Ace cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle on Wednesday picked his dream T20 international team for 2016 and though there were a few big names missing like that of Chris Gayle and Kane Williamson, the team looks pretty good. (Read: 5 reasons why Dhoni has stepped down from ODI captaincy)
There have been a number of brilliant T20 performances in the last year and Harsha Bhogle admitted that picking the side was tough given big-hitters were often preferred over consistent ones.
Bhogle chose David Warner and Quinton de Kock at the top of the order with the former also being chosen as the captain of the side.
Reposting. Everyone does Test and ODi XIs. I have too! But here is a T20 XI for 2016. https://t.co/7wW4ciQZwT— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 4, 2017
It wasn’t a tough decision given Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad to lift the silverware in the Indian Premier League and has good leadership skills.
India’s swashbuckling Virat Kohli comes in next at number three. With four hundreds in the IPL 2016 and a tournament average of 81.08, Kohli is undoubtedly one of the best in the business when it comes to the shortest format of the game.
Virat Kohli was also instrumental in helping India thrash Australia 3-0 in the T20I series last year. While Kohli had an average of 89.66 in 2016, the strike rate of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers is well over 160.
De Villiers and Maxwell come in as No 4 and 5 in the side to complete the power-packed batting line-up.
The Caribbean combination of Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo comes in next and seem to be the perfect all-rounders to a side that already has a star-studded batting line-up.
Some might argue that Chris Gayle has the potential to turn things around on his own but then he doesn’t match up to these two in terms of bowling.
In fact, Royal Challengers Bangalore, the IPL franchise he plays for, have dropped him a few times in the IPL given that when he failed to get a big score, he hardly had anything more to offer.
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman fill up the next two slots. Ashwin is a good choice at No 8 as he has already proved himself as a handy batsman down the order and can often win games with the bat as well.
On the other hand, Mustafizur has been a revelation in 2016 and is a brilliant pick as his ability to bowl in the death overs have been brilliant.
‘Fizz’ will be partnered with Jasprit Bumrah, and while that might raise a few eyebrows, but the Bangladesh left-arm seamer’s toe-crushing yorkers might just have the perfect answers to that.
Australia’s Adam Zampa, who had a great run in the IPL with 12 wickets in five matches, comes in as the No 11 in the side. Zampa had the best bowling figures in the IPL with 6/19 and also had the best bowling average at 9.58.
The team: David Warner (C), Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Adam Zampa