I’m writing this post while the Indian Cricket team is polishing their hands for a feast of a dinner in Durban. Well, if you ask me, it is difficult to pick the chocker between India and South Africa. Both have an impression of wilting under crunch situations. I hope it is not us this time. Anyway, this post is not about the series. It is about the ‘dream team’ for 2011. ICC has picked one. So there is no reason why I shouldn’t pick one myself. So here it is, 15 players listed, the playing eleven and the 4 extras along with a line on why they are here. I have chosen them considering all formats of the game. One team for all. I’m sure you will agree.
- Virender Sehwag. I don’t think this needs an explanation. He is a kind of batsmen who can take any game away from any opposition in any format. He has to be there.
- Graeme Smith. While many may not agree, I think he provides the solidity at the top order. Besides, there aren’t other eligible opening batsmen. And he is a good leader too.
- Jacques Kallis. Again, an arguable decision. But then would you really mind a greatest all rounder to miss out on a no. 3 position?
- Sachin Tendulkar. Putting his greatness aside, Sachin has had an amazing season. Not only that, he continues to get better with every match.
- Michael Hussey. An exceptionally gifted player, he has the ability to dig in there and frustrate the opposition. When Mike plays, he doesn’t give an impression of a giant. He just quietly takes the match away from the opposition.
- VVS Laxman. He is the crisis man. Although inconsistent with form, he has always been there in crunch situations for India. Besides, no one plays better with the tail than he does.
- Kumar Sangakkara. At this moment, Sanga looks like the best wicket keeper batsman available. Yes you do have a Dhoni, Boucher, Haddin or a Prior. But Sanga beats them all.
- Graeme Swann. Presently, he looks to be the most aggressive spin bowler. He has been consistently ripping the opposition at locations suited for fast bowling.
- Mitchell Johnson. Given a chance on his day, he has the ability to extract bounce on any surface in any part of the world. Has suffered a loss of form, though I feel Australia lost the Ashes because of their batsmen and not bowlers.
- Dale Steyn. I guess is arguably one of the best new ball bowlers in the world today. He swings at pace and produces spells like no one else.
- James Anderson. Boy, did you see him bowling in the Ashes, and against Pakistan at home earlier? And against South Africa? Jimmy is one of the greatest bowlers England has ever had.
And now for the substitutes. They don’t exactly lose out, but edged you may say.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Known more for his shrewd captaincy than the on field performance, he finds a place as a substitute.
- Andrew Strauss. A good captain and a good player. His ability to play all forms of the game equally well gets him through.
- Tilakratna Dilshan. He bats aggressively, he can spin the ball, he can keep wickets and is a great fielder. A good replacement all rounder.
- Zaheer Khan. With due credits to his form this year, he find a place in the team. Must say he has really matured as a player.