Australia ODI & T20 Squad Members Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Adam Zampa of Australia warms up during a training session ahead of the ODI & T20 tour of Pakistan at Junction Oval on March 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Australia ODI & T20 Squad Members Training Session

One-day international cricket faced one of its truest tests of existence in 2022, with plenty of renowned cricketers calling for the format to be scrapped.

With T20 cricket growing in leaps and bounds every year, fans and players have doubted the needfulness of the 50-over game, given its length.

Despite all the talk, 97 ODIs took place in 2022. It also witnessed some nail-biting matches and some memorable performances under pressure.

With the 2023 World Cup looming, such fixtures have been a prelude to the same and the format is likely to pick up more traction.

Meanwhile, we take a look at the best ODI XI of the year 2022.

1. Shubman Gill (India)
Amid India's back-to-back fixtures across formats, Shubman Gill has risen like a pheonix with the bat in one-day internationals. Although the Punjab-born batter didn't have the best of debuts in 2019, his average is the highest in 2022 amongst Indian batters.

In 12 matches in 2022, Gill has accumulated 638 runs at 70.88 and has maintained a strike rate of 102.57. The 23-year-old also earned the Player of the Series award in the three-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe, scoring 245 runs at a magnificent average of 122.50. It was also in Zimbabwe that he registered his first and only hundred of his ODI career.

2. Imam-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has been one of the most prolific run-scorers in ODI cricket since debuting in October 2017 and has been a consistent fixture for them. In 54 games, the left-handed batter averages a healthy 52.66 with nine centuries and is currently ranked second in ICC ODI rankings.

In only eight ODIs in 2022, Imam has mustered 505 runs at 72.14 with two centuries and four fifties. With the southpaw having an imposing record in Asia, one can expect a truckload of runs from him in the 2023 World Cup.

3. Babar Azam
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is arguably a powerhouse when it comes to one-day cricket and is the top-ranked batter in the ICC ODI rankings. The 28-year-old's average of 59.79 is currently the third-highest in ODI cricket behind Rassie van der Dussen and Ryan ten Doeschate as he continues to break records with each passing day in the format.

In 2022, Babar became the second-fastest batter to reach 4000 ODI runs, achieving it in 82 innings, one lesser than Hashim Amla. The three-match series against Australia in March saw him earn the Player of the Series award for mustering 276 runs in three matches, including two centuries. In nine games this year, the right-hander has compiled 679 runs at 84.87 with three tons and two fifties.

KARACHI, PAKISTAN - SEPTEMBER 22: Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam of Pakistan touch bats during the 2nd IT20 between Pakistan and England at Karachi National Stadium on September 22, 2022 in Karachi, Pakistan. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

4. Steve Smith:
With Steve Smith's superiority in Test cricket, few failed to recognize he is an equally capable batter in the one-day format as well. Smith's average of 45.11 along with starring in Australia's 2015 World Cup victory speaks volumes about being a gritty run-getter in the one-day format.

In 2022, the right-handed batter averaged 67.37 in 11 ODIs, scoring 539 runs at a decent strike rate of 81.29. His performance in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand was the most notable one as he found a way to score runs on challenging tracks to register a series sweep. He scored 167 runs in three ODIs and earned the Player of the Series award.

5. Shreyas Iyer
Indian middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer has indeed been a revelation in one-day cricket. The 28-year-old has been a consistent fixture in India's one-day setup since returning to the side in 2017. With the selectors rotating the first-choice players due to a jampacked schedule, Iyer has consistently scored runs without letting India feel their absence.

In 17 ODIs in 2022, the Mumbai-born player has hammered 724 runs at 55.69 with a ton and six fifties while keeping a strike rate of 91.52. With his counterattacking knocks regardless of the conditions and situations, Iyer may have cemented his spot for the 2023 World Cup on home soil.

6. Tom Latham
New Zealand keeper-batter Tom Latham has proved himself as a prolific run-getter and a reliable player in recent times. With Kane Williamson's injuries fluctuating form, the left-handed batter has stepped up as a leader and proved himself as a match-winner on multiple occasions.

The 30-year-old has accumulated 558 runs in 15 games at 55.80 at an excellent strike rate of 101.27. His best of 145* came against India came against Auckland when the hosts were in pursuit of 309 and in a spot of bother at 88-3 in the 20th over. Latham put on a 165-ball 221 with Williamson as the Kiwis chased the target down easily.

7. Shakib al Hasan
Bangladesh's veteran all-rounder Shakib al Hasan has been amongst the best all-rounders for a long time. The 35-year-old has been a top and consistent performer for the Tigers since his international debut in 2007.

While Shakib hasn't been at his best with the bat, the left-arm spinner has yielded rich returns with the ball, picking up 17 wickets in nine matches in 2022 at 22.88. His best figures of 10-0-36-5 in Mirpur, including wickets of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar to skittle the tourists for 186.

8. Mitchell Starc
An incisive new-ball bowler, Mitchell Starc has thrived in ODI cricket as only a few others have. The left-arm speedster is not only penetrative with the new ball, but is also a quality bowler in death overs, with an ability to land searing yorkers at will. He has been a go-to bowler for his captain regardless of the format.

The year 2022 saw Starc picking up 16 wickets in eight games at 18.19 apiece with an economy rate of 4.26. During the third ODI against Zimbabwe in Townsville, the 32-year-old became the quickest bowler to take 200 ODI scalps, breaking Saqlain Mushtaq's record. Currently, he has 211 wickets in 107 ODIs at 22.13.

Australia's Mitchell Starc (C) celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Jason Roy during the one-day international (ODI) cricket match between England and Australia in Brisbane on January 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jason O'Brien / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo credit should read JASON O'BRIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Adam Zampa
Australia's leggie Adam Zampa has built his reputation as one of the best white-ball spinners of the current generation. An aggressive leg-spinner, Zampa not only focuses on getting wickets, but also controlling the run flow. Having made his debut in 2016, the 30-year-old solidified his spot in the Australian side in early 2019.

The South Australian has picked up 30 wickets in 22 ODIs in 2022 at 17.53 while maintaining an economy rate of 4.99. Zampa was spectacular in the ODI series against England and New Zealand as he snared his maiden fifer in the second game against the latter. He finished with 11 wickets in three ODIs against England as Australia registered a clean sweep.

10. Trent Boult
Like Starc, New Zealand's Trent Boult has been spearheading the Kiwis' bowling attack across formats for over a decade and has reigned supreme. With a ripping in-swinger, Boult's ability to take wickets with the new ball is second to none. In 99 games, the 33-year-old has picked up 187 scalps at 23.97.

While the left-arm pacer sacrificed his central contract in August 2022 to be available for more franchise opportunities, Boult has not failed to impress while performing for the national team. The Rotorua-born bowler has taken 18 scalps in six ODIs this year at 12.39.

11. Matt Henry

New Zealand right-arm seamer Matt Henry is arguably one of the underrated bowlers of the current generation, given his metronomic line and length with the new ball. While a wicket-taking bowler, Henry often struggles to get in the side, with New Zealand preferring Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Lockie Ferguson on most occasions.

However, he has made a strong claim for consistent selection with his performances in ODI cricket in 2022, picking up 18 wickets in ten games at 23.17 while keeping an economy rate of 4.71.