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My team of the World Cup

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Adam Mountford | 10:20 UK time, Thursday, 31 March 2011

Here is my team of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Many thanks for all your suggestions on Twitter - I have tried to take all your suggestions into consideration and I welcome any further thoughts @tmsproducer.

Although my selections are mainly based on performances during the competition, if a decision was a tight one I have taken into account past achievements as well as the balance a player brings to the side. And I have to admit to the odd selection being influenced by just a little romance and the desire for my side to entertain.

Please feel free to disagree with my dream team - and I would love to read which 11 you would have picked.

1) Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Opening batsman Dilshan has had an outstanding tournament and is the leading scorer in the competition going into the final, with 467 runs, including two centuries. He has scored more boundaries than any other player with 58 fours and four sixes and a fantastic strike rate.

Although the TV adverts throughout the World Cup have been celebrating his innovative "Dilscoop", Dilshan has actually not had to resort to that sort of improvisation as most of his success has come with traditional stroke-play. If that is not enough, Dilshan is a more than useful spin bowler who has even opened the bowling at times during the tournament.

2) Sachin Tendulkar (India)
I was tempted to select an all Sri Lankan opening pair with Upal Tharanga partnering Dilshan and Tendulkar batting at three, but I decided the "little master" should occupy the position which has brought him so much success in this tournament.

Tendulkar's semi-final knock may have been scratchy but he still secured the man-of-the-match award and the stage is set for him to score his 100th international century in his home city of Mumbai on Saturday. Tendulkar has scored only three runs fewer than Dilshan in the tournament, with a similar impressive strike rate.

It was very special to witness the reaction in Bangalore when he scored his hundred against England - I can't imagine what it would feel like if he made one in the final.

As well as Tharanga, I also gave lots of consideration to Virender Sehwag as an opener. His 175 against Bangladesh gave the competition a very special start and he is unlucky to miss out.

3) Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka; wicketkeeper and captain)
It is a heavy burden for the Sri Lanka captain to keep wicket, bat at three and skipper this team - but if anyone can, Kumar can. A hugely impressive character, Sangakkara has had an outstanding World Cup with the bat and the gloves, scoring 417 runs at an average of over 100 and keeping well to Sri Lanka's varied bowling attack. His strike rate has been good and he does it all with great style. You just know if Sangakkara gets to lift the Trophy on Saturday evening in Mumbai, he'll do it with class.

Sangakkara claims the number three slot ahead of Jonathan Trott because he has a better strike rate and can play as an all-rounder. Trott was the only England player I really considered for this team, although honourable mentions should go to Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann.

4) Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
Taylor played one of the innings of the tournament, scoring a brutal 131 against Pakistan, supposedly one of the strongest bowling attacks. The New Zealander helped his team score 100 runs from the last five overs in Pallekelle. But he was a consistent scorer throughout the competition, averaging 65 and helping his team to the brink of the final. Taylor is likely now to replace Daniel Vettori as the captain of the Black Caps and would be able to offer tactical advice to Sangakarra in this side.

5) Yuvraj Singh (India)
Yuvraj is already the winner of four man-of-the-match awards in this World Cup and one of the favourites to be crowned player of the tournament. Even when he missed out with the bat in the semi-final, Yuvraj still contributed with two important wickets. He has scored 341 runs in the tournament to date, averaging 85, as well as claiming 13 wickets at 25 with what Kevin Pietersen once called his "left-arm filth". He has a tournament best of 5-31. After a mixed few years in the international game, this World Cup could lift Yuvraj to new heights of celebrity - if that is possible!

6) AB de Villiers (South Africa)
Although this World Cup will ultimately be seen as a failure for South Africa - who had been considered one of the favourites - De Villiers comes away from the tournament with plenty of credit. Because of injury, he only played in five matches, but still managed to score 354 runs at an average of 88. De Villiers is currently one of the best one-day batsmen around, as well as being possibly the best fielder in world cricket. If the workload were to get too much for captain Sangakarra, De Villiers is a more than capable wicketkeeper.

7) Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Selected almost totally for his bowling, Afridi was the tournament's leading wicket-taker before the final with 21 scalps at an average of 12 including a brilliant spell of 5-16 against Kenya. He was a handful in almost every match he played and also came away with one of the competition's best economy rates of 3.62 runs per over. But Afridi is not a cricketer best measured by statistics - "Boom Boom" is one of the game's great entertainers and adds something special to any team he plays for. It is true that at times his batting was irresponsible especially for a captain - but the scorer of one-day international cricket's fastest century still has the potential to produce with the bat, even if those moments are few and far between. Afridi also gets a positive mark for the way he galvanised a Pakistan team which has been in turmoil in recent times and this enthusiasm will only assist my team of the tournament.

Before I leave the lower middle order I must mention the man who scored the fastest World Cup hundred - an innings which will surely go down as the most memorable of this World Cup. Kevin O'Brien's 50-ball century led his Ireland team to a phenomenal win over England and will also be remembered as the best innings played by a man with pink hair after he coloured his head to promote an Irish cancer charity. I would have loved to include O'Brien in my side, especially as he is also a useful bowler, but his performances in his other matches don't quite merit inclusion. However I can safely say O'Brien is the player I am most upset to leave out.

8) Brett Lee (Australia)
The veteran just sneaks in ahead of the likes of Kemar Roach in my side partly because of the experience he can bring to the team. Lee was the star turn in a disappointing Aussie attack taking 13 wickets at 18 with a best bowling analysis of 4-28. He can still turn a match round with his express pace, but also has plenty of variations to cope with slow subcontinent pitches. Lee is also a more than useful tail-end batsman, capable of some late-order big hitting.

This is another selection based partly on the entertainment factor, to be honest. I originally had Umar Gul down for this slot after his performances played a major role in helping Pakistan to reach the semi-finals. However, although one bad game shouldn't influence a selector, he had such a terrible match against India that I am not sure he'd be in the right frame of mind to represent my dream team

9) Zaheer Khan (India)
One of the cleverest bowlers in world cricket, Zaheer Khan has so far taken 19 wickets in the tournament, second only to Afridi. Whenever the Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni needs something special, he turns to his left-arm fast bowler, who can swing the ball both ways and possesses a box of tricks suitable for any match situation. Zaheer is the heartbeat of the Indian bowling attack and if they win the World Cup he will almost certainly play a major part.

10) Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lanka fast bowler is a bit of a wildcard selection as his 2011 World Cup record does not match the likes of Kemar Roach or Tim Southee, who with 18 wickets is very unlucky to miss out. But "Malinga the Slinger" is a unique talent capable of blowing away a side, especially with the old ball. He took his second World Cup hat-trick in this tournament and provides a perfect foil for the man I have picked at number 11. Malinga again fits my desire to have a team which entertains.

11) Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
Another slightly romantic selection, Murali wins his place over the likes of Imran Tahir and Robin Peterson, who have perhaps had marginally better tournaments. But how can you leave out the most successful bowler in history who, even when clearly nowhere near full fitness, has still taken 15 wickets at 16. It was just typical of the man that he should take a wicket with the last ball he bowled in an international in his home country. If Tendulkar doesn't steal the headlines with a historic hundred on Saturday, who is to say Murali won't be the hero, taking the winning wicket with his final international delivery.

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Adam Mountford's team of the tournament

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Hard to disagree with the majority of your team Adam, although Ross Taylor will raise a few eyebrows (mainly because it's a ludicrous pick) and I personally wouldn't have ABde V in. Thanks for the article - good but a little bit like the tournament itself, 50% too long.

  • Comment number 2.

    Top Run Scorer - Jonathon Trott?

  • Comment number 3.

    Not sure why this couldn't have waited until after the final, what if Tharanga scores a century and Sachin goes for a duck...? But, difficult to disagree with your choices thus far... Except maybe leaving out Trott. Such a consistent run-scorer deserved at least a mention, even if he's not really English... :)

    And to #1, AB is already in, see No. 6...

  • Comment number 4.

    Very glad you didn't cave-in to sentiment and select and England player - often it's too easy, but would have been completely wrong as none of our players match the 11 you have selected.

    Your selection feels too Sri Lankan heavy, but I think it's right. Dilshan is having a fantastic tournament and definitely deserves to be ahead of Sehwag. Sangakarra has been a rock, particularly as since their opening game, Jayawardene has failed to fire.

    Really looking forward to the final. I'd like to see a Tendulker century as it is deserved and would be a brilliant moment for world cricket, seeing the world's best batsman get his 100 hundreds in a world cup final, in his home town. However, I'd like a Sri Lankan win as I think they've marginally pipped India for consistency, plus they have a stronger all round team, despite the weak middle order.

  • Comment number 5.

    Looks like a pretty decent team to me! The only issue is that lack of depth in the batting - Afridi hasn't looked like scoring more than a quick 15 all tournament, and Lee averages 16 in ODIs, so therefore your team essentially has four and a half tailenders, the last three being real rabbits - and in a world cup where the tail has been vital to so many teams, that may well prove this team's downfall.

    I'd be tempted to leave out one of the bowlers, probably Lee, and put in a dependable middle order batsman, maybe an Eoin Morgan figure, or even Trott (obvious English bias there, but looking at the leading run scorers in the world cup there's no-one other than Trott who's not in your team who stands out, other than Sehwag). Then you'd have Yuvraj, Afridi and Dilshan to bowl 20 overs between them (with Sachin adding the odd over here and there).

  • Comment number 6.

    I think that Imran Tahir should definitely get the start ahead of Murali on the basis of performance in this world cup, having taken only 1 less wicket in only 5 games compared to Murali's 8.

    Also Drop Sachin to 4 and have Sehwag opening, leaving out Ross Taylor. Despite his fantastic match changing innings hasn't done enough over the entirety of the tournament.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with most of the responders. Ross Taylor? Surely there are 50 other players more deserving...

  • Comment number 8.

    Agree Brummie - Sehwag is head and shoulders above Taylor

  • Comment number 9.

    @ Dunc # 4
    Sri Lanka been more consistent than India?? guess you ve been watchin some parallel tournament.
    SL have beaten New Zealand twice and England once, rest minnows, on the way to final. India have knocked out Australia and Pakistan. take your pick who is better prepared.for me, the answer is clear

  • Comment number 10.

    Opening stand has proved so important this tournament, why split up Sehwag and Tendulkar? They are undoubtedly the best partnership in the tournament. Have Dilshan at three and drop Murali. Please can DelbertWilkins elaborate as to why he would drop Abraham.

  • Comment number 11.

    Good line up but I would have had Trott in for Taylor and why is Southee not in. He has bowled superbly this tournament. Stick him in ahead of Lee and get Trott in ahead of Taylor and you have got a great WC team

  • Comment number 12.

    No Ryan ten Doeschate? He's a had a stunning tournement and would offer your side an option with the ball.

  • Comment number 13.

    I agree with 9 players you selected

    Dale steyn in place of Brett Lee

    Strauss or Trott in place of Ross taylor

  • Comment number 14.

    It's plain to see Ryan ten Doeschate should be in Ross Taylor's place!

  • Comment number 15.

    Like the team, but agree with potcfc & Odarroch, it could be too soon as Sehwag or Tharanga might go at get a magical century. But also think the tail's weak, Afridi's form throughout the tournament has been very poor, and its asking a lot of Lee to score runs knowing M & M don't offer much with the bat.

    I'd also move de Villiers up to 4 and push Taylor & Yuvraj down, as well as bringing in Keiron Pollard for Lee, despite a poor WC he did show against the Netherlands, the Irish & eve against England, hee is capable of hitting huge sixes as well as being a more than decent ODI bowler

  • Comment number 16.

    @2. Trott is no longer the top run scorer. And may well end the tournament as 6th highest scorer.
    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=4857;type=tournament

    RE: Taylor. In addition to Adam's reasons for including him, he's scored more 6's than anyone else.

  • Comment number 17.

    Great stuff - I love these fantasy team posts because they spur a cracking debate!

    Really good opening gambit Adam, but I'm not with you on all the selections - I agree more with a lot of what people have already put. Taylor is questionable for me, and given role and functionality I'd want Trott in that position - he's not going to set the ground alight but his consistency and stubborn run-scoring ability sure up any risk at the top order. Also Lee I would question - he hasn't really produced any magic for me, and he can be wayward. Despite his woeful semi, I still think Gul is one of the most exciting bowlers in the world at the minute. Or I'd maybe favour a South African bowler.

    Special nod to Sangakarra - a superb batsmen, great wicket keeper, and excellent Captain for Sri Lanka, in all, a model cricketer.

  • Comment number 18.

    Jonathon Trott surely has to be picked ahead of Ross Taylor? Ross Taylor has played out of his skin and should be recognised for having a fantastic world cup, but Jonathon Trott consistently scored runs in a struggling team. Every game his input of runs was valuable and he near enough carried the batting line up which had so many struggles in Paul Collingwood unfit and out of form and the line up constantly changing with Morgan and Ravi Bopara being called up late on.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    to me pakistan have been the best bowling team at this world cup so im suprised that umar gul has been overlooked, hes been brilliant to watch. no dale steyn either which is a bit of a suprise. to me brett lee and malinga shouldn't be in the team.

  • Comment number 21.

    I'm betting on a tendulkar hundred, a Murali wicket with the last ball (Tendulkar), and the game to end in a draw. Too much to expect?

  • Comment number 22.

    Can't fault this. There will always be differences of opinion, but think there is a good blend of talent and experience here. Trott, for me, should not be in the side. His run scoring cannot be questioned, but he gets there so slowly it limits the lower order batsman to rushed innings...

  • Comment number 23.

    tharanga has to go no2 as he and dilshan are the most successful opening pair. tendulkar no 4. Sorry taylor you have to be dropped for the little magician. middle order is weak in batting and there is enough spinners for the subcontinent with singh dilshan and tendulkar in that order able to get wickets and muralitheran and afridi as full time spinners . no point having malinga lee and khan as fast bowlers and so lee has to go.

    so afridi no 8 and a batsmen at 7 but who? trott. no other no 7 is strong enough and he is used to playing out of position being an englishman(ish).

    great tournament

    pressure will get to india at home . dhoni played down the SF with Pakistan before match and some big players were unsteady and not convincing. I think they are crackable. They lost it against England and dhoni was not pleased in press conference. I hope they have absorbed the pressure and atmosphere by sat.

    srilanka have bad a convincing win in SF and full of confidence. They had the scare against Pakistan which will be just fresh enough to know not to throw it away.

    Whoever wins toss will win the cup the ground is not the best.

  • Comment number 24.

    I must say I largely agree with selection above and think that the article benefits from each choice being reasoned. My main concern with the team selected would be the point made by 0darroch above that the tail is too long. Fine if the top order fires but the team seems too bowler heavy.

    I would favour dropping Lee (death bowling not needed, risk of leaking runs at his pace) and pick either a batsman or a fast bowling all rounder, but none of the latter stand out this tournament. Ten Doeschate deserves an honorable mention but his bowling is too expensive. Morgan would be a good choice but probably isn't really deserved on the basis of performance. Trott perhaps deserves selection for his consistency and run-scoring under pressure, making him a useful part of the team.

    Taylor essentially had one particularly good innings (which benefited from Kamran Akmal's incompetency) and tended to start slowly before hitting out. On that basis I would favour Sehwag. My team would therefore be

    Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dilshan, Trott, Sangakkara, Yuvraj, de Villiers, Afridi, Kahn, Malinga, Muralitharan

  • Comment number 25.

    I pretty much agree with the team you have put together. I might like to only add Sehwag as a back up and depending on the pitch play him and take a fast bowler out. Of course he can replace Ross Taylor in the batting line up. But purely on merit, I really like your team and the bowling line up definitely looks like a dream team!! Lee's pace, Malinga's yorkers (like his hair style too..reminds of David Luiz), Zaheer's guile, Murli's magic and Afridi's quick leg breaks!! Perfect.

  • Comment number 26.

    There is a huge difference in the way India and SL have reached the finals. SL has just beaten NZ twice and England and lost to Pak. They havent beaten a heavyweight side yet. Statistical comparison is meaningless when SL have just piled up a mountain of cheap runs and wickets against the minnows in a lopsided group.

  • Comment number 27.

    @#19-Lawnhooverer

    Whatever your thoughts are on Murali, the moment you said Malinga chucks you invalidated your cricketing knowledge. Malinga is squeeky clean no matter what rule book is applied. Just because he doesn't bowl 'properly' like you were taught in your posh school, doesn't mean there is something wrong in his action.
    While you are on a throwing witch hunt, why not point out that Brett lee has had accusations of throwing and that afridi has had a cloud over his quicker ball through out his career? Ah no, for someone who probably watches cricket a couple of times a year, you've done quite well.

  • Comment number 28.

    Here's my Team XI of the World Cup

    1) V Sehwag
    2) Sachin Tendulkar
    3) TM Dilshan
    4) K Sangakarra
    5) Y Singh
    6) AB DeVilliers
    7) S Afridi
    8) D Steyn
    9) U Gul
    10) Z Khan
    11) M Murali

  • Comment number 29.

    Out: Taylor, Murali
    In: Sehwag, Steyn

    12th man: Kallis

  • Comment number 30.

    I had almost the same, but with Sehwag in for Taylor & Swann for Lee(Would have been Gul before yesterday)a bit spin heavy maybe but the spinners have had most success.....In this order

    TENDULKAR
    SEHWAG
    SANGAKARA
    DILSHAN
    DEVILLIERS
    YUVRAJ
    AFRIDI
    SWANN
    MALINGA
    ZAHEER
    MURALI


  • Comment number 31.

    Yeah probably I'll also leave out U Gul from the team and instead have Tim Southee. So here's updated one

    1) V Sehwag
    2) Sachin Tendulkar
    3) TM Dilshan
    4) K Sangakarra (capt)
    5) Y Singh
    6) AB DeVilliers
    7) S Afridi
    8) D Steyn
    9) T Southee
    10) Z Khan
    11) M Murali

    12th man) J Kallis

  • Comment number 32.

    I remember hearing good things about Tillakaratne Dilshan over 12 years ago. He always brings a smile to my face when you say his name in tune with the theme tune of Please Sir! I believe it was once demonstrated to him and he was most amused.

  • Comment number 33.

    By all means Botski. De Villiers is a fine number 4 but the writer has put him in at #6 - the classic "finishers position" in ODI. In the one game ABdeV had to finish he couldn't (NZ). I would therefore have a number 6 who could offer more, as he certainly wouldn't be in for his wicketkeeping. A game of opinions, but as you asked.....

  • Comment number 34.

    Steyn should be in surely? I'd swap him for Malinga, much as I like Slinga.

    Taylor I don't mind, but he's not the best of the bunch we've seen at this world cup - switch the order around and you can have a top 4 of Tharanga, Dilshan, Sehwag and Tendulkar. Even with me at No5 you're likely to score in excess of 350!

    Unfortunately that means no place for one of de Villiers, Yuvraj or Afridi. I think I'd have to drop de Villiers, but it's a tough call - spin option wins the day there (plus pure bias - Afridi is one of my favourite players).

    Tharanga
    Dilshan
    Sehwag
    Tendulkar
    Sangakarra (wk, C)
    Yuvraj
    Afridi
    Lee
    Zaheer
    Steyn
    Murali

  • Comment number 35.

    I have my reservations about Adams team, most of the players in the team have been chosen on reputation rather than merit of performance, i.e Murali, Malinga, Lee and Taylor. All brilliant players to have in your team but have not been overly influential against the test playing nations to merit a place in the team.

    1)Sehwag
    2)Tendulker
    3)Dilshan
    4)Sangakkara
    5)Y. Singh
    6)A.B DeVilliers
    7)Afridi
    8)Roach
    9)Z. Khan
    10)Gul
    11)Ajmal

    The 4 players above that I mentioned would be substituted for:

    Gul in for Lee, although a poor SF against India, he has shown his destructiveness against teams at the death and has been consistent in taking wickets.

    Roach for Malinga, the only shining light in the West Indies, bowled with pace and genuinely caused problems for the opposition where his team mates failed to do so.

    Ajmal for Murali, purely on the way he bamboozles even the top players, almost unplayable at times, can bowl in the powerplay's and bowls exceedingly well at the death.

    Sehwag for Taylor, Sehwag is a match winner, Taylor is a bits and pieces player, moving Dilshan down to 3 means that you have a successful opening pair, and a player at 3 who can still capitalise against bowlers in the power play and play through the middle overs against spin.

  • Comment number 36.

    Except maybe leaving out Trott. Such a consistent run-scorer deserved at least a mention, even if he's not really English
    ------------------------------------------------
    To potcfc: Trott does get a mention, he just doesn't get picked in Mountford's team.

  • Comment number 37.

    In Trott's favour is it not also worth pointing out that he faced as many balls (115) in England's last game as Sachin did against Pakistan and Trott scored 1 more run, yet no body seems to be complaining about Sachin's 'slow strike rate' in that innings (admittedly people have highlighted how scrappy it was...) The indian team should be seen as a good example of how a slow anchor innings can be used as a foil for explosive players like Sehwag & co. In this context it is actually the lack of other big hitters in England that caused the problem, not Trott - indeed against the Windies he scored a breezy 47 off 38 balls, as well as a run-a-ball 92 against Ireland and a run-a-ball 60 odd against Netherlands - in this context he would be the perfect player to replace Ross Taylor by acting as an anchor at no. 3 or 4

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm pretty happy with that selection, I think Trott should be in, perhaps in Taylors place. For the sheer entertainment Taylor provided in his special innings, however, I find it hard to remove him from the list as that was a personal highlight of the tournament so far!
    I think Sachin was complimented for his consistent high run making, slow strike rate approach yesterday by a number of people, yet Trott was criticised for the same (or similar) approach. Do you believe there are any reasons for this?

  • Comment number 39.

    One final thought from me on the matter.... I am surprised no mention by anyone of Ray Price (ZIM). I thought he was fantastic. An economy rate of 3.44 - something a lot of the more established bowlers could only dream of.

  • Comment number 40.

    Gut instinct is :-

    Sehwag
    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Trott
    Sangakarra
    De Villiers
    Yuvraj
    Afridi
    Steyn
    Zaheer
    Malinga

    Obviously not much difference. English or not, for consistency you can't leave Trott out for the amount of runs he's scored and his strike rate of 80 isn't too bad. This team would have 3 quality pace men with different styles and actions and a variety of 3 spinners. Yes...Murali is unbelievable but I've gone for Afridi for his all round contribution. For runs you need to check the amount of innings and for that reason De Villiers should be in and the only other man in that category is Ten Doeschate who in a poor team performed brilliantly.

    I was sceptical before it started but I've actually enjoyed the World Cup.

  • Comment number 41.

    The Indian sub-continent is quite rightly heavily represented in the XI chosen. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are must-watch cricket teams of the highest order.

  • Comment number 42.

    On second thought....
    1) Sehwag
    2) Tendulkar
    3) Dilshan
    4) Sangakarra (c, w)
    5) ABdV
    6) Y Singh
    7) Afridi
    8) Gul
    9) Steyn
    10) Khan
    11) Murali
    and 12) Gambhir

    2nd team:
    1) Guptill
    2) Tharanga
    3) Trott
    4) Taylor
    5) Dhoni (c, w)
    6) ten Doeschate
    7) KO Brien
    8) Lee
    9) Roach
    10) Swann
    11) Tahir
    and 12) Oram

    I'm upset that some of my favourite performers haven't quite done it this tournament, or were overshadowed by someone from left-field, or suffered through bad luck, injury, or non-selection. So here's a team of nearly-theres and should-have-done betters:

    1) Amla
    2) Iqbal
    3) Kallis
    4) KP
    5) Darren Bravo
    6) Pollard
    7) Taibu (w)
    8) H Singh
    9) Vettori (c)
    10) Broad
    11) Tsotsobe
    and 12) Gayle

  • Comment number 43.

    I would have Trott instead of Taylor, he's been more consistent and with only six batsmen you need someone to play the anchor innings I think. You already have plenty of firepower with Yuvraj and AB and your top order, so Trott comes in for stability.

    I'd also pick Southee ahead of Malinga who apart from blowing away the Kenya tail hasn't had a great tournament IMO. The rest of the team is just fine.

  • Comment number 44.

    Ryan ten Doeschate tends to look good surrounded by a very poor dutch team, but he wouldn't be able to cut it in a team of stars like the ones above, its ridiculous to suggest he should be included. Otherwise a pretty good list Taylor is a bit iffy sure he had an awesome innings against Pakistan but he hasnt done enough in the rest of the games he has played to warrant a place. Maybe Trott or Sehwag.

    @Aaron Mundin Lets not forget how wrong a slow anchor innings can go as well as Misbah showed us against India, if he had been more prolific earlier on his team mates would have less pressure to come in and hit out straight away risking collapse. But having said that Trott did do well he needs to adapt more to circumstances though, there are times when he is the one who should be the aggressor and he needs to recognize that fact instead of stubbornly plodding on, giving new partners the luxury of a bit of time to play themselves in.

  • Comment number 45.

    33. At 12:09pm on 31st Mar 2011, DelbertWilkins wrote:
    De Villiers is a fine number 4 but the writer has put him in at #6 - the classic "finishers position" in ODI. In the one game ABdeV had to finish he couldn't (NZ).
    ==========

    A touch unfair. He might well have finished, had he not been run out by his old school buddy Faf.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good list. Perhaps Afridi would make the better Captain, he has been been brilliant in the field, especially in the QF big win v West Indies, and restricting Aust to a low score.

  • Comment number 47.

    I agree with the batting selection and middle order however with three Pace bowlers in the side I was just wondering if you have been watching the same cricket tournament as me??????????????????????????????

  • Comment number 48.

    No place for Jack Wilshere? I am on the right page aren't I?

  • Comment number 49.

    My WC 2011 dream team wouldve been

    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Amla
    Sangakarra (C)
    Yuvraj Singh
    O'Brien
    Shahid Afirdi
    Zaheer Khan
    Malinga
    Muralitharan


    U gotta admit that is a strong looking side!!

  • Comment number 50.

    I'd say that the 11 is almost spot on, however I would swap Lee for maybe Steyn or Gul. Trott is most definatley worthy of a place in that 11 and I would put him in at the expense of Taylor. Think sat will justify Murali & Malinga being in there - I reckon 3 wickets a piece with Sachin reaching his milestone at hom. However I would love it if Sri Lanka win it in Mumbai!!! Come on the Lions!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    this whole Trott v Taylor debate is farcical. Trott performed exceptionally in a team that performed poorly. Taylor performed consistently in a team that performed exceptionally and made it to the semi-final. Trott's innings in the qtr whilst allowing England to post a total whilst others failed around him was one paced and ultimately cost England the game. Taylor is far more adaptable.
    I think a lot of (English) posters have forgotten that you don't need Mr Dependable, J.Trott to score 75 off 110 balls every game when you have Tendulkar, Dilshan, Taylor, Yuraj and AB in the team. He would just hold up an end and stop the team from ultimately scoring to their potential.
    The team is balanced as it is in terms of batting, Trott doesn't fit.....and i for one certainly wouldn't want to watch Trott in full flight...ohh look...another single to long on...Taylor for entertainment any day of the week.

  • Comment number 52.

    Trott should definitely be in. Top English run scorer, better batsman than Sangakkara too. And has Murali really been that good? Better than Tahir? A pick from the heart not from the head, that one.

  • Comment number 53.

    Ross Taylor hit 14 sixes! Why is that a ludicrous pick? He's a worthy enough choice (although I wouldn't be able to fit him in my side) and I think this is a pretty good team from Adam.

    For all those going on about Jonathan Trott, I'll say this - England are not a good One day team. They lost to Ireland and Bangladesh. The problem as to why England aren't a good ODI team is that they have too many batsmen with Test match skills and not ODI where you need to clear the ropes. Trott is the perfect example- consistently anchors an innings with gritty accumulation, but doesn't hit boundaries.

    I agree with most of Adam's team, but this would be my side:

    Sehwag, Dilshan, Tendulkar, Sangakkara, De Villiers, Yuvraj, Afridi, Southee, Zaheer Khan, Malinga, Muralitharan.

    A lot of Indians and Sri Lankans, but after all they are the best teams at the tournament and both deservedly in the final.

  • Comment number 54.

    Glad to see Afridi in there.

    He is a great captain, leads by example and is a real inspiration, even in defeat.

    Boom Boom!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    No Kevin O'Brien? Typical Beeb...

  • Comment number 56.

    So this is Your own team and you are publishing it in a tax payers website? Get an account in FB and do ur personal stuff...LoL..
    btw, AB de and Lee doen't deserve a spot...

  • Comment number 57.

    Best associate players?

    Batsman: Ten Doeschate

    Bowler: Baidwan

    All-rounder: K.O'Brien

    Wicket keeper: Bagai

  • Comment number 58.

    Adam, firstly I must politely decline your kind invite to follow you on Twitter as, while I recognise it's a necessity of your job (and the BBC clearly wants all interaction to be via the like of Twitter and Facebook nowadays presumably to appeal to the 'yoof' demographic), I have a life.

    On to the article, I think ten doeschate deserves merit for his strong all-round performances in a weak side but would leave Trott out, as you have, as really he's only held together what should have been a much better England side and hasn't changed games by, for example, power hitting. Gul has been a bit hit and miss so would have gone for Steyn and Southee and while I don't like sentimentality when it comes to picking teeams of a Tournament I'll forgive you Murali's inclusion.

  • Comment number 59.

    @53 I completely agree with u, Ross Taylor is a fantastic player and great entertainer too!But the problem with England is that they are collectively a poor team,They dont really have match winners or anyone who consistently plays good other than as of late Jonathan Trott. Andrew Strauss had quite an indifferent tournament at times he looked like he wanted to say for the whole 50 overs and at others he was just waiting to walk!Ian Bell was another let down for me as I always held him in the highest regards a truly mercurial talent often unsung but this WC a silent figure. And Im an England fan by the way!!! India have looked a bit dodgy in some games but nonetheless they got the job done, I honestly feel the Pakistani team didnt turn up properly yesterday otherwise it wouldve been a lot tighter and interesting, Sri Lanka deserve to win the WC but im backing India due to a bet!!

  • Comment number 60.

    My team (prior to final) would be
    1. Dilshan
    2. Tharanga
    3. Tendulkar
    4. deVilliers
    5. Sangakarra (c)
    6. Y Singh
    7. Afridi
    8. Steyn
    9. Kahn
    10. Muralitharan
    11. Gul

    You don't need a long tail as that's what your batsmen are there for. Enough pace and spin to undo any top order.
    Taylor too inconsistent, Trott too slow (although is consistent)

  • Comment number 61.

    How can you have a player retiring at the end of the tournament playing at 11? I'm pretty sure your blog goes on the basis of a team you would like to field against A N Other? He won't be able to play for your team...!

  • Comment number 62.

    Tharanga is "is unlucky to miss out" on Adam's fantasy XI, according to Adam.

    Yep, he must be gutted.

  • Comment number 63.

    At 59. I am an englishman too, and an England fan. Even I can't make an argument for Trott being in the team of the tournament. I thought England were shocking at the tournament. We gritted our teeth and ground out a draw with India and victory against West Indies, and Broad's bowling heroics won us the SA match, but overall we were very poor. We just never got to grips with the skills needed to win ODI matches. We should have picked ODI specialists rather than as many of the Ashes Test side as we could- by that I don't mean bits and pieces cricketers but genuine big hitters and impact strike bowlers along with a consistent spin attack.

    Also the personnel and tactical plan for the team should have been developed over the last few years, not a couple of months before- we shouldn't have been scratching around for an opening partner for Strauss before and during the tournament or ditching Stephen Davies for Matt Prior seemingly on a post-Ashes whim. Poor planning, poor tactical/physical preparation and poor ideas let England down. Anyway, this is possibly a debate for another blog.

  • Comment number 64.

    Just out of curiosity, who was the England player who got closest to your XI (if any of them actually merited a "mention in dispatches"?

  • Comment number 65.

    There is one mistake some of you are making....
    How can you possibly have th Indian pair opening?
    The two Sri Lanken openers have been absolutely phenomonal and have both averaged above the Indian pair. That is without mentioning that they single handedly beat England and put on 282 against Zimbabwe (fair enough not the greatest team in the world but we all seen how England struggled against the 'minnows'). At least one if not both must open the batting. You can't drop Dilshan down the order when he is the leading run-scorer from the top of the order. Just because Tendulker and Sehwag are big names of the sport, doesn't give them the right to disrequard the facts!

  • Comment number 66.

    #52 NicRolastic - Sorry is that meant to be funny? Trott has had a couple of good years. No boundries Trott better than Sangakkara? I know you must be biased towards the english but that is bordering on outrageous. That must rank up there with the infamous 'Joe Cole is better than Messi' comparison.
    Sangakkara will finish his career as one of the greats of his generation. If Trott keeps up what he's doing maybe he'll get there...someday.
    What next? Bell is better than Tendulkar?

  • Comment number 67.

    "Trott's innings in the qtr whilst allowing England to post a total whilst others failed around him was one paced and ultimately cost England the game"

    What??? Trott got us up to a score that was under par but at least competitive. He can improve, but his strike rate is/was perfectly decent if the other players had done their jobs. The fact that we couldn't take even one single wicket ultimately cost us the game.

  • Comment number 68.

    Many posters have pointed out that Sri Lanka have had quite an easy ride to the final. Yes India have beaten two heavy weights but that counts for nothing in the final. Indians are probably already jaded and Sri Lankans a bit more fresh because of their easy route.

    I'm picking Sri Lanka to win as India do not have history on their side as they have always lost to Sri Lanka in the world cups and also no host team has ever won it.

    Sri Lanka will probably have the rub of the green with the toss too and bat first to put up a big total.

  • Comment number 69.

    I agree mostly with your 11 but would take out a bowler and put in Trott or Tharanga. Your selection of Ross Taylor is I think justified, he made mincemeat of the Pakistan bowling and if his name was Kevin Peiterson we would have praised that innings as one of the best if not "the" best of this World Cup.

  • Comment number 70.

    How can De Villiers replace Sangakarra? One plays for SA and the other SL

  • Comment number 71.

    Afridi at 7 would be a concern, he even said himself he's a bowler first these days. I also agree with people saying get Steyn in for Malinga; while Malinga is unorthodox and good at the death, Steyn is the complete package at the moment and the best fast bowler in the world for my money (plus he can hold a bat pretty well). Think Mendis might have been in with a shout good economy and bit of mystery, 3 front line spinners has been used well. Spare a thought for Robin Petersen who was excellent opening the bowling and won the match with the bat vs India.
    My team:
    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Sangakarra
    Trott
    Yuvraj
    De Villiers
    Petersen
    Afridi
    Steyn
    Zaheer
    Mendis

  • Comment number 72.

    68. At 14:09pm on 31st Mar 2011, Kris wrote:
    Sri Lanka will probably have the rub of the green with the toss too and bat first to put up a big total.
    ================

    Anything you can share with us about Saturday's Lotto numbers?

  • Comment number 73.

    @72. Sure! Here goes :-)

    04 07 14 22 36 47 13

  • Comment number 74.

    Trott for Taylor, Sanga down to #4 to ease the burden a little.

    Trott is still the second highest scorer per innings (behind ABdV) and was massively consistent with 5 50's from 7 innings. You do need someone to play the consistent role in a team environment and he does so, his scoring rate has also been reasonably impressive.

  • Comment number 75.

    @63 How can you say you can't make even a case for Trott? Consistently he has made runs when needed, granted not at the scintillating speed of a Sehwag or Yuvraj, still scoring in pretty much every game gives your Yuvraj's of the world licence to go for it and ultimately win a game. Plus against the West Indies Trott scored at a strike rate of 124 just to show he can do it himself.

  • Comment number 76.

    My best team is the SL-XI that played V NZ in SF, nothing more, nothing less!

    I remember the first ODI game played in Mumbai back in 1987, again it was a Ind V SL match and Ind scored an imposing 299 in 40overs and SL lost by 10runs giving an early indication of things to come from the Island nation. Mahanama played a great innings and well supported by Gurusinghe.

    Ind's record in Mumbai is not that good.

    Go lions ............

  • Comment number 77.

    Adam, here is my team

    1. Dilshan (Bat/Spin)
    2. Sehwag (Bat/Spin)
    3. Tendulkar (Bat/Spin)
    4. Sangakarra (c) (Bat/Wkt)
    5. AB de Villiers (Bat)
    6. Y Singh (Bat/Spin)
    7. Watson (Bat/Seam)
    8. Afridi (Spin/Bat)
    9. Lee (Seam)
    10. Khan (Seam)
    11. Ajmal(Spin - Subcontinental pitches) / Steyn (Seam - rest of the world)

    Even in subcontinental pitches I was tempted to choose Steyn over a spinner but we have the 3rd seam option(Watson). So my 11th player in subcontinental pitches is a spinner.

    I have overlooked Murali, Tahir, R Ashwin for Ajmal. He is most of the time unplayable... he bowls dusara at his will which is a great advantage...

    I pity Kallis, Gul, Raina, M Hussey, Ray Price(Zimbabwe), Amla, Trott, Strauss for not making into my team, but love to have them in my 2nd choice team...

    phew............ with so many talent it is hard to pick 11 member dream team... :^)

  • Comment number 78.

    @gloryof96 what do you think of the call up of Vaas? In with the chance of playing as Matthews is a doubt? Been awesome in t20 here with the bat.

  • Comment number 79.

    I agree with your decision not to cave in to sentiment and include a token England player. Sadly most of the England XI couldn't justify their inclusion in their own team, let alone a World Cup XI.

  • Comment number 80.

    Jonathan Trott has consistently been in top form since last November from test matches to being the only player producing in the odi series. I find it amazing that he hasn't made it in this team to be honest. Way too much is made of his strike rate. Over 300 deliveries for a whole batting line up, does Trott having a SR of 80 really cost the team that much? Especially when he's normally getting more than the rest put together.

    Yes, he could improve by hitting a few more boundaries, but he still gets the runs. Leading international ODI run scorer in 2011

    Every side needs players like Trott.

    As for the rest of the side, hard to disagree with any of those selections. They all seemed to be the ones most likely when their sides needed them (which is why I say Trott for Taylor)

  • Comment number 81.

    Kevin O'Brien?

  • Comment number 82.

    for me

    tharanga
    dilshan
    Tendulker
    Sangakara
    De Villiers
    Ten Doeschate
    Afridi
    Steyn
    Roach
    Gul
    Ajmal

  • Comment number 83.

    My Team

    1) T Dilshan
    2) Sachin Tendulkar
    3) Kumar Sangakarra
    4) AB DeVilliers
    5) Yuvraj Singh
    6) Umar Akmal
    7) Shahid Afridi
    8) Wahab Riaz
    9) Zaheer Khan
    10) Umar Gul
    11) Saeed Ajmal

  • Comment number 84.

    Good Team Selection,I would have preferred to have Sehwag though with Tendulkar, He is a proven destroyer of any opening bowling attack, and in a 50 over format you need to grab the initiative very early in the game. Ross Taylor ?? how about Kallis instead ??

  • Comment number 85.

    @84 not sure Kallis was at his best in the tournament, awesome player though I agree gives balance to any side batting number 3 and bowling consistently well.

  • Comment number 86.

    Good article, I think if you are picking a player solely for being captain, the best captain has been Porterfield, also I think Baidwan has possibly been the best bowler, considering he plays in such a weak attack and has still managed to take wickets................thought he was very impressive

  • Comment number 87.

    No way should Trott be anywhere near the world cup XI team, unless if you're picking based on performance relative to ability. In which case the line-up's would be very different (Kevin O'Brian, the West India Roach, STrauss possibly).

    But Trott does not have the shot selection and all round scoring ability to warrant a place in the best side. All the batters in this team; if they face 100 balls they will get 100 runs - at least. That doesn't hold true for Trott,

    He has held together the England batting and performed greatly relative to his ability. But the only batting "world class" ODI batters for England are KP and Morgan. Bell and Bopara have ability but rarely produce at this level (bit unfair on Bopara but he has to do a lot more to stand out).

    Strauss and Trott (and Collingwood before he lost form) are limited players who make the most of their talent. You can build a very respectable career that way (see Gary Kirsten and countless others) but when you're talking the best players in the world, they just don't come into the equation.

    An alternative team - excluding all players picked by Adam - could be:

    Sehwag
    Watson
    Tharanga
    Jayawardene
    Kallis
    Dhoni (wk)
    Pollard
    Vettori (c)
    Steyn
    Tahir
    Gul

    I think my team would win!

  • Comment number 88.

    49. At 13:21pm on 31st Mar 2011, moislam81 wrote:
    My WC 2011 dream team wouldve been

    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Amla
    Sangakarra (C)
    Yuvraj Singh
    O'Brien
    Shahid Afirdi
    Zaheer Khan
    Malinga
    Muralitharan


    U gotta admit that is a strong looking side!!

    ------

    It's good, but I'd have gone with the traditional 11 players rather than 10.

  • Comment number 89.

    Surely Trott has to go in above Taylor. One swallow does not make a summer!

  • Comment number 90.

    @87 I think you have to take a look at the stats as kapnag (no.80) said Trott is the leading run scorer in 2011 in ODI's. I agree Trott isn't the most pleasing on the eye, but not everyone can go out and smash every ball or be a genius in regards to playing every shot. Trott would be the glue that would hold a team of players like that together, he is consistent and does the stuff hollywood players won't, he'll scrap for every run. To use a football analogy he is the Claude Makelele of the cricketing world!

  • Comment number 91.

    On the flipside, what about a World Cup Nightmare XI? Oh wait, that'd be South Africa...

    I jest. Some random names for you to discuss.

    -Anyone Kenya let open the batting.

    -Brendon McCullum - biffed Canada and Zimbabwe about, naff all against the big boys.

    -Kevin Pietersen - looked like he was coming into form but disappeared without any big runs to his name. More a nightmare for not being there than anything else.

    -Darren Bravo - undoubted ability, looked fantastic in the first game of the tournament but then suffered a major drop in form. Will return a stronger player.

    -Yusuf Pathan - big hitting reputation but didn't do much. Keiron Pollard shoke some monkeys off his back but Pathan's still cling on.

    -Matt Prior - wibbly wobbly with the bat, dropped a clanger against Ireland.

    -James Anderson. Cracking against SA, bowled like a bucket of sick much of the rest of the time.

  • Comment number 92.

    Re 87

    That's actually not true. Sangakarra's sr in this world cup is 85.45, Yuvraj 86.11, Taylor 87.09 (which is inflated by that freakish innings against Pakistan). And Trott's was 80.84. Not all that far off.

    And then you go and pick Kallis, whose sr is less than 73!

  • Comment number 93.

    Mostly spot on. I'd swap AB de Villiers and Ross Taylor's batting positions though.

    To complete the SQUAD of 15, I'd have
    12. Sehwag (opener)
    13. Gul (pace)
    14. Tahir (spinner)
    15. Trott (middle order)

    Tharanga and Southee the two very unlucky under-rated players to miss out.

  • Comment number 94.

    Dont forget Yuvraj can bowl and also I'd have Wahab Riaz instead of Brett Lee who had a poor world cup, other than that can't argue with your selection.

  • Comment number 95.

    This is a team of the world cup, not a World XI, so it should contain all of the top performers over the last few weeks. And they've mostly been all rounders! Yuvraj, Dilshan, Afridi... and Afridi is making the team only as a bowler. So the tail is too long if we are to accommodate this number of bowlers; we should at least include more bowlers who can bat as well.

    I am strongly in support of Ryan ten Doeschate being in this team. He is the best player of all the associate nations, and would get into almost every full member nation's XI unquestionably (possibly not India?). So the only change I have made is to drop Malinga, who has been good but somewhat expensive, and replace him with RTD.

    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Sangakkara (name misspelt consistently in this article!)
    Taylor - consistently excellent, can't understand why so many want to replace him
    Yuvraj
    De Villiers
    Ten Doeschate
    Afridi
    Lee
    Zaheer
    Muralitharan

    So many wicket keepers, and now an extra six hitter!

  • Comment number 96.

    But Trott does not have the shot selection and all round scoring ability to warrant a place in the best side. All the batters in this team; if they face 100 balls they will get 100 runs - at least. That doesn't hold true for Trott,

    =

    That is a total myth. How many 300+ games have we actually had in this world cup?

  • Comment number 97.

    @dford87, Vass is not match fit but Randiv yes, as far as i'm concerned, these are all mind games!!

    Murali will play even with (or on) one-leg, no questions about that

  • Comment number 98.

    @95 go back to the drawing board with Ten Doschate as a front line bowler in a world XI his economy is over 6 for the tournament, which you can try to justify if he was a wicket taker but he's not, and even then if it was a wicket taker like messers Gul or Malinga it would still be tenuous. Yes he would strengthen your batting and he has been fantastic, just not a front line bowler for the best team of the tournament I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 99.

    @gloryof96 Will Matthews be missed? He seems a bits a pieces player sometimes, Fernando in for him if injured? It would be a travesty if Murali didn't play, the tournament needs Tendulkar vs Murali in the final would be fantastic, and baring the length of this competition make it better than the last couple of world cups!

  • Comment number 100.

    Dilshan
    Tendulkar
    Trott
    de Villers
    Sangakarra
    Yuvraj
    Afridi
    Peterson
    Malinga
    Zaheer
    Tahir

    Only concern would be Afridi at 7, but in some respects this is balanced by Peterson at 8.

 

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