ICC has announced the team of the World Cup just after yesterday’s final, which Australia clinched quite convincingly to become World Champions for the fifth time! Here is the team:
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) (captain)
Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) (wicketkeeper)
Steven Smith (Australia)
AB de Villiers (South Africa)
Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Corey Anderson (New Zealand)
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand)
Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Morne Morkel (South Africa)
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) (12th man)
Quite expectedly, this team is dominated by selections from the finalists, New Zealand and Australia. Following Brendon McCullum’s aggressive and daredevil captaincy, he was chosen as the inspiring leader for this dream team. On the other hand, Kumar Sangakkara, thanks to his four consecutive hundreds (at one point he looked like beating Sachin’s impenetrable record of 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup!) was selected as the wicket-keeper for this team.
While Brendon and Guptill are the swashbuckling opening stand, their dismissals will lead the charismatic Sangakkara and AB De Villiers in to bat, with Steven Smith at number 4 following his absolutely golden summer. Steve Smith has done no wrong with the bat in his hand, although we think he mainly got into the team due to his semi-final ton against India, which was decisive.
AB De Villiers displayed a rare show of amazing batting as he lead South Africa to their fourth semi-final berth in the CWCs. This time however, there was a difference: SA won a knockout match in the CWC for the first time. Also, many have been liberal enough to somewhat lessen the ‘chokers’ tag on the Proteas, after they lost a scintillating match to the Kiwis.
At number six and seven, we have two all-rounders from the finalists of this World Cup – Glenn Maxwell and Corey Anderson. Maxwell gets selected for his outstanding pinch hitting, although we do doubt what great innings did he play in the CWC except his knock against Sri Lanka to get selected? Similarly, Anderson gets a nod ahead of all others mainly because of his wicket-taking skills and the abilities to score some quick runs down the order.
In the bowling department, as the ICC officials pointed out, there was a tough decision to pick up the spinner. In the end, it was Daniel Vettori who made the cut in his final World Cup. The pace attack is completely starry. Mitchell Starc (the player of the tournament), Trent Boult and Morne Morkel carry on a fast paced armada that can beat the heat out of any batsman in a given day.
However, the most surprising exclusion in this list has been that of the Indian players. After all, they did win 7 matches on the trot in a superb show of all-round cricket. One may argue that they peaked early maybe, as the defending World Champions, but I can equally argue that it was one bad day that saw them get eliminated from their title defence.
Mohammed Shami bowled pretty amazingly in the World Cup to get selected ahead of Morne Morkel in this Dream Team. Also, we would pick Shikhar Dhawan ahead of Martin Guptill (a double century being the major factor why he got so many runs) as the former has shown more consistent performances in this World Cup. MS Dhoni has played brilliantly as well, but alas, we can have only one wicket-keeper!
So, our final team stands as follows:
Brendon McCullum (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Corey Anderson, Daniel Vettori, Mitchell Starc, Mohammad Shami, Trent Boult
(Do you agree? Do you have any other suggestion? Let us know in the comments)