Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root, Kane Willamson are to cricket what Tim Henman, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are to tennis. These sportsmen have dominated their respective sports for quite some time now. The players have become ambassadors of their respective sports and have set benchmarks for others to follow, in the process helping their game evolve. 2017 turned out to be a great year for most of these sportsmen as they have scaled new heights.
This article will throw light on how the Fab Four (Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root, Kane Willamson) fared in 2017 across formats, backed with statistics to give you a fair idea of where your favourite cricketer stands to head into the new year which also will bring its own challenges.
Let us start with some Indian interest.
Highest Score: 243
Highest Score: 131
Highest Score: 82
The Indian captain Virat Kohli dominated across all formats in 2017. He is also the leading century-maker across formats. Virat, who has just got married to Anushka Sharma, is the leading run-scorer in ODIs as well. As a captain, he has been on an unstoppable run, remaining unbeaten all-year long in many bilateral series. He has had a year to remember where he even got to his highest Test score of 243 in a Test against Sri Lanka at the fag end of 2017.
Highest Score: 239
Highest Score: 108*
Steven Smith has undoubtedly been one of the best Test batsmen in the world. According to stats, he is way ahead of the rest of the pack in this format. He played the Ashes where the quality of bowling is high, unlike what Virat was dished at by the Sri Lankans or the West Indians earlier this year. Smith has not lived up to his standards if we speak of the ODIs. Also, if we speak about the shortest format, Smith has not featured Australia in T20Is in 2017.
Highest Score: 190
Highest Score: 133*
Highest Score: 46*
If we speak of the longer format, Root has just about been on par, no great shakes! But if we look into his ODI performance in 2017, he has played exceedingly well averaging 70.21, which is good enough to see him make the cut into any team. But in the shortest version, he has not played a lot, hence comparing him with others would be unfair. Root will certainly hope for a better 2018 and we wish the Yorkshireman all the best.
Highest Score: 176
Highest Score: 100
Highest Score: 73*
Williamson is a way better player than his stats suggest. One could also take into account they were crushed in their India tour, that must have hampered his stats. But one thing is for certain, Kane Williamson is due for a big 2018 one feels.
Going purely by stats, it is clear that Virat Kohli has had the best year comparatively. But at times statistics can also be deceptive.
Example: Will Steven Smith’s double hundred at Perth against a formidable English attack be equivalent to Virat Kohli’s career-best 243 against a lacklustre Sri Lankan bowling unit on a batting paradise? Never ever! All these batsmen who feature in the Fab Four are there of course because of a reason, hence statistics cannot narrate the real tale. But again don’t we love comparing our favourite cricketers on some facts?