Cricket 3

Recently I was debating with one of my co-workers who would make up a World’s XI test team on current form. We then went away and picked out teams, and came up with exactly the same list for 9 of them. I found it difficult, as did my friend, to actually find places for Australian players other than Mitchell Johnson. Another difficulty was that it was hard to not just pick the South African team and field that. In the end, I came up with the better list I feel – primarily because I included Shahid Afridi as my all-rounder (before his form peaked during the Twenty20 finals mind you – was I exercising forsight I didn’t know I had?). I’ll list my list below, but it’s important to remember, while reading, that it wasn’t chosen off reputation or past performance, rather current form for the past year. Which, instantly, rules out choosing the likes of Brett Lee, Stuart Clarke, and Andrew Symonds due to injury or selection issues. So too with Sachin Tendulkar – his form hasn’t been better than any of the batters I settled with. Here’s my list:

  1. Graeme Smith (c) – South Africa
  2. Phil Hughes – Australia
  3. AB de Villiers – South Africa
  4. JP Duminy – South Africa
  5. Kumar Sangakkara (w)(vc) – Sri Lanka
  6. Jacques Kallis – South Africa
  7. Shahid Afridi – Pakistan
  8. Daniel Vettori – New Zealand
  9. Mitchell Johnson – Australia
  10. Dale Steyn – South Africa
  11. James Anderson – England

To me, those are the best in-form players for their respective places. Phil Hughes might surprise a few, but I really think that between his debut and now, there hasn’t been a better opener other than Smith. De Viliers, Duminy, or Kallis shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – along with Hashim Amla and Aswell Prince, they form the best middle order in any team across the world now. But Amla, as an all-rounder, doesn’t come close to Afridi. And Prince, as a batter, doen’t even come near to Sangakkara. And the bonus with Sangakkara is that you can give him the gloves and he is a good keeper as well. Much along  the vein (though not as a good as) Adam Gilchrist. Vettori, I feel, is the best spinner out there due to his experience, consistency, cricketing mind, and ability to spin a ball on dead wickets. All of that pushes people who might have a better short-term record, or can spin the ball further, out of contention. The pace line-up is, in my opinion, the best four pace bowlers out there in terms of form, consistency, and variety. I wanted to find a place for Makhaya Ntini, but I couldn’t drop anyone from their spot. Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq, two fantastic Twenty20 Pakistani cricketers, were on the short list – but they are yet to show they can last a full test.

If you look at the bowling line-up, with all-rounders included, it’s quite formidable: Anderson, Steyn, Johnson, Vettori, Afridi, Kallis, Duminy. 7 bowler rotations is very handy for variety, especially with a specialist spinner and two part-time spinners. And the batting depth, if you accept that Johnson can dig out a good knock more often than not, extends to 9.

A good team I think. Opinions? Your own team? Comment it.



4 thoughts on “Cricket 3

  1. Gayle, for me, is classes as an opener. He could push off Phil Hughes, but I really don’t like Gayle. He’s good, but has horrible on-field behaviour and the like. Just stands there and doesn’t do squat while his team is sucking.

    Plus, he said test cricket is dead, so I assumed that was him telling me he didn’t want a spot on my illustrious list.

  2. Who in that list would you drop to put either of them in? In the 08-09 season, Sehwag and India played Australia in India and England in India – which gives them a big advantage having played at home. Against Australia, he only performed once – in the 4th test. He had a reasonable showing against England in the 1st test. Toured Sri Lanka, and didn’t play a test. Played 3 tests against New Zealand in NZ, and he didn’t shine or do anything that great.

    Now if you had said Gautam Gambir – who is has scored the most test runs this season in only 8 matches (vs 2nd – Katich – on 12 matches), you might have had an argument. But really, could you drop any of these people from the past year for him on his year’s performance?

    Ajantha Mandis, yeah, good. But Vettori can bat well, can bowl as good as Mendis (IMO), even if he doesn’t have as much variety. He’s a good fielder, and has a cricketing mind formed through years of experience, vs the year-and-a-half test experience of Mendis.

    But that’s just my opinion. I’d love to see where those two would fit into your team Ottayan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s