleven.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers of the Proteas. (Photo by Thinus Maritz/Gallo Images)

Just like any other month of the calendar year, October of 2017 treated us with top class cricketing action all across the globe. The month started off with the final leg of the Australian tour to India while Pakistan faced off against Sri Lanka across all formats. South Africa was also engaged in a one-sided contest against Bangladesh at home.

During the latter half of the month, New Zealand toured India for a 3-match ODI and T20I series while West Indies clashed against Zimbabwe at their own soil. All in all, the month treated the cricketing fans with spectacular individual performances and here we look at the Best XI from the tenth month of the year.

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1. Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Getty images)
Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

There had been murmurs around the strategic staff of the Aussies and the Kiwis regarding Rohit Sharma’s incompetence against the incoming deliveries up front especially with the left-handers in operation, i.e., Trent Boult and Jason Behrendorff.

Before things could creep into the opening batsman due to the shortage of runs, Rohit Sharma played a gem of an innings at Kanpur, where he also scored a sparkling 150 against South Africa couple of years back in losing cause.

He scored 147 in an innings which glittered with 18 magnificent boundaries and two sixes, which was easily one of the best in the month. Also, he scored a match-winning inning of 125 during the final ODI of the Australian series to rub salt into the wounds and seal the series for India by a margin of 4-1.

2. Colin Munro

Colin Munro
Colin Munro. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Implementing the model formulated by their revolutionary captain, Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro has taken up the ‘pinch-hitting’ role rather successfully as seen from the recent ODI against India. New Zealand was on course for creating history on Indian soil when Munro was batting for his 75 off 62 deliveries.

That knock was a breath of fresh air but also had a tinge of McCullum in it as he smashed one of the best limited over format bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for a maximum, the very first ball he faced. In total, he smashed 7 boundaries and three sixes in his counter-attacking innings.

3. Virat Kohli (C)

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates his 32nd ODI ton. (Photo Source: Twitter)

There is no list in the world presently featuring the best performances which would not include the Indian captain Virat Kohli, let alone the Best XI for the month. Kohli was nominated as the man of the series recently against New Zealand, thanks to his two tons during the three matches of the series (121 at Mumbai, 113 at Kanpur).

With the help of these knocks. VK created history by gathering the most number of rating points in a calendar year by an Indian (889) breaking Sachin Tendulkar‘s record of 887 points in 1998. He also retained the number one position in ODIs and is currently the leading run-getter in the world in the calendar year of 2017 until now.

4. AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Photo by Thinus Maritz/Gallo Images)

After a long layoff, Mr. 360 announced his international comeback with an AB de Villiers special against Bangladesh as he threatened to bring up his maiden double hundred in 50-over cricket in the 2nd ODI.

De Villiers smashed 176 off just 104 deliveries at a strike rate of 170, smashing a whopping 15 boundaries and 7 maximums. The innings at Paarl was easily the best knock of the month in terms entertainment and therefore is a certainty in the Best XI for the month.

5. Tom Latham (wk)

Tom Latham
Tom Latham (Photo Source: Twitter)

Tom Latham was clearly the find of the series as far as New Zealand was concerned which also helped him earn a spot in the Best XI. He was responsible for taking the Kiwis home in almost two occasions of the series (103* at Mumbai, 65 at Kanpur). Originally an opening batsman, he stepped down in the batting order to promote Munro up the order. Also, his adept against spin forged the idea of him being exposed in the middle overs.

The likes of Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal had no answer to his slog sweeps, reverse sweeps and paddle sweeps. Latham exhibited that he’s the ultimate team man as he had to undertake the additional role of wicketkeeping with the retirement of Luke Ronchi. Which meant that the Kiwis could play around with Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme down the order.

6. Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik (Photo Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Man of the series in the recently concluded T20I series against Sri Lanka, Shoaib Malik stole the show at the number 5 position, finishing the innings for the Pakistan side. He amassed 102 in the three innings of the series which helped Pakistan whitewash the series against Sri Lanka.

Apart from that, Malik also chipped in with valuable contributions in the ODI series with the help of his 81 at Dubai and 69 at Sharjah.

7. David Miller

David Miller South Africa
David Miller. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

David Miller toppled all T20I records with the help of his explosive knock against Bangladesh in the 2nd T20I at Potchefstroom. Killer Miller smashed a ton off just 36 deliveries while remaining unbeaten at 101. He scored his runs at a ridiculous strike rate of 280.

This is now the fastest hundred by a batsman in T20I cricket. His knock contained an unbelievable 7 boundaries and 9 sixes. Yuvraj Singh’s record of 6 sixes in one over was in jeopardy as Miller smashed 5 consecutive sixes of Saifuddin’s over.

8. Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan of Pakistan
Shadab Khan (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The chances of Shadab Khan picking up a wicket as soon as he is introduced in the middle is even better than Virat Kohli scoring an ODI ton these days.

Shadab had the uncanny knack of picking up crucial wickets in the very first over he bowled against Sri Lanka. Cumulatively, in both T20Is and ODIs, Shadab Khan has taken a whopping 12 wickets in the 8 games played.

9. Usman Khan

Usman Khan Shinwari
Usman Khan Shinwari (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan’s never-ending factory of producing quality bowlers continues to be under exhibition as the latest among the ranks is Usman Khan who stole the show with his spell during the final ODI at Sharjah with his five-wicket haul. As a result, it would be unfair to not include him in the Best XI.

He single-handedly ran through the batting order with his spell of 5-34 in just the requisite 7 overs. Usman picked up the five wickets in just 21 deliveries, thereby becoming the third quickest to take five-for since 2001 in ODI cricket.

10. Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa Dean Elgar News
Kagiso Rabada  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

As Bangladesh had a forgettable tour to South Africa, with them not able to secure a victory in the seven games played across all formats, Kagiso Rabada shouldered the extra responsibility by bagging heaps of wickets in the absence of their main bowlers due to injury.

As a matter of fact, Kagiso Rabada picked up a whopping 20 wickets across ODIs and T20Is, which contained a five-wicket haul in both innings of the Bloemfontein Test match.

11. Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: Twitter)

To see cricketing experts rate Jasprit Bumrah as the best death bowler in the world presently in just a career spanning only 2-years is incredible. In the recent match against New Zealand, Bumrah went on to show how quality death bowling can make the difference.

Being the highest wicket-taker for India in 2017, Bumrah continued to show his dominance in the series against New Zealand and Australia. With the help of adept with yorkers and wicket-taking skills, there is no way on can exclude Bumrah in the Best XI for the month.

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