Tuesday, February 15, 2011

World Cup Predictions: Dream XI

Part six of our seven-part series sees Matt go up against Subash Jayaraman and Dave Siddall in previewing the World Cup. Today sees us select our "Dream" teams.

Part 1: Leading Wicket Taker
Part 2: Leading Runscorer
Part 3:
Surprise Packet
Part 4: Most Valuable Player

Matt Wood

Hashim Amla (SAf)

Gautam Gambhir (Ind)

Kumar Sangakkara (SL) (wk) (c)

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)

Cameron White (Aus)

Shahid Afridi (Pak)

Yusuf Pathan (Ind)

Daniel Vettori (NZ)

Dale Steyn (SAf)

Zaheer Khan (Ind)

Lasith Malinga (SL)

It was convenient that basically the four best bets to score the most runs in the tournament are easily selectable at opener, first and second drop. I’m not sure why I picked Cameron White – probably because I expect the Australians to have a reasonable tournament and there really isn’t a heap of other elite middle-order options, I think they need to be represented. Afridi is the most destructive batsman in the game today whose leg-spin has developed from inexcusable to, well, excusable. Pathan’s status as Indian cricket’s NBT (Next Big Thing) earns him number seven, when bowlers Vettori, Steyn, Khan and Malinga are each their country’s best bets to top the wicket tallies. The beauty of this Dream XI, Afridi and White excepted, is that it could quite easily translate across and be the best lineup Test cricket has to offer as well. Rather than going too far down the David Warner, baseball slugger mode, it’s refreshing to see good technique rewarded.


Subash Jayaraman

Sachin Tendulkar

Shane Watson

Jacques Kallis


Cameron White

Angelo Mathews

Yusuf Pathan

Dale Steyn

Zaheer Khan

Lasith Malinga


12th man: Shahid Afridi (primarily for his bowling). You may recognize by now there has not been much of a reference to the England team and quite rightly. They have been battered and beaten (even though they lost some close matches in Australia and you may think it’s not exactly a “beating” but it takes toll mentally. They just lost their middle order mainstay and man for the rescue, Eoin Morgan to a finger injury. They have other players out with injuries and some are on the comeback trail. Plus, their kind of bowling is not gonna be suited for the subcontinental conditions and the last time England played in India in 2008, they were shellacked.


David Siddall

Here is my dream XI for the tournament.

1. Virender Sehwag

2. Hashim Amla

3. Kumar Sangakarra (w) (c)

4. Sachin Tendulkar

5. Jacques Kallis

6. Shane Watson

7. Yusuf Pathan

8. Zaheer Khan

9. Dale Steyn

10. Lasith Malinga

11. Muttiah Muralitharan

12. Graeme Swann

As you can see it is build upon solid foundations. Sehwag and Amla are an even greater answer to Jayasuria and Kalawitharana in 1996. It features the two greatest ODI batsmen of arguably all time in Kallis and Tendulkar. It features the two best all-rounders in the world today as Watson joins the SA all-rounder. The X factor is brought to you by Yusuf Pathan. In Steyn, Zaheer, and Malinga you have the 3 finest quicks in one-day cricket. In Murali you have the finest, most economical and most attacking spinner. Graeme Swann comes in as 12th man for when we need to play 2 spinners and attack.

If this group of players was to extend to a 15-man squad it would include Chris Gayle, James Anderson and Mahayla Jayawardene.


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