Four Indians, including Sachin Tendulkar and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, were included in the world team of the year 2008 chosen by Australian newspaper 'Herald Sun'.
Dhoni, whom the newspaper compared with retired Australian great Adam Gilchrist, was made deputy to skipper of the team South African Graeme Smith, while "impossible to drop" Tendulkar bats at number four in the world team picked according to their batting positions.
Opener Gautam Gambhir and young fast bowler Ishant Sharma also made it to the team following their stellar successes in 2008, while Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag missed out of the list.
"Dhoni is the wicketkeeper, not necessarily because he is the best at that job, but because he scores plenty of important runs -- he is replacing Gilchrist, after all -- and has demonstrated great leadership qualities," the newspaper's Ron Reed explained.
According to the newspaper, Tendulkar, who became Test cricket's most prolific run-getter and notched up his 41st century in 2008, was impossible to drop from any world team.
"Tendulkar is simply non-negotiable in any team. His 41st century to lead India's remarkable chase after 387 against England last month was said by some to have been his finest moment -- enough said," it wrote.
Gambhir, who was named along with South African Smith at the top of order, had to compete for his place with his senior opening partner Virender Sehwag who had scored 1462 in 2008.
"Sehwag is the more eye-catching option, especially as he has a triple-century and has taken 15 wickets with his off-spin. But Gambhir has averaged 70.87 for his 1134 runs and there is something about him that suggests he is a fierce competitor. He's in."
Ishant got the third fast bowler's spot beating strong challenge from fellow Indian left-armer Zaheer Khan, England's Ryan Sidebottom, South Africa's ageless Makhaya Ntini and Australia's Brett Lee.
"Sharma looks to have something special, so even though he took a relatively modest 38 wickets in 13 matches he's the man," the newspaper said.
World XI in batting order: Graeme Smith (South Africa; captain); Gautam Gambhir (India), Ricky Ponting (Australia), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), AB de Villiers ((South Africa), MS Dhoni (India; wicket-keeper and vice-captain), Ishant Sharma (India), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka). 12th man: Kevin Pietersen (England).