India did not have a great year when it came to the ODIs unlike the Tests.
India were involved in a triangular series with Australia and England in Down Under. They lost three out of four matches in that series and critics slammed Team India and also predicted that if rain did not play spoilsport, they would have lost the fourth ODI as well.
They reached the ICC World Cup 2015 semi final but bowed down to Australia as the hosts were too hot to handle.
After the Indian Premier League (IPL), India went for a short trip to Bangladesh where they lost an ODI series.
And recently, Team India lost yet another ODI series against South Africa on the home soil.
As we can clearly see, 2015 was not a good year at all for Team India when it came to the ODI format. But a few players still stood out with some brilliant individual performances and their impact on the international game was quite remarkable.
Here are India's top 5 ODI players of 2015:
1. Rohit Sharma - He is popularly known as the 'Hitman' of India. He has not let down the Indian fans and one would probably agree that he is the kind of player Team India needs at the top of the order. He brings much panache and flamboyance into his batting. He makes those shots look unbelievably easy. This year Rohit Sharma has been the best batsman in the 50-over format for India. His innings of 137 runs in the World Cup quarter final against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was of the highest order. Another innings of 150 runs against South Africa in the first ODI of the five-match series at Kanpur was equally brilliant but his ton went in vain as India ended up losing the game.
Rohit Sharma's century against Australia in the triangular series:
2. Ajinkya Rahane - He was in the top five Indian Test players of 2015 list as well. Well, how can one ignore the class of Ajinkya Rahane? He has been one of the most consistent performers with the willow for Team India in the ODIs as well. When needed, he can play an innings with a strike rate of below 40 and also he can unleash the rare-looking Rahane as well which at times leaves the bowlers pretty much clueless. We have seen him playing with a terrific strike rate in the Indian Premier League as well. But his consistency in the middle-order has been the key to India's success in the recent times. Rahane is also a terrific fielder and holds the capability of converting the half-chances into a wicket.
Ajinkya Rahane's innings against South Africa in the ICC World Cup 2015:
3. Ravichandran Ashwin - We can keep writing about the brilliance of Ashwin as we will never run out of words. Ashwin has continued to amuse us with his spin bowling across all the three formats of the game. He might not pick a lot of wickets in the ODIs but his spell of 10 overs is absolutely crucial for Team India in the 50-over format. He curtails any run of flow given a chance with his variety as he can bambozzle his opposition with ease. Batsmen usually avoid taking risks against this intelligent tweaker of the ball. We saw how India missed Ashwin during the ODI series against South Africa recently.
4. Mohammed Shami - One of the spearhead of the Indian seam bowling unit at this moment. Although, he did not get to play a lot of matches in this calender year,but his impact has been of the highest order, especially in the ODIs. He was the second highest Indian wicket taker in the ICC World Cup 2015 and he is eager to return to the ODI squad that will tour Australia in Jauary 2016.
Let us take a look at how Shami destroyed West Indies in the World Cup 2015:
5. Umesh Yadav - India at a point lacked fast bowlers but now they need not worry about the pace as Umesh Yadav can bowl at a fiery pace and trouble the opposition. He notched up 18 wickets in the ICC World Cup 2015. His line and length can be wayward at times. He can also prove to be a touch expensive but if he is on track and if he gets a little bit of assistance from the pitch, he can be a very dangerous bowler.