Pakistan batsman Babar Azam and fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas were picked in ESPNcricinfo’s T20I and Test team of 2018 respectively.
Babar was picked in the side for his 965 runs in the calendar year with a strike-rate of 124.67.
The top-order batsman had a memorable 2018 as he overtook India’s Virat Kohli to become the fastest player to reach 1,000 runs in T20I. He accomplished the feat in 26 innings.
His brilliant and consistent performances against the likes of Australia and New Zealand took him to the top of the ICC T20I batsmen rankings.
Meanwhile, pacer Abbas’s brilliant showing in 2018 helped him land a spot in the Test team of the illustrious cricket website.
The Gujranwala-born pacer burst onto the scene with a performance which helped Pakistan clinch a 1-0 Test series win over Australia. His heroics helped him reach third spot in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers. Abbas has earned praised from many cricketing greats such as Dale Steyn and new Australian captain Tim Paine.
Test: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Tom Latham (New Zealand), Kane Williamson (New Zealand) (captain), Virat Kohli (India), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England) (wicket keeper), Jason Holder (West Indies), Shannon Gabriel (West Indies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan) and Nathan Lyon (Australia).
T20I: Aaron Finch (Australia) (captain), Jos Buttler (England) (wicket keeper), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Babar Azam (Pakistan), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Joe Denly (England), Andre Russell (West Indies), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Andrew Tye (Australia), Jofra Archer (West Indies) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan).
ODI: Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India) (captain), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Shai Hope (West Indies), Jos Buttler (England) (wicket keeper), Chris Woakes (England), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) and Jasprit Bumrah (India).
Women’s: Smriti Mandhana (India), Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wicket keeper), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Rachael Haynes (Australia), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Harmanpreet Kaur (India) (captain), Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Megan Schutt (Australia), Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), Poonam Yadav (India) and Shabnim Ismail (South Africa).
Moreover, it was acknowledged that Pakistan had 17 wins in T20Is, the most ever for any team in a calendar year. The previous highest was 15, for India in 2016. In the last two years, Pakistan have a 25-4 win-loss record, easily the best among all teams.