Team India men and women's captains Virat Kohli and Mithali Raj have been named among Wisden's leading cricketers of the year. For the second consecutive year, the aggressive right-hand batsman Kohli was crowned the leading male cricketer in the world. Mithali, who led the Indian team to the ICC Women's World Cup finals in 2017, was recognised as the standout female player.
Kohli, who has been prolific this year has amassed a colossal 2818 runs in a calendar year across all formats. The right-hand aggressive batsman has been the difference for the Indian team in recent times as his performances have single-handedly led the team to victories with his knocks.
Overall, five cricket players were selected for the prestigious Cricketer of the Year award. History was in the beckoning as three women cricketers were included in the list of five players. Thre of England's Women's World Cup winning side, Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole were selected for their performances in the Women's World Cup finals where they defeated India.
Kohli became the third player to be named Leading Cricketer in the world for the second time, after former Team India opener Virender Sehwag and former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
“In all formats in 2017, he scored 2,818 runs – more than 700 ahead of Joe Root in second place,” said Lawrence Booth, the editor of the Almanack, about Kohli. “Three of his five Test hundreds were doubles, and the other two unbeaten, and his 1,460 one-day international runs were unsurpassed.”
On Raj, Booth said, “Mithali Raj made it an Indian double after she was named the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World. In the course of captaining her country to within a whisker of the World Cup title, she became the leading run-scorer in the history of women's one-day internationals, and completed her seventh successive half-century, another record.”