Johnny Bairstow (left) and Ben Stokes
Johnny Bairstow (left) and Ben Stokes batting together in Cape Town Getty Images

England's Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow have been named among Wisden Cricketers' Almanack's five cricketers of the year. The 24-year-old all-rounder made the publication's prestigious list in light of a "string of match-changing performances", including his 188-ball 258 against South Africa in Cape Town.

Bairstow, meanwhile, scored 1,108 runs in Yorkshire's County Championship win and played a role in England's against-the-odds Ashes triumph during the summer. He also enjoyed a record-breaking partnership of 399 runs – a sixth-wicket record in Tests – with Stokes in the game at Cape Town.

The dynamic duo are joined on the list by Australian captain Steve Smith, who has been in superb form since assuming the leadership role, as well as New Zealand pair Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson, who was named as the leading cricketer in the world by Wisden.

The 25-year-old right-hander recently succeeded McCullum as the captain of the Black Caps and Wisden described him as "one of the talents of his generation". The batsman, who has also played country cricket for Yorkshire, scored 2,692 international runs in 2015.

Of Williamson, Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said: "In an era of highly gifted young batsmen [this] reflects the measured brilliance he brings to every format of the game. McCullum reckons he is going to be one of the best batsmen the game has ever seen, and it's hard to disagree."

Meanwhile, Williamson's compatriot, Suzie Bates, was named as the world's leading women's cricketer. The 28-year-old star – who made her debut in 2006 – was hailed as "one of the power hitters of the women's game".

The prestigious lists dates back to 1889 and are a key feature of the annual Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, the latest edition of which is set to be published on 14 April.