SPORTSMAN OF THE DECADE (CRICKET)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

M. S. Dhoni started the decade on the perfect note, leading India to much-awaited glory at the 2011 World Cup and following it up with the Champions Trophy crown in 2013. While Dhoni the captain is synonymous with the change in the mindset of Indian cricket in general, his unconventional wicketkeeping and emergence as arguably the best finisher in One-Day Internationals have been somewhat overshadowed by his captaincy skills. Dhoni’s ability to stretch a chase deep and – more importantly – finish it off in near perfection has been the highlight of his celebrated career. Despite being unable to end his international career on the perfect note – India lost in the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup – Dhoni, just like his batting, will always be remembered for timing his exits across formats to perfection.
Batting (2011-2020)
TESTS
Matches: 37, Innings: 63, Runs: 1951, Highest Score: 224, Average: 34.83, 100s: 2, 50s: 13.
ODIs
Matches: 178, Innings: 144, Runs: 5040, Highest Score: 139 not out, Average: 50.90, 100s: 3, 50s: 36.
T20Is
Matches: 73, Innings: 61, Runs: 1176, Highest Score: 56, Average: 45.23, 50s: 2
Wicketkeeping (2011-2020)
TESTS
Matches: 37, Innings: 67, Dismissals: 126, Catches: 113, Stumpings: 13.
ODIs:
Matches: 178, Innings: 176, Dismissals: 219, Catches: 151, Stumpings: 68.
T20Is:
Matches: 73, Innings: 73, Dismissals: 77, Catches: 46, Stumpings: 31.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Virat Kohli

From being the youngest member of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad towards the start of the decade to emerging as the most prolific batsman — if not cricketer — in the world by the end of it, Virat Kohli has had an astonishing 10 years. Having amassed more than 20,000 runs in international cricket, with 66 hundreds — that’s 5,000-plus runs more than any other batsman – Kohli’s consistency across all three formats has stunned aficionados, connoisseurs, contemporaries and greats from the past. Besides wielding his willow with elan across the globe, Kohli has emerged as a successful captain across formats, with an ICC crown the only achievement to have eluded him as skipper.
TESTS
Matches: 84, Innings: 141, Runs: 7202, Highest Score: 254 not out, Average: 54.97, 100s: 27, 50s: 22
ODIS
Matches: 202, Innings: 196, Runs: 10,130, Highest Score: 183, Average: 62.53, 100s: 39, 50s: 45
T20IS
Matches: 73, Innings: 69, Runs: 2607, Highest Score: 94 not out, Average: 52.14, 50s: 24

Virat Kohli

Ravichandran Ashwin

One of India's premier spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin today ranks amongst the best exponents of off-spin bowling in world cricket. He made his ODI debut in 2010 and donned the Test whites for the first time in 2011. In 2013, Ashwin broke Erapalli Prasanna's Indian record for the fastest to 100 Test wickets when he reached the milestone in his 18th Test. He was adjudged Man of the Series in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2013, and was one of the leading performers with the ball when India won its first Test series in Australia on the 2018-19 tour. For last three years, Ashwin has struggled to cement his place in the limited-overs side but continues to be the go-to bowler in Tests with his control over offbreaks and a sharp brain keeping India alive in the 2020-2021 Border-Gavaskar series.
BATTING
TESTS
Matches: 70, Innings: 96, Runs: 2385, Highest Score: 124, Average: 28.73, 100s: 4, 50s: 11
ODIS
Matches: 104, Innings: 59, Runs: 637, Highest Score: 65, Average: 1592, 100s: 0, 50s: 1
T20IS
Matches: 44, Innings: 11, Runs: 123, Highest Score: 31 not out, Average: 30.75, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
BOWLING
TESTS
Matches: 70, Innings: 131, Wickets: 362, BBI: 7/59, BBM: 13/140, Average 25.36, Strike Rate: 53.6, Economy Rate: 2.83, 5wi: 27, 10wm: 7
ODIS
Matches: 104, Innings: 102, Wickets: 136, BBI: 4/25, Average 33.91, Strike Rate: 41.3, Economy Rate: 4.91, 4w:1, 5w: 0
T20Is
Matches: 44, Innings: 44, Wickets: 50, BBI: 4/8, Average 22.46, Strike Rate: 19.5, Economy Rate: 6.88, 4w: 2, 5w: 0

Ravichandran Ashwin

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE DECADE (CRICKET)

Mithali Raj

Not many make their international debut at the age of 16 and not many continue when they are 38! Mithali has been the torchbearer of Indian women's cricket for more than two decades and, undoubtedly, its greatest player. In her long and illustrious career, she has enjoyed tremendous success in all formats of the game.
In 2020, she made it to the ICC ODI Team of the Decade, a fitting honour for her consistency and longevity.
She is the only woman to score more than 6000 ODI runs in a career and she is also the only player to make more than 200 appearances for her country (209 matches, 6888 runs). When Mithali led India to the ODI World Cup final in 2017, she became the only skipper - male or female - to have taken the side to two World Cup summit clashes (she had also captained the team in the 2005 World Cup final). At 38, Mithali is hungry as ever.
Mithali Raj facts
2014: Led India to a Test win against England in Wormsley and also guided the team to a Test win against South Africa in Mysuru
2015: Received the Padma Shri Award
2016: Captained India in the 2016 World T20
2017: Led India to the ODI World Cup final and in the process, surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards to become the highest run-scorer in ODIs and the first woman to 6000 runs in the format. Her 409-run tally in the tournament was second only to England opener Tammy Beaumont's.
She is the only Indian captain - male or female - to have led the side to two 50-over World Cup finals - 2005 and 2017 - the only major distinction that eludes the incumbent ODI captain is the tag of a World Cup winner.
2018: Became the highest run scorer for India on November 11in T20 cricket, surpassing Rohit Sharma. She retired from the format in 2019, with 2364 runs. Also received the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World Award.
2019: Became the first woman to complete two decades in ODI cricket.
2020: Made it to the ICC's ODI Team of the Decade.
TESTS
Matches: 2, Runs: 91, Highest: 50*, Strike Rate: 40.26, 50s: 1
ODIs
Matches: 89, Runs: 3052, Highest: 125*, Average: 51.72, 100s: 5, 50s: 21.
T20Is (till 2019)
Matches: 76, Runs: 1989, Highest: 97*, Average: 36.38, 50s: 15

Mithali Raj

Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan, only eight days older than Mithali, has served the country with distinction as a bowler, skipper and even nightwatchman (she made a fifty against England at Leicester in 2006).
A fast bowler with a bustling run-up and a big heart, Jhulan has been India's biggest weapon since 2002 when she made her debut. She and Mithali are a treasure trove of knowledge, sharing experience and expertise with the younger lot.
Jhulan, the only bowler to scalp more than 200 ODI wickets (225 in 182 games), was named in ICC's ODI Team of the Decade in 2020.
The 2010 Arjuna and 2012 Padma Shri winner continues to run in with verve and enthusiasm, as her exploits for Trailblazers in the 2020 Women's T20 Challenge in Sharjah showed.
Jhulan Goswami facts
2012: Became the second Indian women cricketer to receive Padma Shri after Diana Edulji. She received the Arjuna Award in 2010.
2014: She scalped a four-for against England, helping India win the one-off Test against England.
2015: She was one of four senior players who were handed the highest grade of central contracts by BCCI for the first time.
2016: She featured in the World T20 for India.
#Was the player of the match in the final as India beat Pakistan to clinch the Asia Cup.
2017: Became the highest wicket-taker in history of ODIs, eclipsing the decade-long record in the name of Australian Cathryn Fitzpatrick. Sjw still is the highest wicket-taker in the ODI format with 225 scalps.
# Scalped 10 wickets as India reached the final of the Women’s ODI World Cup in England.
2018: She quit T20Is, but continued to play in the ODIs.
2020: Made it to the ICC ODI Team of the Decade.
TESTS
Matches: 2, Runs: 20, Highest: 17, SR: 22.22, Wickets: 7, Best: 5-68, Economy: 2.11, SR 50.5.
ODIs
Matches: 77, Wickets: 105 (Highest), Economy: 3.50, Average: 36.4, Best: 6-31, 5-fors: 1, 4-fors: 3.
T20Is (till 2018)
Matches: 57, Wickets: 53, Economy: 5.42, Best: 5-11, 5-fors: 1.

Jhulan Goswami

Smriti Mandhana

Just 24, Smriti is already a superstar in Indian women's cricket. A vital link in the batting chain, the opener has made a huge impact with her style and substance. She is even referred to as Lady Ganguly for her grace and timing. Smriti announced her arrival on the big stage in style, smashing a double hundred for Maharashtra against Gujarat in a West Zone women's under-19 one-day game in 2013. At ease in all three formats, Smriti has gone to score 3822 runs since donning the India cap in 2013. When the 2019 Arjuna Award winner led Trailblazers to a remarkable maiden triumph in the 2020 Women's T20 Challenge in Sharjah, her leadership qualities came to the fore. Her match-winning skills found suitors in the Big Bash League and Women's Super League in England, and she vindicated their decision by piling up runs at a frenetic pace.
Smriti Mandhana facts
2013: Made her presence felt with a double century for Maharashtra against Gujarat in a West Zone Women's U-19 One-dayer fixture.
Broke into the Indian ODI and T20I sides against Bangladesh.
2014: Scored a half-century on her Test debut against England in 2014, which paved the way for India’s historic win.
2016: Scored her first ODI century against Australia in Hobart. She amassed 157 runs in the three-match ODI series.
# After the tour of Australia, she featured in the World T20. Later in the year, made it to the Women’s Big Bash League, featuring for Brisbane Heat.
# Made it to the ICC Women’s Team of the Year
2017: Scored a century against the West Indies in the World Cup in England, which eventually helped India reach the final of the tournament.
2018: Played in the Kia Super League for Western Storm. Amassed 689 runs - with four half-centuries and a ton.
# Was named the vice-captain of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.
# Featured in the Women’s Big Bash League for Hobart Hurricanes.
2019: Conferred with the Arjuna Award.
# Became the third fastest woman to score 2,000 runs in ODI cricket when she hit a match-winning fifty against West Indies.
2020: Was the vice-captain of the Indian team which reached the final of T20 World Cup in Australia.
# In her captaincy, Trailblazers won the Women's T20 Challenge in Sharjah.
TESTS
Matches: 2, Runs: 81, Highest: 51, Strike Rate: 43.54, 50s: 1
ODIs
Matches: 51, Runs: 2025, Highest: 135, Strike Rate: 84.41, 100s: 4, 50s: 17
T20Is
Matches: 75, Runs: 1716, Highest: 86, Strike Rate: 119.41, 50s: 12

Smriti Mandhana